It is said that dogs are man’s best friend, so it is quite understandable that you would want to bring one into your home. These loyal creatures are adorable and provide great company. Adopting a pooch also means that your kids will have fun times playing and walking them.
However, you want to ensure that doing that is in your best interest. You do not want to go ahead and get yourself a dog and then start wishing that you can get rid of it a few weeks or months down the line.
If you are not living in one of those rental properties that prohibit pets, here is what to check before buying a dog.
Are You Ready?
Wanting a dog is one thing and being ready for it to be in your home all the time is another thing. Granted, dogs may be irresistible, but they also require your attention often. If you have not owned a dog before, then you probably don’t know what you are getting into.
A dog can be compared to a child. They need to be fed and potty-trained and before you succeed with that, they are likely to cause mess inside your house and that translates to more carpet cleaning for you. Even when they are potty-trained, the dog will wake you up in the night just because they need to empty their bowels or simply because they are bored.
You also want to keep in mind that some dogs have anxiety issues and can therefore not be left alone for long periods. If you get an anxious dog, you will have to leave them with a sitter every time you leave the house or leave with them.
Dogs can also be destructive. Are you ready to come home to frayed upholstery because your dog chews and scratches things? You want to be prepared mentally and consider what owning a dog really means. This is what to check before buying a dog.
What is the Right Dog for You
So you have ticked the first box when it comes to what to check before buying a dog. What next? As soon as you establish that you are ready to become a dog parent, you want to think about the dog you are going to get.
You see there are different kinds of dog breeds and dog sizes and these are parts of what to check when buying a dog. To make the right choice, you want to list down all the traits your dog must have, those you would prefer, and those that you do not want at all. How big of a dog do you want? This has a lot to do with the space you have available. You also want to keep in mind that you will need more food, supplies, and medication for larger dogs.
Another factor to consider is how active the dog you intend to get is and whether you are comfortable with it. Shedding also has a part to play here, as you need to decide whether you can handle a dog that sheds a lot or you would prefer one that doesn’t shed much.
level of Do you want a dog that stays very active as an adult, or would you rather have one that will?
Is the Dog Readily Available
After determining what kind of dog you want and confirming that it is a good fit for you, the next course of action would be to embark on a search for that dog. If you can, get a mixed-dog breed. These dogs are often underrated even though they are beautiful.
Perhaps your mind is made up to get a purebred dog and that is fine. Most people already have a favorite breed in mind when it comes to what to check before buying a dog. Things like coat type and size are predictable when it comes to purebred dogs.
One thing to note is that a pure-breed dog requires you to be extremely responsible. In that regard, you want to get a reputable and experienced breeder. Avoid pet stores and backyard breeders, as dogs from such places are often sourced from puppy mills. The same goes for classified ads and flea markets. Dogs from such places may be unhealthy and from unknown backgrounds.
That said, when you find the right dog, you will feel it.
Is your Home Dog-Proofed?
When it comes to what to check before buying a dog, ensuring that your home is prepared to welcome your new family member is crucial. To that effect, you may want to dog-proof every part of your home. You already know that dogs can be destructive. This will not only be detrimental to your home, it can also end up in a fatality that involves your pooch.
Some of the measures you can put in place to ensure that your home is dog-friendly include:
Conceal electrical cords to reduce the likelihood of electrocution. You may also want to keep all sockets covered while at it.
Keep your cabinets closed, particularly those that contain chemicals, medication, and food. Dogs are naturally curious and they may end up accidentally ingesting such.
Avoid houseplants or keep them away from your dog’s reach so that they don’t chew on the leaves.
Ensure that your trash can has a lockable lid. If not, keep it somewhere where your dog cannot get easy access.
Keep things like shoes, clothes, and other tiny items out of your dog’s reach. This is because your dog can chew on such items and swallow them, thus posing a safety hazard. Keep laundry, shoes, and other small items out of reach. Puppies sometimes chew on and/or swallow these.
