Five Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Dog

Pug Dog

Welcoming a new dog into the family can be an incredibly exciting time. However, if you’ve never owned a dog before then there are a lot of things you’re going to need to learn. These little bundles of joy are going to rely on you, for the next 13 years or so. This means you need to be fully prepared before you bring one home. Here are five things you need to know before making the commitment.

1. They need lots of attention

When you first get a new dog, expect to take some time off work! They’re going to need quite a bit of attention to get them used to living in a new home. It’s not just the for the first week or so, however. Your pup is going to want to play with you as much as possible. If everyone is out of the house for extended periods of time, then it’s not fair to leave them on their own. Consider how much time and attention you have to dedicate, before buying a dog.

2. They need lots of walks

This ties in quite nicely with our first point. You’re going to need to dedicate time to taking your pup out for walks. How long you have to walk them for all depends on the size of the dog. Along with how much energy they have! Bigger dogs need longer walks; treks that could go on for a couple of hours. Small dogs won’t be able to handle long hikes. You still need to take them out every single day, however. Make sure you’re willing to get up earlier or go to bed later so that you can take your new pet out. Don’t forget, most puppies aren’t allowed out for walks until they’ve had their jabs. Check with your vets if you’re unsure.

3. Their new home

If you’re going to bring a new dog home then make sure you’re fully prepared first. This means buying everything they’re going to need. To turn your house into their home! First up, they’re going to need things like a bed and bowls. You can go all out with something like these dog beds by Shinola or opt for cheaper alternatives at a pet store. They are also going to need some toys to play with and perhaps a blanket. Not to mention a collar or harness, along with a lead. Ensure you’ve set aside enough money in your budget to cover all of their essentials. If you’re buying or adopting a puppy, then make sure the house is puppy-proof. You’ll see why in the next point!

4. Training

This is particularly important if you’re going to be buying a puppy. Most young dogs won’t be toilet trained, which means there are going to be quite a few accidents. It’s a good idea to buy puppy pads if you want to teach them where they should be going. Put the pads by the back door if possible, so they soon learn to go outside. You can show your dog lots of new tricks, but the main areas should be their behaviour. Don’t run to them when they cry or scold them when they’re naughty. This will just reinforce bad habits.

5. Vet Bills

Finally, a critical part of owning a dog that many people forget about. If anything happens to your pup, then it can be expensive to visit the vet. Really expensive! You have two options. You can either put a little money aside each month to pay for potential treatment. Alternatively, you can invest in pet insurance. Just make sure you have a plan, in case anything does happen.

Make sure you consider all five of these things before you welcome a new pup into the home. And if you’ve ticked off all the boxes you’re ready to go. Enjoy your new bundle of joy!

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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