Are You Ready for Dog Ownership?
Want to know everything before welcoming a new member to your family? For a first-time dog owner, the number of things to consider before signing the papers might be overwhelming. Follow our checklist to make sure it will be a perfect love story!
Adoption or Professional Breeders?
This is a hotly contested topic in the dog owner community. However, the majority of people believe a loving dog can be of any origin and refuse to take a side in this discussion. There are several advantages of using the services of a professional breeder:
- You can learn anything there is to know about the bloodline of your dog, which is especially important if you plan on entering it into dog shows in the future.
- Observing the environment where the dog lived since the day it was born might help you ease the transition of a puppy into your home.
- Breeders offer a broad variety of services, which you most definitely need (i.e. health testing and vaccinations).
The only pro most people need for getting a dog from a kennel is that they are saving both the life of the pet they are adopting and creating a vacancy for another dog to be rescued. Moreover, taking a dog from a shelter costs less, but you might experience behavior problems with your pet in the future, and you can never be sure what breed an adopted dog is.
Naming Your Dog
This decision can be as hard and long as the process of adopting. Choosing a name can be a lot of pressure. Most people have their dream dog names, but it is always better to adjust your preferences according to the temperament of your pet. Here are some tricks for choosing a perfect name for a pooch:
- Shorter names are always better. It is more convenient for you to call for Sam than to shout “ARISTOPHANES!!!” across the street. Also, dogs are more responsive to a name that consists of two syllables max.
- If you plan on training using verbal commands, choose a name your dog won't mix up: for example, ‘sit’ and ‘Sid’.
- One of the most obvious tricks is to name your pet after their appearance. This works on two levels as dogs are more responsive to the names ending with vowels, like Brownie, Inky, Coffee and so on.
- Feel free to change the name a few times if it doesn’t fit to your pup, but you need to come up with a name soon. Also, remember to give treats to your pets as they react to their name, so they might remember it faster.
It is a good idea to give your dog a unique name. Imagine you are walking in a dog park, call out for your pet, and suddenly a furry tornado of Jacks is sweeping you away without any chance for retaliation.
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House and Walk Training
This next step actually includes several stages, from preparing your house to building a solid relationship with a dog throughout his or her whole life. But every lifelong romance starts from the basics — in this case, the basics are the house and walk training. These are the essentials of good behavior, which will make your life easier in the future.
- Trust is always a number one priority for a good relationship between a dog owner and a pet, especially for dogs coming from a shelter. This bond slowly strengthens as you spend every day with your pet in a routine, through feeding, walking and playing.
- Walk training starts with introducing your pet to a new environment, which is full of new information and, of course, new dogs. Always make sure your dog is protected and safe, constantly rewarding a pup for excellent behavior on the street.
- Potty training is possibly the biggest challenge for a first-time dog owner. After introducing your dog to your house, learn about the particular needs of your pet. If any potty accidents happen, try to startle a dog in the process and bring them outside immediately for him to finish his business. Potty training can be a long and exhausting process, and you need to be patient. Don’t worry, you’ll get there together!
- Command training can be tricky too and works largely as a result of a mix of treats and showing your puppy how to sit and roll over. You might consider finding a professional dog trainer, particularly for large breeds who might harm you or other people unintentionally.
There is a broad variety of training techniques that depend on the breed of the dog and their temperament. You might want to take your time getting to know the behavior of your pooch before resorting to any method in particular.
As basic as it might be, this rule is sometimes ignored by the dog owners who let their pets roam free in the streets un-vaccinated. Don’t be like that, as the health of your pet and the people around it is your direct responsibility!
- Make sure your dog is vaccinated, either by a breeder or your vet, and make regular appointments for health check-ups. If you adopted a dog from a shelter, more vaccinations might be needed. Also, different breeds require different rations, supplements and overall health care throughout their life.
- Pet insurance is just as important as human insurance. An unforeseen medical emergency can happen at any time, so try to be prepared for it financially.
- Regular exercise is a big part of dog health care. Any time a dog is bored, it is better to get active (if you have an opportunity, of course). A fetch toy or a rope can be a part of an active lifestyle for your pet as well.
Traveling with Your Pup Companion
After building a close relationship with a new furry member of your family, you might want to take it to the next level and plan a little vacation. You are already halfway there if your dog is vaccinated, has all required documents and a comfortable crate.
Traveling with pets can be challenging, and you have to learn everything there is to know about the pertinent laws of the airlines and hotels. The majority of airlines allow small and medium sized dogs on flights, so this will be a fun experience for both of you if all is taken into account.