Thinking about getting a new dog, and deciding that now is the right time for a big transition in your family’s life? Upfront, you need to know that things will not be as easy as choosing one adorable puppy and assuming that life will be all sunshine and daisies.
That said, what are some of the considerations you’ll need to make? Here’s a 5-item list of guide questions that pertain to dogs, equipment, training methods, and the like. Hopefully, this will help you throughout your family’s paw-some new experience!
- The kind of dog you’ll be getting
There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all in the canine world—and honestly, that’s the beauty of it! No two dogs are alike in terms of their looks, size, or temperament—think about which one your family could fall in love with.
Larger, hairier dogs, like Siberian huskies and Alaskan malamutes, will be good friends to you in the cold weather. Energetic breeds, like beagles or whippets, can keep up with any exercise regimen you’ve been meaning to start. Mellow and calm dogs, such as terriers, will be boon companions to your children. Better yet, why not adopt your new friend from a reputable shelter or rescue home?
Decide on what type of dog will be the most compatible for you and will get along with you the best when you start acclimatizing it to your home life.
2. How you’ll fulfil your dog’s needs
With a brand new family pet will come brand new concerns: what type of food they will eat; where you can take them for grooming and check-up sessions; what collar, dog bed, feeding bowl, and the like that you’ll be getting for them.
Think of making specific investments that will be good for the dog’s type, such as buying a quality martingale collar, or a limited-slip collar, for a particularly feisty and active dog. For those unfamiliar with this type of collar, it uses a double loop that easily tightens and loosens around your dog’s neck when it pulls, then when it stops; it is the kind that is easily adjustable, and ideal to begin leash training.
In this vein, the purchases you make should be meaningful and tailor-fit to your dog. Do take notes and compare recommendations on food brands, leash types, veterinary services available, and local businesses to patronize. Then, draw up a budget. Commit to ensuring your dog’s health, safety, and happiness for as long as possible.
3. Your family’s lifestyle
That said, taking care of your dog is a duty that should be shared by your family. In order to do that, you should consider your family’s circumstances and see where your dog will come in.
Some relevant questions are: how will your dog adjust to the size of your family, your house, and your neighbourhood? Will it fit in your living space? How much time will your family be able to spend with it? Will getting a new dog be fine if one of your family members has a pre-existing medical condition, such as an allergy? If it isn’t a trouble to anyone, and if your means allow for the dog to come into your natural home environment, then you’ve made the right decision.
4. How to start training your dog
Training means helping your new pet follow your family’s rhythms—that means, the cleanliness of your home, the safety of your children around your dog, and your dog’s way of relating to others.
Beyond getting new collars and leashes, watching instructional videos, or enrolling your dog in training school, encourage everyone in your family to do their part in regularly feeding, training, and exercising your dog. Both your new dog and your family will learn together about how to be on their best behaviour.
5. Lastly, how happy your dog can make your family
We know that getting a new dog comes with its own challenges. All of these might be overwhelming to you at first because a dog will need as much care and attention as a puppy.
It won’t be easy at first, but any relationship takes time and effort to grow—and that includes those that we have with our “furbabies.” The common saying is that a dog is man’s best friend. For many, earning a dog’s trust, affection, and respect is all worth the sacrifice, even priceless.
Congratulations on the new addition to your family. Good luck and enjoy on raising your new dog, doggo, pupper, or pupperoo!
Did you know that pets are good for both your emotional and mental health? Find out more here Why Owning A Pet Could Be Good For You