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Owning a pet will enrich your life in so many different ways. But, it is crucial to remember that getting a dog is a big responsibility, so it is essential you are as prepared as possible before bringing a pet into your home. Your new dog will become a member of the family, so it is wise to think as carefully about getting a dog as you would about having a child.
Dogs are the most popular choice of pet in U.S. households. Statistics show that 63.4 million households in the United States have at least one pet dog, which adds up to a lot of furry friends. Cats were the next most popular choice of pet in the U.S., but more than 20 million more households own dogs than cats.
The Benefits of Getting a Pet Dog
It is easy to understand why so many people love to have dogs in their lives, as they bring so much companionship and joy. Dogs can become a constant companion, which is highly beneficial for those that feel lonely or isolated. If you are looking to get more active and out of the house every day, getting a dog can help. A pet dog will encourage you to be outside in the fresh air more often and live a far more active lifestyle.
As well as gaining a canine companion, your pet dog should help you find more human friends too. Many people with dogs discover that they make new acquaintances and become more sociable when they have a dog. Attending puppy classes and joining local dog groups are a great way to meet fellow dog owners, and you are also likely to befriend other dog owners on your daily walks.
As well as helping you be more sociable, dogs can also play a vital role in your health and wellbeing. People with disabilities use specially-trained assistance dogs to act as their eyes and ears both at home and outdoors.
But, dogs can also be used as therapy dogs and help to relieve anxiety and stress. This is because stroking a dog releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin and decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
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As you can see, there are many benefits associated with having a dog, so if you want to make a dog the newest member of your family, there are plenty of reasons why it is a great idea. Below, you will find some points you will need to consider when weighing up your choices and preparing for the arrival of a pet:
Would You Like a Rescue Dog or a Dog From a Breeder?
Choosing between a rescue dog or buying one from a breeder is a crucial consideration. Buying a pure-bred dog from a reputable breeder can help you choose a pet that has the physical characteristics you are looking for and will give you an idea of their pre-disposed temperament. But, it is essential to remember every breed has specific problems associated with it, and these problems could impact your dog’s future health.
If you choose to buy a dog from a breeder, you should ensure they have a good reputation and that the dogs are well cared for. You could ask to meet the mother and father dogs to help give you an idea of their temperament, size, etc. Some breeders also get their dog’s DNA tested to help detect any health problems that could be passed on to future litters, so asking to see the test results is also helpful.
Providing a rescue dog with a new home is a fantastic thing to do, as there are just so many dogs out there waiting for their forever home. There are so many reasons why people have to sadly give up their dogs; these could be for financial reasons or simply because their living arrangements have changed.
Providing a loving home for a dog from an animal shelter is a wonderful thing to do and enables them to get a much-needed fresh start in their lives. All dogs require patience from their owners, but a rescue dog may need extra patience and training while adjusting to living in your home. If your rescue dog has had a tough start in life, the shelter may recommend that it is unsuitable for homes with young children or other pets.
Which Breed Should You Choose?
Deciding which breed of dog to get can be a tough choice, as there are just so many to choose between. Thinking about the size of a dog that you can accommodate in your home is a good starting point. If you live in a small apartment, you may not have the space a larger dog needs, and your home could start feeling pretty crowded.
You will also need to consider your vehicle and whether your car has room for a big dog to travel safely.
Aside from the dog’s size, it is also essential to think about the dog’s temperament. Some breeds have gentle dispositions and rarely bark, whereas other breeds can bark at the slightest noise and demand lots of exercise every day.
While it may be tempting to choose a dog based on looks alone, gaining a clear understanding of the characteristics specific to each breed will provide you with the insight you need to make an informed decision. Thinking about your lifestyle and how your new pet will fit in with that is vital to ensure you can offer them everything they need to thrive.
Before you settle on a breed of dog, it is also a good idea to consider any allergies you or people in your family may have. Different breeds of dogs have different coats, and some of these are more prone to cause allergies than others.
Many people experience allergy symptoms around pets, such as sneezing and watery eyes, so choosing a breed that does not cause you to suffer from these symptoms is the best way to avoid the discomfort this causes. Some dog breeds are considered to be hypoallergenic and recommended for people with allergies.
However, it is essential to note that no dog can be entirely hypoallergenic, but some dog breeds are less likely to trigger allergy sufferers than others. Dogs with single coats are less likely to shed and create the dander that causes allergies. Popular dogs that shed very little include the schnauzer, poodle, maltese, and bichon frise.
Don’t forget that you will also need to factor in grooming for your dog. Keeping your dog looking at its best and feeling comfortable requires a lot of maintenance, and some dog breeds need to be groomed more often than others.
So, before you make your final decision on a breed, it is essential to consider how much time and money you are happy to spend on grooming.
Preparing for Your Dog’s Arrival
So, you have chosen an adorable puppy or dog to join your family. Congratulations, this is an exciting time and the beginning of a fantastic journey. Once you have settled on a dog, you need to start making your preparations in anticipation of your dog’s arrival. Getting as prepared as possible as soon as you can will enable you to avoid any last-minute rushes to the store when your dog arrives and will also help your dog to settle into life in its new home more easily.
Shopping for your dog is one of the best parts of the preparation and your chance to pick up all the essentials your new pup will need to be happy and comfortable in their new home. Here are some of the items you will need to consider buying for your pet:
Collar/harness and leash – be sure to get one that is suitable for the size of your dog so that it does not injure them or cause discomfort.
Nutritious food – finding out which food your puppy is already being fed by the breeder/dog home is an excellent way to avoid any tummy troubles that could be caused by a diet change. To make it simpler to find the right food for your dog, you may find it helps to shop online. You can visit here to see a great choice of foods and for advice on picking the right one to suit your dog. Don’t forget to pick up Dog Treats, a food bowl, and water bowl too!
Bedding – to help your dog feel as comfortable as possible, they will need the right bed. A small puppy may feel swamped in a large dog basket, so getting one suitable for their size is crucial to help them settle down for a good night’s sleep.
Puppy pads – toilet training your puppy is essential to prevent accidents from happening around your home. Puppy pads are a popular way to encourage toileting and to contain any mess.
With all your preparations in place, you should be ready to welcome your new pet into your life and enjoy many happy times together.