When you acquire a dog, you commit to meeting its needs, caring for it, and providing it with an education. Often, this decision is made without weighing every aspect that will require your responsibility, investment of time, and money.
Each breed has different needs in addition to the unique personality and peculiarities of each individual. However, there are a series of aspects you must attend to regardless of the pet you choose.
The pet is placed in your hands, and it’s your responsibility to decide and watch over it. Here, we explain all the tasks and responsibilities you must assume when acquiring a furry companion.
Giving Them a Name
Though it may sound obvious, your dog needs a name right from the start to familiarize and identify with it. The sooner you give them a name, the better, as this identification will be indispensable when training them to obey you.
Providing a Routine
As a new family member, your pet needs a routine to adapt to its new life. Following a routine will give the dog a sense of security and tranquility. If the dog is aware of the family’s rhythms and schedules, they’ll feel secure and avoid anxious behaviors. This routine should include time for eating, going for walks, playing, sleeping, resting, doing their business, and more. To establish these habits, it’s essential to introduce a routine that helps them understand the different times for each activity.
First, you must decide what kind of food you want to provide your dog, whether it’s kibble, wet food, or other diets available on the market. The food should be appropriate for their age, size, and regular physical activity. If you choose kibble, make sure the size of the pieces is suitable for their jaw to facilitate chewing and avoid excessive tartar buildup. Usually, the recommended kibble size matches the dog’s breed and age. Hydration is another crucial factor, especially in hot climates. It’s essential to provide them with clean water to drink whenever they need it.
Routine bathing (every 3 weeks or once a month), visits to the dog groomer for haircuts when necessary, brushing their fur based on their specific coat type, cleaning them when they get dirty, or after walks are some of the hygiene tasks your pet requires. It’s vital to inspect their ears, nails, mouth, teeth, skin, coat, and eyes. Dogs can’t communicate when their nails are too long or they have excess earwax or eye discharge, so these aspects must be monitored to prevent future health and hygiene problems.
Just like in the previous section, dogs can’t tell you when something is wrong. Sometimes, they may express discomfort or pain, but in other cases, they might endure the suffering until it becomes unbearable, and it might be too late. To avoid these situations, it’s essential to know your dog and detect any signs of illness in time. For example, a slight limp, a small cry when lying down or getting up, unusual behavior, etc. To ensure peace of mind, regular check-ups with your veterinarian are necessary. Of course, adhering to the vaccination and deworming schedule and keeping them up to date is mandatory.
Exercise, Activity, and Mental Stimulation
All animals need stimulation and space for daily exercise. Ideally, you should know the level of physical activity and mental stimulation your dog needs by checking the breed’s profile. This will help you determine how many walks they require and their level of intelligence and mental needs.
Tools and Equipment
Your pet will need several tools and equipment, including a comfortable bed or cushion to sleep on, a harness or collar and leash for walks, age-appropriate toys (puppies may need chew toys and balls, while older dogs may enjoy different games), grooming tools (shampoo, comb, brush, towel), food and water bowls, car restraint straps, and more. Preparing these essential tools is crucial for their arrival.
Respecting moments of rest is as important as ensuring moments of activity. This rule can be more challenging to follow when there are young children in the house, who, upon the arrival of the pet, may want to play all day. It’s important to teach children to respect the dog’s moments of rest.
Treating Them with Respect and Affection
Though it may sound obvious, providing good treatment and respect to your pet, along with the affection they demand and reciprocate, is crucial. If your dog is going to live with children, it’s essential to teach the little ones to treat the pet with respect and love.
Training and Education
You must also take care of the puppy’s education if you want a well-balanced pet that obeys basic commands. Socializing the puppy is crucial to ensure healthy and balanced behavior. When teaching obedience, always use positive methods and affection.
You should also consider the expense involved in introducing a pet into your household. First, there’s the initial expense, which includes the purchase of necessary tools and the first check-ups, vaccinations, deworming, and microchipping. Afterward, there will be regular expenses for food, medical check-ups, vaccinations, deworming, pet insurance, and more.
A pet is a commitment for many years, and you must be aware of the obligations and responsibilities it entails. It’s essential to ensure your lifestyle aligns with their needs.