10 Things to Know Before Getting a Dog

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There are few things in life that are more exciting than adding a new dog to your home. They make excellent companions and give unconditional love. However, they do require a lot of work and it helps to be prepared before bringing Fido home. Today we will discuss 10 things to know before getting a dog.

Dogs are a commitment

Dog commitment
Sure, puppies are adorable, but they do grow up to be dogs that can live 12+ years. So, before bringing a dog home be sure you are ready to take care of one. Consider that it’s another mouth to feed, and they require exercise and attention. Not providing your dog with playtime to expel energy can lead to behavioral problems and destruction of your home.

Which breed is best for you?

The next thing you should consider is what traits you’re looking for in a dog. If you’re looking for a low-energy couch potato, then you probably don’t want to choose a Siberian Husky (regardless how pretty they are). On the other hand, if you’re an avid runner a Husky would fit right in. You’ll need to assess your living situation to determine which size dog is appropriate for your home and family.

Dogs are expensive

Taking care of a dog goes beyond just feeding it. They require at least annual veterinary visits to obtain booster shots and heartworm tests. Also consider that they can come down with different diseases and become injured, thus requiring veterinary care. Some dogs are more prone to issues than others. For example, Bernese Mountain Dogs are known to get certain types of cancer and English Bulldogs tend to be unhealthy in general.
Dog commitment

Make time for socialization

Socialization should begin when you first bring the dog home. Subjecting your dog to other dogs and people of all shapes and sizes will help it grow into a well-rounded, stable animal. On the other hand, dogs that lack proper socialization can become nippy and not know how to act around strangers.

House training requires patience

Some breeds are easier than others to house train. Keep in mind that this process can take time and a great deal of energy. You’ll want to keep shoes, children’s toys, and other things off the floor, so they don’t get chewed up. The key to this is consistency!

Prepare supplies before bringing your dog home

Dog commitment
Dogs require certain products for their care. It’s best if you purchase food, a crate, feeding bowls, a collar and leash, as well as plenty of toys beforehand. There’s a subscription box for everything these days, and the same is true for dog products. Most people agree that a subscription box for dog toys each month is a wise investment.

Get pet insurance

Very few people speak of pet insurance. However, it’s definitely great to have. For a nominal fee each month, you’ll have peace of mind that your dog’s vet bills will be covered if something does happen.

Consider adoption

Rather than buying a puppy from a pet store, at least consider adopting a shelter pet. Nearly everyone who’s adopted in the past can tell you that rescue animals make the best pets.

Create a schedule and stick to it

Dogs learn the best when they are placed on a schedule that doesn’t vary. This means feedings at the same time each day, regular potty breaks, etc. It will take some time for the dog to learn the schedule, but it will with time.

Always use positive reinforcement

While training your dog you should use positive reinforcement rather than punishment. The fact is that if you are too overbearing with your dog it will become unsure of itself and this can lead to problems.

In the end, adding a dog to your home can be one of the most rewarding feelings. Just be sure you are ready for the challenge and pick the right breed to fit your lifestyle.

Dog commitment

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