Are you a first time dog owner getting a dog? Keen but not sure what you should do and what are the Essential items you should prepare before getting a dog home? As many people rushing to get a dog, I would advise you to take a few minutes to consider a few things before you get a dog or puppy home, this will help you well prepared and give your dog a better home.
There are four important things ( T-I-M-E ) to consider before you decide to get a dog home.
1 ) Time Commitment
2 ) Iintention and reason of getting a dog
3 ) Money; financial Commitment
4 ) Enviroment
TIME COMMITMENT :- Getting a dog is exciting but owing a dog is a long-term commitment as most dogs have a life-span of 8 to 16 years. So before you take the plunge, ask yourself if you have enough time in bringing up and training your dog. You will need to devote a lot of time and patience day by day, 7 days a week commitment. Will your lifestyle accommodate your dog? Do you always have busy schedule or travelling very frequent? More time and medical attention will be needed especially when your dog is older, are you willing to sacrify your time?
INTENTION AND REASON :- Many people getting dogs simply because they are cute and adorable, a nice present for their children and love ones and they always let their hearts rule their heads, they forgot the puppies will grow into bigger sizes and health problems that might arise when the dogs are older, some dog owners would then decide to sell away their dogs when this happens which I strongly discourage as this is an act of irresponsible. Ask yourself what is the intention of you getting a dog or more than one dog? Companion dogs for companion? For emotional support? To overcome your irrational fear such as fear in the dark or anxiety when being alone? Large dogs or Working dogs for protection and house watching? Top breeds for show purpose and enjoy the glory? Please refer to Dog Breeds where you can see all the different dog breeds from a-z. Whatever the reasons maybe I do believe having a good human-dog relationship can bring you therapeutic value.
MONEY AND FINANCIAL COMMITMENT :- Next important thing you need to consider is about the ongoing costs for food, nutrition, grooming, medical care, accessaries, agility training fees and kennelling fees for your dog while you are away. Can you afford it?
ENVIROMENT :- Giving your dog a comfortable space to live is equally important. Due to the size, activity level and temperament, some breeds need more space and fenced yard to run. Some breeds are smaller in size and more sociable maybe live indoor. Some working dogs are protective, powerful and aggresive may need to live outdoor with fenced to avoid possible of attacking stranger. So do you have a suitable place for your dog to live as part of your family? Do prepare a proper space well before getting a dog home and remember, it's going to be your dog's permenant place for him to sleep, rest, cuddle and hideout.
Happily living in comfort - Dixie, a three months old Shih Tzu. ( other names for Shih Tzu : Lion Dog or Chrysanthemum Dog )
After you have considered all the above and decided to go ahead to get a dog, the next thing you need to ask yourself are the following:
Male and Female dogs- So Male or female dog? Well generally male dogs are more active and aggressive than female dogs. Female dogs are more affectionate and companionable and more easily trained. ( Please refer to Dog Breeds to find out the temperament of all the dog breeds ). And it will be a little "troublesome" to own a female dog ( bitch ) as she has menstruation which will stain on your stuffs and oestrus ("season" or "in heat" ) every six months unless spayed. Some dog owners prefer their female dogs spayed and male dogs castrated. Generally spayed female dog live slightly longer life while castrated male dog does not pro-long it's life expantancy. It normally reduces the aggression in male dog.
Type of breeds- So which breed? Designer, Hybrid dogs breeds? Purebred? Long or short hair? Companion dogs? Small dog breeds? Large dog breeds? Miniature and Toy dog breeds? Working dogs?..... and more . Please go to Dog Breeds to find a breed that suits you well.
A Toy Poodle ( or another name : Caniche ) in short coat of approximately 10 inches in heigh seen here with owner. ( courtesy of owner Ms Agnes )
Where to get a dog and how to choose a puppy- Should you get a puppy or an adolescent? Should you get one from a reputable breeder? Buy or adopt one from the animal shelter? You may want to consider adopting a dog from the animal shelter to save a dog's life as in some countries if the dog is too old and too sick and left too long in the animal shelter they would put the dog to sleep! You may also want to get a puppy from a breeder, a good breeder will be honest to show you the dogs they raise, giving you some advise on how to take care of the puppy, they might interview you and your family to find out if the puppy suits you. A reputable breeder will usually request you to sign an agreement during the purchase. Some breeders would offer to provide you the registration paper for your new dog. Please refer to Choosing a puppy and learn what you should look for in a puppy and some tips on physical examination on puppy and when you should bring your puppy for vaccination etc.
So, when is the best time to get a dog? Well, you may plan to get a dog home during your work break so that you can devote some time and attention to your dog or puppy. As a new comer your dog needs some time to get used to the new environment, therefore I would advise you not to get a pet home if you plan to go for holiday. It won't be a good idea to get a puppy during winter as housetraining in the night can be troublesome. Kindly note that you should not bring home a puppy of less than 8 weeks old. So do plan well before getting a dog home.
Important note : If you intend to adopt an adolescent dog or adult dog, do check with the owner or seller if the dog neeeds any special medical attention and about the dog's behavior, whether the dog is housetrained, toilet trained or has any particular habits like soiling or chewing. See also Dog's behavior.
How you should get ready for the new comer- Next, you need to get all Essential items ready before getting a dog home. Eg. food, bowls for food and water, comfort bed or crate/cage for the dog, old newspapers, leash, collar, toys,....etc.
See also First Day under the page of Puppy training about what you should do and how your puppy should spend the first day at your place. With the easy step by step guidelines you will learn how to handle the situation well.
As long as you put the efford of taking good care for your dog, your pet will become a good buddy to you and your family, it's a win-win situation! Happy parenting!
Essential items you should prepare before getting a dog or puppy home. So which types of essential items suit your dog? Different types of dog collars, leashes, crates, toys for dogs, shampoo for dog, grooming products, food etc, choose the one best serves your purpose and best for your puppy or your adolescent dog. Find out which items you should consider and get them ready before getting a dog or puppy home.