Basic Dog Ownership 101
What You Need To Know Before Your New Dog Comes Home
This article is a Basic Dog Ownership 101 about bringing a new dog into your home.
Dog Ownership is much more than buying it and bringing it home. It’s also more that letting it out once or twice a day, or hooking it up on a chain in the back yard. You wouldn’t do that to a new baby, so don’t even think about doing it to your dog either. Dog Ownership is about making a commitment of time, energy and money to make your dog a great member of your family. If you are not prepared to do this PLEASE, go out and buy a goldfish.
If you are going to be a dog owner there are several things you should be willing to do. You need to spend a fair amount of time and effort feeding, training, cleaning, socializing and looking after the dog’s physical and mental needs.
Raising a dog requires an investment of time as well as money. Dog ownership is like raising a child. You will have reoccurring expenses such as food, medication and veterinarian visits. During the course of dog ownership you will most likely also run into a few unexpected expenses. Things like emergency care or maybe replacing some of the neighbors flowers after Fido chases a rabbit through their garden. The national average for a year of pet care is estimated to be $2000.00 – $4000.00.
Be Realistic in Your Expectations.
When bringing a new dog into your home be patient. You need to understand that your new dog may be a little nervous and unsure at first. Yes, it may have an accident or two. You can expect your new dog or puppy to need a period of adjustment. That period will vary from dog to dog. It may last a few hours or up to a few weeks. How long this adjustment period will take largely depends on the dog’s age, breed, gender, background and disposition. Other factors may also include the dog’s new surroundings and the amount of time you spend with your new companion.
We suggest that you only pick up your new dog when you are able to spend a minimum of 24-48 uninterrupted hours with it. Obviously, the more time you spend in the first few days, the faster and easier the transition will be. The fastest way to bond with, and get your new dog to trust you, is to spend time taking long walks and playing together.
Beside the items mentioned above, here is a list of Basic Dog Ownership 101 items that you will need to have around to raise you new dog the right way.
This is probably a “no brainer” but high quality food is a very important element of a happy and healthy dog. Once you start feeding a certain type of food, Stick To it! Dog’s do NOT like change. Changing their food from day to day or even bag to bag will cause your dog to have upset stomach. It can also cause them to become finicky eaters. If you decide to switch types or brands of food, do it gradually so the dog will not notice the change. (Example: if your dog eats 10 ounces of food per day, begin the change by introducing 1 ounce of the new food and then every 3-4 days add another 1 ounce …. and so on.
Toys are a kind of “gray area.” Some dog’s love them and others could care less about them. No matter what you buy, be sure to watch your dog when he/she is playing with them. Your dog could chew the toy up and swallow it or parts of it. If so, you may be spending some of those “unexpected expenses” sooner than you thought. A good rule of thumb is that you should buy toys that the dog can chew and not destroy. We suggest toys such as “Kong” toys, Boda ropes, hard rubber balls, a Nyla-Bone and so on.
3). CLEANING SUPPLIES
Accidents Happen! In order to keep them from happening over and over you will need to clean up the area completely. Doing so quickly let your dog know that the accident site was not the “right” place to relieve itself. Make sure you use a non ammonia based cleaner. Most stores and pet supply stores have specific cleaners for pet stains. Using a product like Mr. Clean, Formula 409 or Super Clean will work just fine too. Make sure you clean the area thoroughly to make sure the scent has been completely removed.
4). BASIC TRAINING / GROOMING ITEMS
Basic training items include a Collar, Leash, ID Tags. You will also need a sturdy Food and Water Bowl. Grooming items needed include a Grooming Brush, Toothbrush, Shampoo, Nail Trimmer and first aid supplies.
Being informed is the first step in becoming a responsible dog owner. Knowing basic dog training techniques, and breed information are among the most important information you must have. There are literally thousands of books, pamphlets and DVD’s on the market. The more information you can find about your breed of dog or dogs in general, will make you better prepared when any kind of situation arises.
Leaving your new puppy or dog running loose in a strange house when you are away can be dangerous for you and the dog. The dog may start to feel afraid, alone, anxious, or excited. If this happens a lot of damage can result. It can rip your house apart or it may injure itself. When introduced correctly, a travel crate (the plastic kind) provides your dog with a den-like area to go to. This becomes a safe place where it will feel safe and secure while you are away. It will also prevent unwanted messes in the house and/or the senseless destruction of it.