First-time Owning a Dog? A Few Things You Need to Know

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Pets can make the home feel more lively and lovely, which is why homeowners are keen to add dogs to their lives. Adopting furry creatures is applicable for every type of family or individual. In the US, about 67% of households own a pet. Your friends might have a few in their respective homes, and they become your source of joy every time you visit. The event might lead you to consider getting a dog for your own home, even if it is the first time you become a pet parent.

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However, owning a pet comes with responsibilities. A dog is similar to a kid. It requires assistance in almost every facet of its life. Even if it is not as complicated as raising a child, owning a pet will change your daily routine and your lifestyle. Here are a few things you need to know when it is your first time owning a dog.

Training Is Critical

Most people get a dog because of its loving and playful nature. The pet can be fun to play with during your breaks. It can also improve experiences during mealtime and bedtime. However, playtime is not possible at every given moment. Their playful nature might end up distracting or bothering you when you have chores and responsibilities. Eventually, a dog might cause problems because of its rowdy behavior. It might also struggle to contain itself when going to the bathroom, making it necessary to pursue dog training.

Your dog needs to know when it is not playtime. It also needs to learn the rules of the house, especially when it comes to expelling waste. The worst-case scenario is that the dog might end up becoming aggressive, posing a threat to your family. Dog obedience training is critical when you adopt a pet. Fortunately, you can find guides online. If you cannot dedicate time to the program, you can tap the help of professionals.

Grooming and Nourishment Depend on Breed

Dogs need to stay clean and healthy like every living creature. Unfortunately, they do not have the independent capabilities to take care of themselves. They rely on humans to provide them with the grooming and eating routines they require. It is a pet owner’s responsibility to take care of those tasks for their pets. However, they differ according to the dog’s breed and size. While there might be a few guides that tick all the boxes for general grooming, you might have to dive deeper into research. Dogs with thick coats develop more mats, which makes combing challenging. Larger pets might require more bathing time within a week compared to small creatures.

The same concept applies to dog food. A boxer requires more food than a chihuahua. The size difference should tell you all you need about your dog’s eating habits. You can find many guides on how to feed your dog according to its breed.

Getting a Veterinarian Is Top Priority

Your dog will provide your family with a lot of fun memories. However, it can also make you worry. Dogs are generally active and playful, but you might notice that your pet is not in a lively mood. Sitting in a corner, whining, and refusing to eat food could be signs that something is bothering your dog. If you suspect that your pet is suffering, a visit to the veterinarian is necessary. There is no way of telling what your dog is feeling, making it essential to run tests. Dogs also require vaccinations, with most of them happening within the first years. Pet owners must learn all the health shots to ensure that pets live a long and healthy life.

Veterinarians can also provide fitness routines to ensure that your dog’s body remains strong. Fortunately, the task only requires about 30 minutes to 1 hour of playtime and walks in the park daily.

Pursuing a Pet-proof Home Design

Pet owners must adjust as they accommodate another living creature into their lives. Part of those changes includes the home, which might not be dog-friendly. Pets might bump into household items a lot, which means fragile objects could end up getting shattered. Pet-proofing the house starts with removing those things. Locking cabinets, especially those that store food and medication, are necessary to prevent those sniffers from reaching those areas. Trash cans also become a target for dogs, making it essential to replace open bins with latched versions. Dogs also love to chew on wires, which could cause electrocution. Keeping those cables away or tucked will be essential for everyone’s safety.

Pets can be fun to have around the house. However, first-time dog owners must be ready for additional responsibility. These things will be the first steps you must take, but there are others more in your journey toward becoming a responsible pet parent.