16 THINGS to Consider Before Buying a Dog
You love animals and are ready to adopt a pet furry friend. You’ve spent hours trying convince your parents that you are willing to become a dog guardian full-time. You may even be familiar with the closest shelters, after you’ve spent so much time looking through the adorable pups on Petfinder or PetHarbor.
While your heart might be open to giving a dog love, it is important to assess whether you have enough money, time and space to take care of an animal.
There are 16 things you should consider before you and the family accept a rescued dog into yourfamily.
1. Take your time before making a final decision.
It’s easy to be tempted by all the adorable fur babies in desperate need of homes and make a quick decision. You will make a better decision for your furry friends if it takes time. Are you living in an apartment or a house with a backyard? Do you and your family frequently travel? When you’re away, who will let your dog out? Your siblings are as keen to get a dog as you?
2. Adopting a dog means that you take your pet from a shelter.
Although there are many great dogs in shelters waiting to be adopted, pet stores and breeders still continue to sell animals for profit. Every dog that is purchased from a pet shop or breeder must be surrendered to a shelter.
Pet stores can cause suffering for many dogs (and other animals), so consider adopting your pet from a shelter.
3. Be sure that your family has enough money to handle it!
Dogs can require a lot in care, which can quickly add up to a large expense. You will need to spend money on regular, and emergency, vet visits for your dog. Dogs, like humans, can suffer from medical emergencies. Bedding, bedding, collars and harnesses, high-quality dog food, toys, grooming, and other necessities are all important.
4. It’s important to spay or neuter your dog.
In the United States, 6-8 million animals are abandoned each year. Half of those animals end up being put to bed because there isn’t enough housing. Imagine being put to death because there wasn’t enough space in the world. You can stop unwanted puppies from being born.
5. You must have microchipping and dog tags!
Accidents do happen. You never know when your dog may run off or become lost. Dogs are different. You can’t call anyone if you don’t know where you are. You should get a collar that has proper tags and your dog’s name. Microchipping is another way to ensure your dog returns home. It’s a simple procedure that can be done by the vet. You should update your microchip company’s information and make sure the tags are updated if you move. Talk to your parents about your dog’s health and ask them to refer you to the vet.
6. Dogs require their teeth to be brushed just like humans.
Seriously! It is vital to maintain good dental health. Make sure you brush your furry friends’ teeth several times per week. You can introduce the toothbrush gradually and with positive reinforcement. Make it fun by rewarding your dog every time you brush.
7. Remember to take care of your furry friend’s nails
Regularly trimming nails for dogs is important so they don’t break or get caught on anything (which could cause injury!). They should not grow too long or break. You can take your dog to the groomer or vet once per month if they don’t like having their feet handled.
Brushing your dog regularly can prevent skin problems like matting, and increase circulation. This can help you bond with your pet. Some dogs require professional grooming. Discuss this with your parents so you can discuss how to maintain your dog’s coat. Dogs don’t require baths often. You should only give your dog a bath if their skin is very dry or they get entangled in something.
9. Pay attention to what your dog eats.
Some foods that are okay for humans can be dangerous to dogs. Chocolate is a top choice, but it’s not the only one. There are many other “human foods”, which can also be harmful, such as onions, grapes and raisins, macadamia nut, and others. High-quality treats and dog food are important. Overfeeding your dog can lead to serious health issues and make them uncomfortable. Regular meals are healthier than eating food all day.
10. Dogs require toys and entertainment.
You should pup-proof your house before adopting a dog. Make sure to hide hazardous items such as electrical wiring and chemicals. You can ask your parents for assistance in finding safe places. Also, don’t allow your dog to see anything you have as a toy. You don’t want your pillow or homework being chewed up by your furry friend. Do not leave your dog bored with toys!
11. Exercise is also important for dogs.
This one may seem simple, since puppies need to run. People sometimes don’t realize how much exercise a new puppy will require.
Dogs must go for at most one long walk each day. You can play games such as fetch or hide and seek with your furry friend after you return from school. This will help to release some of the doggie energy. Exercise and fresh air are key to a happy puppy.
12. Begin training your new dog as soon as possible.
This is a huge one. Setting clear boundaries and rules is key to making your dog happy. It is important to reward your new puppy with positive reinforcements. Dogs will be more likely to behave well if they are given praises. You shouldn’t ever put them in a crate, or shout at them for misbehaving. That will make them afraid of your presence. Dogs will not learn the behavior you expect them to until they are taught by you and your family.
13. Prevent ticks, fleas and worms.
This is particularly important when the little creatures are most active, which is late spring through fall. Ask your parents to get flea and tick prevention products (such as Comfortis), from their vet.
Don’t forget heartworms! Heartworm disease is a serious problem for dogs. Heartworm prevention can be as easy as giving your dog a monthly medication like Heartgard, which is also available from your veterinarian! ).
14. Do not leave your dog chained outside.
It is difficult to believe anyone would leave their dog alone in bad weather. It’s dangerous and cruel. You should speak out if you know someone who does this. Call your parents to inform them about animal control or other local issues.
15. Keep your dog safe in the car.
Even though it’s not extremely hot outside, temperatures inside cars can soar in minutes. If you spot a dog in a hot vehicle, call your parents and report it immediately to animal control. You might save a life.
16. Your canine friend will be loved and cherished.
A dog’s life span is significantly shorter than that of a human. It is short! Be your best friend to your pup and show your love every day!