A dog can make a wonderful addition to any family. From the companionship that they offer, to the daily exercise opportunities that they present you with, owning a dog is a great experience. However, there are lots of different breeds of dogs out there, and choosing the right one is vital. Different breeds of dogs will place different demands on your time and require different amounts of food and exercise.
You need to choose a dog that will fit in with your lifestyle and personality if you are going to be able to look after it effectively. Below are some of the things that you need to consider before introducing a new dog into your home, as well as some advice on how to introduce them as gently as possible.
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Consider Your Schedule
One of the most important things to consider when deciding on the right dog for your family is what your schedule is like. Your schedule will determine when you are able to walk with your dog, and when you will be able to feed it. You can get automatic feeders that operate on a timer and dispense food automatically, and if you live with older children, they can help out with walking the dog and feeding it. Just make sure that you will be able to tend to all its needs.
Puppy or Adult?
Looking after a puppy and looking after a fully-grown dog is two very different experiences and will place different demands on you and your family. It is important that you consider which option is most suitable for you and your children. Owning a dog from its earliest days makes it easier to train and also enables it to grow up with your children. However, you can find plenty of adult dogs in need of a loving home, and taking them on can be very satisfying.
Owning a dog is not cheap. From purchasing its food to making sure that it has toys, to ensuring he has somewhere comfortable to rest, there are plenty of costs associated with being a dog owner. When you are ready to buy dog beds, you’re going to need a safe, quality option that is also washable for your best friend to sleep on. It is important that you are completely confident in your ability to shoulder these costs before you commit to owning a dog.
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Different breeds of dogs have different temperaments. Some are much more active and playful, while others are more withdrawn and docile. You should research a wide range of different dog breeds, such as a German Shorthaired Pointer and Affenpinscher, to see which matches the personality of you and your family best. More active dogs will often require more exercise, and larger dogs will require longer walks. Make sure to carefully research any breed before you buy so you understand its personality type before you commit.
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Many people find that taking on a rescue dog in need of a loving home is much more rewarding than buying a dog from a breeder. Taking on a rescue dog is certainly a noble undertaking, but it is often more complicated than regular dog ownership. As a result, those who are looking for their first dog may want to stick to something more predictable and easier to handle.
However, there are plenty of rescue dogs who are perfectly well behaved and not suffering from trauma. This includes puppies that have been abandoned and now need a home.
Once you have decided on the right type of dog for your family, you then need to prepare to introduce it into your home.
Introduce It Gradually
Dogs are like people in many ways, and if you try to introduce them to a completely new environment too quickly, it can end up making them feel uncomfortable. This is especially important if the dog is already an adult, as puppies will have an easier time adjusting.
You should introduce your dog to your home in a gradual manner. You will often find that a new pet seeks out a hiding spot and doesn’t want to come out initially. If this happens, try to gently coax them out with treats, but do not force them. When they are ready, they will come out on their own.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
You should think of a new pet as being like a toddler. If you want to keep them from going into certain areas of your home, then you will need to put up barriers. You also need to start being careful about leaving loose wires trailing across your floor, and you might have to rethink the way that you decorate your home.
Train Them with Food
Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective teaching tools that you can use with your pet. This means that when they behave well, you should reward them in some way. Giving them a treat is the most common way of doing this, and you can buy food that has been specially formulated to be used as rewards for good behavior in dogs. This is a much better approach than relying on negative reactions to bad behavior, although these are also going to be important4.
Look Into Insurance
No matter how diligent you are in looking after your pet, there is always the potential for them to suffer an illness or injury. If this happens, you can find yourself facing some difficult choices between your dog’s physical health and your household’s financial health. Having pet insurance can help to reduce these costs when they arise and may offer some degree of financial protection. You can buy pet insurance through insurance providers who offer a variety of insurance options for cats and dogs. Many also offer a multi-pet discount if you are considering more than one dog.
You should also make sure that you get proper insurance for your dog. You can check tips for dog insurance at Fuzzy Rescue.
The breed of dog that you choose for your family and the preparation that you undertake before you bring your dog home will have an enormous impact on how smoothly everything progresses. If you stick to the advice outlined above, you should find it easy enough to integrate your new dog into your home environment – they will feel like another member of the family before you know it.
- Which is the right dog breed for you?
- How much exercise does your dog need?
- Introducing a new pet to your household
- Dog training: Corrections vs. Positive reinforcement