Man’s best friend is seemingly the most popular kind of pet, with more people preferring to get dogs rather than cats. So you might be thinking that it’s about time you added a new member to your household. People who have had dogs before can easily tell you that it’s not as easy as it may seem. There are things you need to buy, measures you need to take to puppy proof your house and most importantly, decide on what kind of food to feed your puppy.
Here are a couple of things you need to check off your list before you bring your new best friend home.
1| Make sure you have time for your puppy
Like humans, dogs are social creatures. They therefore require tones of interaction with both people and other dogs. Leaving your young puppy in a crate for 8 hours or more is not ideal. It could lead to behavioral issues like timidness or aggression in the long run.
2| Make sure you understand feeding
It might seem a little obvious but some people decide to bring new puppies home without an informed idea as to what diet they should be on. When it comes to dog food there’s a vast selection but mainly ranges from two categories of food: soft/canned food and dry kibble. These two types of food both have their advantages and disadvantages, so you might want to consult on what’s best for your pup with your vet. However, I personally prefer giving soft food to very young puppies because dry food can be stressful on their developing teeth, but as soon as all their teeth come in, I find dry kibble to be very effective. Plus it helps rid your dog’s teeth of plaque avoiding tartar build up and even tooth loss. It should be noted that many dogs prefer soft food, so if you want to keep them on soft diets well into adulthood, maybe consider brushing their teeth regularly.
3| Make sure you have food & water bowls
Before you bring your pup home, make sure you get stainless steel bowls because plastic easily harbors a lot of bacteria. Also make sure the steel bowls have a rubberized bottom for support to avoid it from moving while your dog is eating.
4| Get chew toys
Dogs love chew toys. And they are more important than most people think, especially for puppies. When your puppy is 2-3 months old, they start going through the horrible teething phase. Their gums get irritated and to help relieve the stress, they chew. Puppies will chew on anything, which could lead to be a bad and expensive habit if you don’t nip it in the bud. Therefore it’s best to get them toys that will help direct them on the right things to chew.
5| Get a crate and bed
Your puppy will obviously need a place to relax and unwind, so it’s important to get them a bed. Crates are great for house training and to prevent your new puppy from wrecking havoc in your house/ apartment when you’re not around to supervise them.
6| Set aside a budget for medical bills
Puppies need at least 3 trips to the vet before they’re 4 months old. And that’s just for shots. You might need to go in for emergencies; in case your puppy swallows something they shouldn’t have or they end up getting viral diseases from their environment.
7| Get ID Tags, Collars and Leads
It’s required by law that your pet has a license that helps identify them. The ID tag should always be worn on the collar, at least every time you and your dog leave your private residence. Leads are also very important as they help control the movement of the dog in public. Leash training should start from as early as 3 months to help in developing obedience and general good behavior in your pooch.
8| Grooming supplies
Different dog breeds need different levels and techniques of grooming. However some grooming needs stay constant in all breeds: washing with a good anti pest shampoo, clipping nails and brushing the fur. You should wash your dog at least once a week to help them stay safe from pests like fleas and ticks. Clipping their toe nails will prevent them from having dispersed toes and problematic/ painful walking. Always make sure not to cut too close to the quick though, as that could cause bleeding and discomfort to your dog.
If you read through this list and think you could be ready for a new four legged family member, then maybe you’re ready for a puppy. If not, you need to wait a while because getting a dog is a long term investment that requires patience, devotion and lots of love to your dog.