Either for security or companionship, dogs are great pets to keep in the home. This notion is backed by a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association in 2019, which indicated that 67% of the eighty-five million households that have pets own a dog. But regardless of age or breed, raising a dog is a huge responsibility.
There are some notes worth taking ahead of this new challenge for a first-time owner, and here are some of them to make this adventure a bit easier.
- Know the rules and laws
Every part of our lives is subject to state, and community-based laws and regulations, which applies when raising dogs as pets. One of the foremost things to consider before bringing in a dog will be to observe due diligence to ensure that you can submit a dog in your home settings.
Some neighborhoods may require certain conditions to meet before you can own a dog. So it is imperative to do the due diligence and obtain every necessary documentation and permit needed to avoid any lawsuits and issues. Generally, dog owners are required to register their dogs.
The type of breed you can bring to your home varies from state to state while, in some cases, even towns. Some insurance companies may review your homeowner insurance policy if you own certain dog breeds like a pit bull, Rottweiler, Siberian husky, and wolf hybrid. You may also have your premium raised or sign a liability waiver in the event the dogs injure someone.
- Preparing your home
Dogs, just like every living species, need time to know and adjust to their new surroundings. Some dogs may abstain from food for some days, but it is natural as they are yet to settle in their home. It will require your input to get it to adjust quickly, but before bringing it home, make sure the entire family is aware and ready to meet the new member of the family.
Every member of the house will need to put in some effort in bonding with the dog. This will make it easier for another to take over its care even in your absence. There should also be a common standard in training, so it doesn’t get confusing for the dog. Since the entire family will be interacting with the dog, it is necessary to establish ground rules.
- Visit the vet
A visit to the veterinary is essential for first-time dog owners. Whether it is a puppy or an adult dog, taking it for a checkup should rank high on your priority list. The vet will require some information like its age, history, medications, and will conduct some other tests on the dog.
The visit may also provide you with some specific information you might not know, especially if you got it from an individual instead of a shelter. If possible, you can discuss having your dog neutered or spayed. The term is the procedure used to remove the reproductive organs in both dog sexes. Also, for dog owners, ensuring regular vaccinations is a must, and the vet will offer more info on this.
- Educate yourself
Every dog breed is unique in its way. Even though you may have some experience raising a particular dog breed, you may get overwhelmed when you go in for another. So, you will have to learn about the different breeds and their characteristics or personalities. You’ll also have to consider the level of care required, like what type of exercise they will need and what healthy dog food will be for them. Educating yourself on these will help you prepare for any necessary training required.
If you’re thinking of getting extra dogs, respect the already existing dog’s needs and consider whether it will get along with the new addition—research enough to avoid getting taken by surprise. There is nothing like being overly careful.