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:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?