When bringing a new pet home, it’s very similar to bringing home a new baby. No, you won’t be needing a bassinet or pull ups, but it would be wise to invest in a bowl and some puppy pads.
Do you have all the necessary supplies? Waiting to shop for the new addition to your family until it arrives is an all around bad idea. Nothing is worse than realizing you have no one to blame but yourself as the cute puppy pees on your clean white carpet. Trust me. Do yourself a favor, and get the necessities before he or she comes. No need to spend enough to own stock in PetSmart, just start with the basics. A leash, crate, food/water dishes, and toys.
Have you talked to your children enough? Let’s face it, kids can be annoying. You know it, they know it, and if you aren’t careful, your dog will know it too. Hopefully you’ve done the proper research to ensure your new pup is kid friendly, and doesn’t become annoyed easily. Even if they are a laid back breed, no one likes to be poked, prodded, and probed — not even dogs. Make sure you kids know that as cute as he is, the new puppy is not a toy. Do not allow them to harass your pet, including putting their hands in it’s food and trying to take it’s toy away. While it may appear to be cute, it can turn dangerous very quickly.
Do you have enough time? Bringing a pet into your home is hard work. House training, obedience training, making sure your pet gets adequate love and attention, etc. is all very time consuming. Take a look at your schedule and make sure you have enough free time for a pet.
Are you a softie? You don’t have to be a Jordan Von Strangle type or a stern disciplinarian. That being said, dogs need a pack leader. An Alpha. If you have trouble setting and enforcing rules, owning a pet may not be for you.
Are your other pets ready for someone new? If you have other pets in the home, take them into consideration as well. Some animals do not co-exist well with others. Even if they do, bringing a new pet into the home can cause them anxiety and stress (not to mention a deep sense of possessiveness over their family) if not done correctly. Make sure to do adequate research on integrating your new pet into a household with animals.
“Make sure to do adequate research on integrating your new pet into a household with animals.”
Do you have a schedule? Again, like children, dogs do well on a schedule. Eating, using the restroom, playtime, all on a schedule keeps pets thriving. Before bringing your pet home, decide with your family who will be doing what and at what time.
Can you afford it? Pets are expensive! Their basic needs, like food and shots, all cost. When you add in vet bills, the price of those cutesy toys, and all the other fun pet purchases, the final number a year can make your head spin. On average, the cost for a dog during its first year is over $1,000.
Have you pet proofed? You’ll be surprised at what dogs can do event though they lack thumbs.
Have you done your research? It takes a lot of information to own a dog. What’s the right breed, what’s the right food for it, is the climate right for your dog, so and so forth. Make sure you’ve researched every thing having to do with your dog — twice.
Are you mentally prepared? The new puppy will whine when it’s time to sleep, chew your shoes, and generally drive you crazy with its cute, but exhausting, antics. Get your rest, and understand life is about to change. For the better.
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “3 Tips for Cold Weather Fun With Your Dog” here.
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