If you’ve already settled yourself to get a new puppy or dog then let me congratulate you. It’s always exciting to welcome a new member to the family. Being a different species with a language barrier, it’s sometimes difficult to know what they are thinking.
Fortunately, there is a simple way to make sure that your pet-baby never gets mistreated or misunderstood. It has worked great for me and I hope that it will help you get adjusted to the new life and responsibilities of a dog parent.
#1. Do a thorough research
It’s imperative that you do a thorough research before getting a new puppy. Different breeds of dogs have a different personality, temperament, and requires breed-specific care. So, you need to pick one that suits you and your family.
For example, An energetic dog is a perfect choice for someone who loves the outdoors and has enough time to spend exercising their dog. For someone who’s away from home often, a less active breed of dog like a Great Dane or Greyhound might be a better option.
#2. Properly ID your pet
It’s unfortunate, but sometimes our dogs do tend to lose their way while exploring all that the world has to offer. I’m not sure who we should blame – the curious puppy or the oblivious parents. In a survey conducted by APCA, 1 in 6 parents lose their pets at least once in a 5 year period.
After getting a dog, make sure you implant a microchip as soon as possible. It’s a harmless process and the small transponder will contain all relevant information about the dog and his owner.
It’s also a good idea to get a collar so that he can be identified as someone’s dog other than a stray. Remember, a lost pet is most likely to be returned home if they can reach the owner.
#3. Find a veterinarian
When you are a dog parent, there is no one you can rely on more than your vet or your pet expert. This person will be your trusted advisor in all things related to canine.
Confused on what food to feed your dog? Ask your vet. Should you neuter your dog? See your pet expert. What vaccinations are essential? Go to your vet. They have a ton of knowledge and you should seek their help as much as you can for the well being of your dog.
Additionally, make sure to take your dog for regular checkups. Sometimes, we miss subtle signs that our furry friends may be ill, but the expert eyes of vets easily catch any health issues. Early treatment will save your dog a lot of pain and in extreme cases, it might even save your dog’s life! In addition, it will save you a lot of money, hassle and heartache.
#4. Pet-proof your house
Dogs can be as curious as cats, especially in new environments. They explore their surroundings by licking, eating, scratching, smelling, etc to get an idea of their new home.
As responsible pet owners, it’s our job to lock away chemicals and other toxic things that might cause harm to the dog. That includes messy electrical cables, cleaning agents, food with Xylitol, shoes, clothes etc.
Getting some toys designed for dogs will keep them busy for a while. Also, make sure that you mend all the holes in your fence as the dog might get stuck and get hurt.
#5. Train your pet from an early age
Unlike the popular belief, dogs just don’t “grow-out” of their puppy stage. To properly socialize in the human society they need proper training.
It’s your responsibility to properly guide him through proper training. It’s essential to start the training as early as possible because young puppies learn quickly and it will become a habit when they grow old.
It’s always better to use positive reinforcement when training your dog. Accidents will happen and instead of getting angry or irritated with your dog, be forgiving and praise him when he does things right.
#6. Give them nutritious food
Proper food is essential for dogs. A balanced diet will give your baby the essential nutrition that will promote healthy growth. Check out one of the most comprehensive guides on Choosing The Right Food For Your Dog.
It’s important to understand that the nutritional needs of the dog will depend on the breed, age, sex, and size. According to Dr. Lorie Huston, a vet with over 20 years of experience, the nutritional needs of a growing puppy will never be the same as a senior dog.
Choose foods that have a high protein content and avoid products that contain corn, soy, gluten, or wheat. You can also make healthy homemade food for your dog. Take advice from a vet if you have any concerns
#7. Maintain an exercise routine
Like food, exercise plays an important part in keeping your dog in a good health. No matter the breed, you should take your dog out for a walk. Interact with them daily and try out various physical and mental exercises.
Dogs who get bored develop a destructive streak where they use their pent-up energy to cause mischief around the house. Exercise needs are greater for dogs like Huskies and German Shepherds.
Regular exercise will get their blood flowing and their mind working. Dogs who are active tend to live longer. Moreover, an active dog can help you have a healthier lifestyle.
#8. Give them proper care
Besides food and exercise, your dog will also need all the love and care in this world. Keep your dog free form fleas, ticks, and other parasites, they can cause health problems like anemia and other nasty diseases.
Grooming is a great way to keep your dog clean. Regularly bathe and brush your dog as it will keep their coat healthy and get rid of any tangles and tufts of hair. Also, clean their teeth, insides of their ears, paws, and nails.
Caring for your dog also includes keeping the areas where they frequently roam clean and tidy. In addition, always make sure that your dog has access to a water supply from which he can easily drink.
#9 Buy Toys and Other Essentials
Dogs can get bored very easily. So, it’s a good idea to buy some toys to keep them busy. Get some chewable toys – which will keep their gums and teeth healthy. And don’t forget to bring in some toys that will exercise their brain- for example, puzzles. Like humans, even dogs need to be stimulated mentally.
Other than toys, there are many things you need when you’re looking after a dog. To name a few, you need proper leashes, a sturdy food and water bowl, flea collars and a bed for them to rest.
Many parents also get wireless fences, crates for traveling and various other accessories. Even dogs are now benefited from the perks of modern technology.
#10 Love them
It goes without saying that loving your dog is THE most important job you can possibly have when you are a dog parent. Your dog is your best friend and loyal companion. He will stand beside you through thick and thin. Do them justice by loving them back equally or more.
Here are quotes from a few dog lovers that you might find interesting:
"A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life, things won't be too bad."
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."
Rodger A. Caras
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
"I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source."
"If I could be half the person my dog is, I'd be twice the human I am."
This article is contributed by Danial Zaman on behalf of petdogplanet.com. FeedFond is a website dedicated to simplifying lifestyle, touching lives across the globe and works to bring a little joy to everyday lives.