Fundamentals

Dogs 101: Pet Owner’s Guide to Having a Dog

Congratulations on deciding to add a fluffy member to your household. You will get lots of love and affection from your pooch. But you will need to reciprocate that. Dogs need attention and care to ensure they live happy lives which we humans hope to emulate.

Owning a dog requires a lot of diligence and patience. And this applies to all dog breeds you can think of. If you are getting one from a shelter, your dose of patience is twice as much. Why? Many dogs in shelters have been made to go through unwarranted traumatic situations. You have to be strong-willed to cater for one. But we digress; here is Dog 101, our guide to help you keep a dog.

Your dog needs lots of care

Keeping a dog is a huge responsibility. You have to see the vet frequently, there is its dental care to worry about, and other medical needs as well. Your financial capacity has to be able to match these needs. Consider your dog as a member of your family; it depends on you for all its needs. You don’t want to disappoint it. Definitely, you will reap the benefits of those sacrifices. Just hang on.

Get ready for your four-legged friend

Before you go on to bring your dog home, you need to be set to receive it. What better way to show readiness than having every needed supply available?

Bedding materials, collar, and food bowls are some of the many accessories which your dog will need. Getting them puts you in a pole position to handle the challenges of helping your dog get used to its new surroundings. However, other secondary accessories like toys, dog kennel, and grooming products could improve the quality of life of your dog.

Time will tell what supplies will have the most positive effect on your dog. So, be patient.

Training your dog is important

The bond between you and your pooch is dependent on how well you train it. That show of affection by your pet which you desire will only come if it is trained and with so much love. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be steadfast while keeping it lives by your set down rules. Dogs are living beings who like to follow the path shown by their leaders. Be that leader your dog looks forward to. But do so empathy and self-restraint. Never hit your dog. Rather, speak sternly to it when it does something wrong which can be quite often.

It needs to acclimatize with its new surrounding

Bringing your dog home is just one step towards giving it the care it deserves. It also needs time to get comfortable in your home. This situation is synonymous with how you feel when stepping into a house which is not yours. Before you bring a dog home, ensure all your fragile valuables are kept out of its path. It could get quite excited at the prospect of living in its new home and push down that ‘treasured vase’.

Another task you will need to execute involves keeping every item which can put your dog at risk out of its path. If there are chemicals substances in places accessible to it, lock them away. Those electrical cables should be tucked into protective cases to avoid your dog gnawing at the cords which could affect its health.

On getting your dog, a walk around your home would be the perfect first line of action. This should help your dog get familiar with its new home. You should by now have a name for it, so try observing how it responds to its name. If the dog is from a shelter, it most likely has a name. You won’t have to practice the name calling.

Just like every living thing, your dog will need to get rid of unwanted waste in its body. You should have a spot designated for this biological activity. The problem is getting your dog to relieve itself in that spot you might prove a tough ask. It needs consistent effort and a lot of treats. You will need to practice the reward system if you intend achieving the desired result sooner. Dogs learn quickly, and the promise of a treat makes the task both fun and less of a burden. Your four-legged friend is like an infant learning to work, treat it with the same love and care you would give a child.

Your dog’s behavior around visitors can be managed

Your neighbors might want to compliment you on the new member of your household. This can wait. Your dog needs time to learn how to act around unknown faces. You can speed up this phase by engaging the reward system as always. If eventually, your friends come around, it’s important you are in control of your dog to curb any unexpected tension. Dogs are domesticated animals whose predatory instincts are still very much intact. You will need to stand your ground to ensure your dog behaves appropriately around guests.

Fleas are its worst nightmare

Nothing irks dogs like fleas do. These blood-sucking pests can reduce your once-lively-fluffy- friend to a sad, confused animal. Yes, fleas are that bad. What could be worse? Well, they are quite difficult to detect. To find out if your dog is battling with fleas, you will need to follow the trail of the latter’s activities – shriveled blood spots. Speak to your vet regarding the state of health of your dog. If he decides flea sprays are needed, there are quality ones currently available in stores.

Vaccinations could save your dog’s life

Just like you were vaccinated to protect you against some deadly diseases, your dog needs something similar. If you got your dog from a shelter, ask questions concerning its health and if any vaccinations have been administered in the past. This should point you in the right direction. However, if your dog is from a breeder, myriads of vaccinations are a must! Your breeder could hold the key to what’s important. The input of your vet could assist you to make informed decisions about the safety and well-being of your dog.

In conclusion, bringing a dog into your home can reduce tension significantly. There’s this cheerful ambiance in households with pets especially dogs. Yes, it’s lovely and could revamp the bond you have with other members of your home. However, this comes with its share of responsibilities. Your dog would need you to do a lot of things for it. Are you ready for that?

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