Bringing a pet into your family is an exciting decision but also one that involves a lot of commitment and responsibility. As a result, there are several factors you need to consider before you proceed.

Dr. Elise Barry shares her top 5 tips on things you can do to help find a dog that will get along with your family and living situation:

  1. Research

Know your breeds so you can determine what will work for your home and family.  Keep in mind that many breeds can live for 10-15 years and taking good care of your dog requires both long term financial and time commitments.  Another good idea is to familiarise yourself with the grooming requirements, exercise needs, temperament and genetic diseases associated with your chosen or mixed breed as they transition through each life stage. Thorough investigation into pet insurance is also strongly recommended.

  1. Consult your vet

It is important to build a relationship with your local vet.  You can discuss which breed would best suit your lifestyle – they also may be able to recommend reputable breeders or adoption centres. Allowing your puppy to be familiar with your vet will reduce anxiety and fear associated with regular visits.

  1. Do your puppy prep

If you’re looking to get a puppy, ensure your home and yard is puppy ready.  This involves investing in a crate, baby gates, wee pads, lead, collar, quality puppy food and identification. If your dog will be spending time outside you need a secure fence and to make sure there is no access to unsafe areas including stairs, composts or poisonous plants. We often suggest creating a schedule for your family so everyone’s involved in taking care of your new dog. Taking time off when you first bring your pup home can be a great way to help it settle in and become accustomed to a new environment.

  1. Make use of bonding time

It is essential that your dog bonds with your family. This can be achieved through regular contact and grooming. Make sure you have the necessary grooming tools for your new dog. If your puppy requires professional grooming it is important to start early to familiarise them with the process. Be aware that allowing your dog to spend all it’s time with you can reinforce an unhealthy attachment. Around three chew toys of a suitable size and age for your pup are recommended to help with environmental enrichment, development and bonding.

  1. Send your pup to training

Puppy preschool and obedience training is a great stepping stone to developing a healthy relationship between you and your new dog. They inform you on important topics such as flea and worm treatment, vaccination, toileting, desexing, microchipping and training. They can also identify bad habits and help you correct them before your pup becomes a problem pet. It is also a great form of socialisation for your family and the new dog.

Do you have a new puppy? Do you have any experiences to share?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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  • I’m not quite ready to replace our beautiful old retriever Beau yet (and it’s been years) but am thinking that when my teens move out, my youngest son and I will have room in our hearts for a new pet.


  • I would love another dog,thanks for your article!


  • Both our dogs are rescue dogs. We didn’t think too much of how they suited us, we just knew they needed saving, so we did. They’re brilliant, loving loyal and gentle with us……look out strangers!


  • Some good tips, thanks. We’ve been thinking of getting our 4yr a dog soon….


  • We’ve been doing a lot of research into getting a dog :)


  • thought it mite say how you bring your pet into family meaning if you have new born, how to approach that with a dog


  • a good informative article. there is a good site too with the breeds and what to expect which is really helpful


  • A good article and I hope it is one that has been taken on board as pets deserve to be in a forever home from the beginning of their lives to the very end. Owning a dog is a big responsibility and should always be considered with a lot of thought and research.


  • We want to get puppy but I’ve convinced hubby to wait until our children are older because with four kids under six a puppy would be like another toddler.


  • Great article thanks for sharing


  • A great article. Bringing a pup into the household is a big decision and should be carefully considered and planned.


  • oh yeah def’ get those puppies trained up! save yourself so much hassle and frustration down the track.


  • i currently have 3 Shetland Sheepdogs (shelties) they are very good with the children and all of our other animals. If some one is unwell they wont leave there side. Also great guard dogs as well


  • Our puppy is now 3 years old and we love him to bits. However, for all the research and planning we had done, he became a rushed decision. We bought a schnoodle instead of a labradoodle. Whilst he has many similar qualities eg. non-shedding, great for our son with asthma, smallish in size… he is the most excitable, crazy, but lovable dog going around. He became available quickly and so we bought him, thinking he would be quiet and tame. OMG, he jumps like a kangaroo, chews everything, and has to live outside – otherwise he would eat my house from inside out. We love him though and he does come inside but we know to expect the initial madness of it before he calms down. We keep thinking that when he’s older he’ll calm down, but it hasn’t happened yet.


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