The age-old phrase “a dog is a man’s best friend” has never rang truer than recently. With the current pandemic and people spending months at home, the number of people who have decided to adopt a dog has skyrocketed. Whether you adopted a dog as a spur of the moment thing because of loneliness or you have always wanted to adopt one, you need to able to care for it.
Many new dog owners can get overwhelmed because a lot goes into taking care of a dog. To help you with keeping you and your dog happy, we have put together a few things you need to know to have a good relationship with your dog.
Your dog’s shopping list
Once you have done your research about the type of breed you can properly care for and have confirmed whether you can keep your dog in your home if you’re renting, you will need to go shopping.
Pet gates (child gates): You will need to install these if you wish to keep your dog in specific areas of your home.
Bed: If you have an older dog, you can immediately set them up in their bed. If you have a young puppy, it would be the best start with blankets and then move onto their bed once they are passed the chewing phase.
Dog bowls: You will need dog bowls for food and water. Avoid plastic bowls as they can cause allergies; it is better to opt for ceramic or steel bowls.
Grooming tools: These will be used to keep your pet neat and clean; there are specific kits for breeds, so do your research.
Cleaning items: With a dog in the home, especially puppy accidents are inevitable. So, it’s best to stock up on cleaning supplies that both clean but also combat bad odors.
Collar, Leash, and Tags: It’s best to buy these early on. It provides your dog identification should they get lost, and you can start going on walks sooner.
Dog crate: If you want to crate train your dog, then it is best to get one at the start. You can then start training immediately. There is a wide array of creates metal, heavy-duty, soft-sided, and plastic. Pick the crate that you feel would be best suited for you and your dog.
Poop bags and Poop Scooper: These will be needed for when you go out with your dog.
Dog Toys: To keep your dog entertained, you should buy a few different dog toys, ensure that there are no parts that can come off and cause a choking hazard.
Prepare your home
It is important that your home is dog-proof. Store plants and cleaning supplies in high places, tape or tuck electrical cords that may be loose to the baseboards. Pack away breakables for the first few months or place them someplace they will not break; set up the dog gate and crate with its bowls in its designated area of the home.
You will need a lot of patience regardless of if your dog is a young puppy or older. Older dogs that have spent a lot of time in a shelter require more time to adjust to the new environment, while puppies need more house training.
You should train your dog regularly about behaving in the house, showing them where their areas are, and setting the house rules for them. Positive reinforcement is the best method, and remembers to be consistent and patient; it will take time.
There are a huge variety of dog food products available on the market. It is important your dog is getting the best ingredients and nutrients so they can stay healthy. There can foods that can cause allergies or digestion problems for your dogs or food that is marketed for a specific size or breed of dog. It is important the dog food that is a fit for your dog and its needs. You can ask your dog’s veterinarian for help if you have questions or are having trouble deciding.
Finding a veterinarian
You need to have a vet for your dog. The vet you choose needs to be one that both you and your dog can trust. Your vet and you need to be on the same page for your dog’s needs. Ensure that you are happy and comfortable with the staff and facilities at the vet that you are going to choose.
Your dog needs to be vaccinated, the schedule of which you and your vet can decide on together. Vaccines are particularly important for your dog’s health and life span. Some of the vaccines tour dogs will need rabiesCanine distemperLeptospirosisCanine Adenovirus-2Canine parainfluenza, and Canine parvovirus (“parvo”). These are just some of the vaccines your dog will need, but it is essential that they are vaccinated.
Like us, dogs can have unexpected expenses crop up from time to time. While it is not a requirement to have pet insurance, it is something to consider. If you feel that you have adequate savings to cover any unexpected medical expenses, you can skip insurance; however, if you think you may not be able to afford your pet’s care should something occur, it is recommended to get pet insurance.
It is important to spend time with your dog, especially in the early months. They may be sacred or aloof, but you need to show them love and affection. Provide them with positive reinforcement during training, take them on walks, spend quality time with them. It can take time to build trust with your dog, particularly if they are older dog.
Introduce your dog to family, friends, and neighbors. Once they become better trained, introduce them to other dogs, take them to dog parks. This gives them a chance to exercise and release their built-up energy.
Having a new dog in the house is a lot of responsibility. However, if you follow these simple steps and give you and your dog some time, you will quite easily have a trusting and in-sync relationship.