Have you always wanted to adopt a puppy?
If your answer is yes, then you’re in the right place. Getting a pet is a huge responsibility. It is a lifelong commitment that you need to prepare for. Taking care of a dog’s physical needs is only one part of the job. A dog also has emotional needs that you, as a future owner, have to attend to. Read on to find out how you can prepare yourself to take your first puppy home.
Consider your housemates (or landlord)
Do you live alone or with your family? While it is easier to make decisions if you live alone, you still need to consider factors like the rules about pets in your apartment. Consult with your landlord about your plans to avoid scuffles in the future. If you live in shared quarters, make sure that all household members are alright with getting a pet. Consider if anyone has fur allergies or a fear of dogs. Since every dog breed has different characteristics, research carefully about the best dog for your home.
Aside from discussing dog breeds, families taking in dogs should also discuss and divide responsibilities. Children can deal with tasks like feeding or playing with the dog. But make sure to teach children how they should behave around the dog. Given enough information and practice, children will surely enjoy and learn from having a pet. The same can be said about individuals of all ages taking care of dogs.
Make space for your dog
Next, consider the size of your living space. Will there be a place for your new dog to stay? Is there enough space for the dog to eat and play? You could get smaller dog breeds if you don’t have spacious quarters. For example, you could get a Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, or Yorkshire Terrier. Make sure that your neighborhood is safe and secure, too. You wouldn’t want your pet to be stolen or put in harm’s way.
Another tip is to dog-proof your home. Some household items pose risks to dogs, who love to lick and chew on curious-looking items. Put away your medicines, cleaning chemicals, and poisonous plants. Prepare chew toys for your pet to play with instead.
Set up a schedule
Dogs require loads of time and attention, especially if you take care of puppies. As mentioned earlier, tasks can be divided among people in a household. But if you’re caring for a dog alone, here are some activities that you need to devote time for:
- Feeding your dog
- Walking your dog
- Playing with your dog
- Grooming your dog (or taking the dog to a pet grooming salon)
- Going to the vet for check-ups
Some tasks in the list above need to be accomplished daily, such as feeding and walking. Others are only done when needed, like visiting a veterinarian. Nonetheless, you need to set aside a significant amount of time for your dog. Making a schedule is advisable for routine tasks like feeding. Generally, dogs are supposed to be fed twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening.
Meanwhile, grooming schedules largely depend on the dog breed, with long-haired breeds requiring daily brushing. Keeping your yard clean is important to prevent ticks from plaguing your pet, home, and loved ones. Visits to the vet once a year are recommended for puppies, but twice a year is best for senior dogs.
Allot funds for dog care
Many pet owners, who also proudly call themselves fur parents, attest that taking care of their furry “children” is costly. From buying quality dog food, bowls, toys, and shampoo, to getting dogs vaccinated and treated by the vet, the fur parent has many bills to pay. Getting cheaper options usually means compromising quality, so it’s vital for aspiring fur parents such as yourself to prepare your wallet rather than cut corners in pet care.
The best fur parent is the responsible fur parent. Consider taking out a pet health insurance policy to make sure that you can cover the costs of treatment, just in case your dog needs it. Just like normal insurance policies, this will require paying a monthly premium. Do your homework and find out which policy works best for your budget.
So, can you be a fur parent?
If you have the determination and resources to fulfill all the steps outlined above, then congratulations! You are on your way to becoming a fur parent! You’ll learn so many other things about caring for dogs as you go, but being prepared is the first step to giving your dog a loving home.