Are you Able to Afford Pet Supplies?
As you prepare to bring in the newest addition to your family, you want to stock enough supplies for them. Nevertheless, you do want to begin with the fundamentals before buying stuff that you or your dog will not need, such as food bowls or toys.
Some of the most essential supplies include food bowls, a dog bed and crate, a few toys, and a grooming kit. You may also need a collar to control your dog so that you don’t end up looking for dog bite attorneys to plead your case because your dog attacked someone during a walk.
Have you found a Veterinarian?
Even if your dog is not sick, they need to see a vet within the first week if you bring them home. The vet will examine your pooch for any undetected health issues that need to be addressed. You need to get the right vet as far as what to check before buying a dog.
The purpose of finding a vet before bringing a dog home is that you have the time to pick wisely. If you do the opposite, chances are that you will be running around trying to find referrals while your pooch is at risk.
A vet will also get rid of any fleas that your dog may be having, so getting the right one is also part of what to check before buying a dog.
Does the Dog Fit your Lifestyle?
At this point, it is clear that you should not choose a dog because of its looks or popularity. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to what to check before buying a dog. Usually, in many cases, dogs are dropped into animal shelters when they exhibit too much dependence or too much energy.
Therefore, you want to understand everything about the dog you want to purchase, from its kind of breed to energy levels. For instance, if you want a dog that will primarily be a play partner or companion for your kids, you want to consider its temperament.
As far as what to check before buying a dog with respect to your lifestyle, the most important thing is to ensure that you do not get a dog that is too needy if you are out of the house most of the time or if you are often too busy to give it your attention.
Can you Meet their Dieting Needs?
Different dogs require different diets. For example, the dieting needs for a younger dog will not be the same as those for an older dog. Perhaps the dog you pick is prone to being overweight and you need to have it on an HCG diet. Can you handle being responsible for ensuring that each of their meals contains just the right amount of calories?
Sometimes, the vet will recommend a particular dog food that may not be as affordable as you want it to be. Are you willing to go deeper into your pocket to cater for that or does it feel like a kitchen remodeling project that you do not want to take up? This is one of the factors you need to consider when it comes to what to check before buying a dog.
How to Ensure your Dog Feels Comfortable in their New Home
What to check before buying a dog does not only involve you. It is also about the dog and how it adapts to a new home. This plays a key role as far as whether you and your family enjoy having the newest member in the home.
The following tips will help ease your pooch into its new environment.
Gather all the things your dog will need before bringing them home. These include an identification tag, food and water bowls, a collar, and a bed. You can also get a sizeable crate for them to play and rest in safely.
You also want to have a particular area for the dog to stay in rather than enlisting a basement remodeling company to make the basement their abode.
Keep your dog clean. This will not only make them feel comfortable but will also help keep parasites at bay. That also means that you won’t be looking for residential pest control services.
Take some time to bond with your dog right after bringing them home. You can take a few days off work to do this. This is especially true for dogs that struggle with anxiety.
If you have to step out and leave them, ensure that you leave your pet with an enrichment item like a food bowl or stuffed treat toy. Such things provide a physical and mental distraction to reduce their separation anxiety.
Get tree services to remove or trim plants in your yard that may be hazardous to your dog.
Do not yell at your dog or hit it whenever it displays undesirable habits. Just as you would not like it if the same happened to you, your dog is likely to withdraw when you do such. Instead, you may opt to have them professionally trained or do it yourself. With time, they will learn how to obey orders.
As you train your dog, remember to reward good behavior. For instance, you can give them treats whenever they obey orders. This lets them know that you are pleased with them and, in turn, they will always want to do things to please you. Granted, they may be doing it for the treats, but it will be a win-win situation because you will get good behavior from your pet and they will get rewards as they seamlessly transition into their new home.
Bringing a dog into your home and around your family doesn’t have to be hectic or frustrating for you and the dog. By considering all the factors covered in this article, it should be easier to get your pooch acclimated to its new surroundings.