We love to cuddle and play with them, their soft fur and their smushy faces; but have you really thought about what it takes to provide the best care for an animal?
Animals help us lead happier and healthier lives but in return they deserve and warrant a lot of time and attention for them to be healthy and happy; which brings us to this week’s topic. We hope it gives you some food for thought if you’re deciding on adding an extra member to the family.
Things to consider before bringing a puppy or dog into your home
Have I got enough time to dedicate to my puppy?
We can’t stress this enough!! When you’re looking at a cute puppy it can be hard to be objective; honesty is vital when making the decision on whether or not to have a pet. Ask yourself this:
- Are you often home or do you work long hours?
- Will you have the time to walk a dog up to 3 times a day?
- Have you got time to house train a puppy?
- Do you know how to obedience train a dog?
If you’re looking for a puppy then house training will need to start straight away. If you’re adopting an older dog will you need to spend time training him to obey simple commands? With any training consistency is the name of the game. We recommend that you find a training class to give you a hand; especially if you’re looking to nail down more advanced skills.
If you are unsure on whether you can commit to the above you may want to consider whether opening your home to a dog is the best option. However if you still feel that you have a lot of love to give you may want to consider a less demanding pet such as a cat. If that is the case you can check out our Kitten Checklist or advice on adopting an older cat.
Can I afford equipment?
You will need more than just food and water bowls.
ID’s, collars and micro-chipping should be one of the first things to get done once you have your new dog. Losing your pet is easy and it happens more often than most people think! ID’s make it easier for your dog to be returned back to you when found. Micro-chipping is the best assurance for identification. Be sure to keep your contact and address information up to date.
You can check our New Puppy Checklist for a breakdown of all of the equipment you will need.
What will I feed my puppy?
There are so many options on feeding your dog. Have you considered whether you will adopt a raw breed appropriate diet or a nutritionally balanced pre-prepared pet food?
Not all pet foods are the same. Some are better than others and some make claims that aren’t necessarily backed by facts. Check the dietary labels and choose wisely for your pet. Pet food can be for their specific needs, life stage and lifestyle. Consult your veterinarian for the best advice.
How will I keep my puppy from getting bored?
Toys should be free of anything that can be bitten off and swallowed. We have some ideas in our DIY toys your can make for your puppy. You may also want to consider what you will do if you leave your new family member alone whilst you are at work. There are more and more dog walking and doggy day care providers now offering services across the UK.
Bringing a puppy or dog into your home
Simple household items can deadly for your dog. It’s incredibly important to go through you home and your possessions and get rid of, or hide, anything hazardous. Even you garden will need looking at as many plants can be toxic to our pets.
Can I afford Veterinary Bills?
Spaying/ Neutering can be done from as early as the 8 weeks of age but the ideal age is 4-6 months, before the puppy reaches sexual maturity. There are many health and behavioural benefits; for example a neutered male dog is likely to be less dominant and will have less risk of developing prostate disorders. For more information on whether to have your pet spayed or neutered talk to your vet.
Final thoughts on opening your life and home to a dog
Whenever welcoming a new pet into your home there will need to be some adjustment time; a time for your pet to get familiar with their new surroundings and you with them. So yes, there may be tears when you puppy chews your Gucci handbag or Xbox controller! But if you are honest with yourself and are truly ready to give a dog a home then you will have taken the first step in welcoming a new family member into your life.