Getting a dog for the very first time is a huge undertaking and this post is aimed at anyone who is considering a new pet dog. Dogs involve commitment, responsibility, financial outlay and a great deal of care, however, as any dog owner will tell you, the rewards of dog ownership far exceed any costs. Just what to get for your new dog can appear to be a daunting challenge.
Puppy Or Adult Dog
All dogs begin life as puppies and at least the first eight weeks should be spent with their mother. Some unscrupulous individuals just breed dogs for financial gain, have no interest in the dogs or puppies welfare and are anxious to sell the puppy at the earliest opportunity. Beware of, steer clear of and report any such breeders to the relevant authorities.
When buying a puppy visit the place where you will collect your pet from, see it in it’s natural environment with mother and siblings and check the conditions for your own peace of mind and the puppies welfare. A puppy is a big commitment and will take a great deal of patience and training.
Another option is to adopt or re-home an adult or adolescent dog. Visit the kennels or rehoming centre from where you will collect your dog to ensure compatibility with family members and other pets. Adult dogs can be retrained but it will be more difficult if they have picked up bad habits or poor behavioural issues.
Costs Associated With A New Dog
The obvious costs are food, food and water bowls, collar, leash, poop bags, car restraint, toys, bed and any other accessories such as a crate, kennel, harness, grooming brush, dog shampoo and dog whistle. There is also the cost of injections, regular veterinary care and whether or not to have pet insurance, this is strongly recommended.
Apart from the initial outlay we must also consider what to do with the dog when there is a holiday or a trip which doesn’t involve the dog. Boarding kennels or a pet sitter payments need to be made.
Adjustments may need to be made to the house or garden. Ensure all fences are secure as dogs will attempt to get out by going over, under or through fences, hedges and walls. Your dog will need a secure garden or yard from which he can’t escape and which must be checked to make certain that no careless tradesperson or family member can leave a gate open. Very often this involves additional or upgraded fencing and gates.
If there are parts of your house you don’t want your pet in put up pet gates and set very clear boundaries from day one for your pet. It is most confusing for a dog to be allowed somewhere some of the time and not at other times.
Health And Welfare
As a dog owner you have a duty of care to your pet and the five basic needs are: Environment, Diet, Companionship, Behaviour and Health; EDCBH.
In order to maximise the enjoyment your best friend will bring to your life, time and effort need to be devoted to training.