Adopting a dog for the first time is an exciting prospect but can be an overwhelming one. A first-time pet parent isn’t aware of all the requirements of a dog and the ideal way to take care of a dog. In this series targeted towards the first time dog owner, we bring a number of articles that will help you on your path to being a responsible dog owner.
Are You Ready for a Dog?
Dogs have been well known as the man’s best friend. Dogs demand a commitment for the long-term. A dog would
need you and your family to accept these canines. Their willingness for co-operation is a prerequisite, without which it may not be a good idea to add them to your family. You might be excited and eager to adopt a dog. But, it is imperative that you take your time to understand the time and financial commitments involved as well as the breed of dog that will be suitable for you.
You have to realize that your new best friend will come with a host of responsibilities that are not just limited to feeding and cleaning them but have far-reaching implications. If you consider the kind of commitments involved, they are not just social commitments, but financial and personal responsibilities that would fall on a dog owner and his family.
Owning a dog is not a privilege, it is a responsibility.
Things to consider for a first-time dog owner
- There is no trial and error in adopting a dog. You should get one only after doing the necessary background work and if you are totally convinced that you are ready to have a pet companion for the next 12 years or so.
- Talk to other responsible dog owners and get an estimate of how much expenses are involved in owning a dog. Then, take a look at your budget to ensure you can manage to take care of your canine. Do you have enough cash to afford dog food, supplies, meds, medical checkups, toys and other miscellaneous expenses? If you see that you are able to afford their daily care, you can afford to adopt a dog financially.
- Analyze your working hours or study hours and other time commitments and if you find that you still manage to have a decent amount of time to spare for your dog, then start considering what breed of dog you want.
- The first step involved after you have decided you want to own a dog is that you should research the traits and behaviour of different breeds and ages. Learn about the finer nuances of each breed and the risks involved and any special needs.Different breeds of dogs have varying requirements and temperaments. Some active dogs would require vigorous daily exercise to keep them happy while others would be fine with some mild activity. Dogs can be demanding beings, as they have to be taken for a stroll, bathed, petted, vaccinated, fed and supervised daily.
- Kids often need supervision to ensure they behave properly with the dog during their first few interactions. If you have young kids in the house, you need to train them the do’s and dont’s of interaction with the dog and keep a watch on their interactions. Most kids take to a pet with enthusiasm. But, you need to ensure they don’t hurt the dog, accidentally or otherwise.
- Be prepared to dog proof your home. Even then, puppies have the tendency to be compulsive chewers until they are suitably trained. You might have to sacrifice or replace your favourite upholstery, footwear or doormats.
- One of the important things to consider is whether your apartment owner or flat association allows pets failing which the entire ordeal is a waste of time unless you are willing to shift to a place which allows pets.
- You need a backup pet parent in the instances you are travelling, busy or unwell. Consider alternative caregivers for your pet before you adopt a pet as dogs cannot be left alone for long as they have daily obligations that need to be taken care of.