Making the decision to adopt a pet is one that many people make without a second thought. The idea of having your dream pet in your home, providing an endless stream of love and cuddles, is truly a dream come true for many.
While we recognize this is the case for many – we have been there ourselves – we felt it was worth compiling this guide to help those just setting out on their dog ownership journeys. Naturally, when making a significant decision in any capacity, you must take every factor into account. This includes the likes of financial stability and other crucial elements of life.
Furthermore, you need to ensure that you are prepared to bring a pet into your home. It is all well and good having a roof over your head, but will you be able to provide the pet with everything they need to be happy and healthy?
If you are in the position where you are asking yourself these questions or simply want to know a bit more about the process of adopting a pet before going forth and doing so yourself, you have found yourself in the right place.
Detailed here is the ultimate guide to all things pet ownership. Whether you intend to adopt a larger dog or one a bit smaller, we feel you will find something of interest and value right here. Get yourself comfortable and read on for more.
Taking Your Time
While we understand this is an exciting chapter of anyone’s life, you must do what you can to remain level-headed throughout the overall process. Staying calm and collected throughout will ensure you make decisions that are not fueled by any emotions you are experiencing.
Take the time to sit and plan out the adoption process. What documents will you need to provide the shelter you are adopting from? Will you have the adequate and required amount of space available to safely and effectively care for the dog you are adopting?
These are but some of the questions you should be asking yourself. Dogs need a lot of exercise. Ensure you have the time and space to fulfill this need. Researching the type of breed you would like to adopt is also beneficial; you will have a better idea of what to expect when bringing your four-legged friend home.
Once you have established the basics, nothing stops you from scheduling a visit to a local adoption center to have a look around and find a pup you would like to adopt! This takes us to the next point.
Getting the Right Equipment
It goes without saying, but to look after your new family member in the right way, you want to ensure you have everything you could possibly need before their arrival. When doing your research into the type of breed you would like to adopt, you must consider any specific needs they might have.
For example, some longer-haired breeds of dogs will need regular grooming, more so than their shorter-haired companions. Taking the time to do the research and compile a list of what you might need to look after your pup effectively will be beneficial to you all in the long run.
Knowing what you will need is not restricted to physical items, such as toys or bedding. This can also extend to include any dietary items or specific supplements. Puppies and seniors have more particular needs concerning their growth and development. You may very well need to purchase supplements and other nutritional items relating to this type of thing.
For the most part, dogs big and small have similar dietary needs. There are foods they can eat and foods they cannot, much like humans in that aspect. Naturally, as a devoted dog owner, new or more experienced, you want to do what you can to minimize the chances of your dog eating something that could be potentially harmful to them.
Establishing the correct diet for your dog, what treats they can have, and how much they should be eating in one day are all things you should find out as soon as possible. Learn what fruits dogs can eat, too. These can be a great treat for them while providing the proper nutrients and minerals required. Native Pet has compiled a detailed guide breaking this type of thing down; find what you need there!
Looking after your pet’s health extends further than that of a healthy diet.
While it is undoubtedly essential to take care of your dog’s internal health, you must ensure you are paying attention to their dental hygiene as well. Like humans, dogs need their teeth brushed and cleaned regularly to prevent any tartar and plaque from building up.
It is recommended that you brush your four-legged friend’s teeth several times a week, which in itself can seem challenging, particularly if you have a dog that does not like to stay still! While we recognize that some pet parents out there might struggle with this type of thing, there are ways that you can make it an enjoyable experience for your dog.
Being gentle with your efforts when brushing your dog’s teeth will reassure them that you will not hurt them. While it might take some time to get to the stage where your dog is comfortable with you brushing their teeth, you must stick at it.
Use positive reinforcement each time as a means of further reassuring your dog that it is okay. What’s more, there is a range of items on the market that are tailored towards your dog’s dental hygiene, including the likes of dental chews.
Brushing your dog’s teeth dramatically minimizes the risk of them contracting gum disease and related periodontal issues. Not to mention, you will be reducing the chances of them having smelly breath!
Training and Teaching
Dogs and other animals can be like children in some respects. They require nurturing, love, and guidance and to be told the importance of rules and boundaries. Once you have brought your new family member home, you must begin to teach them these boundaries. Training your new dog as soon as possible gives you the best chance at teaching them.
Much like tending to your dog’s dental hygiene, positive reinforcement methods are an ideal method of teaching your dog things. Rewarding your dog with good behavior will teach them over time to do the thing you want them to.
What’s more, there will undoubtedly be some people reading this who would like to teach their dog some tricks. This is something that can be done with dogs of all ages; you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks! Using treats and praise as a reward is an excellent way of getting through this process effectively.
It is essential to be patient with your new family member, more so if you have young children. Particularly when adopting a pet from an animal shelter, they could have been through some rough times before winding up there.
Teach your children to respect your pet’s boundaries as soon as possible. At the same time, being gentle, loving, and reassuring towards your new family member will undoubtedly help them settle in, in no time!