Pets are lovely. We loved our bunnies but sadly had to rehome them when we had to move. My son is obsessed with dogs at the moment and really wants us to get a little white one. For us, this isn’t an option, but a few of my friends did get dogs recently.
Getting a dog is a big decision. You need to decide what type of dog is best suited for you and your lifestyle. Before you bring home you bouncing, tail-wagging bundle of fur it’s best to prepare your home and family for the new addition.
These handy tips will cover everything you’ll need to help your new pup feel right at home before you start the training process.
Any pet that is introduced to a new environment and a first/new family is likely to be nervous. Although most animals love to interact, it is important to set aside a quiet area where they are able to go and have time for themselves. Of course, family members of all ages must be briefed on the importance of maintaining this safe space for your pup. One of my friends added a bed into a high sided pen where their pup could escape the kids. The pen allowed for the puppy to be contained in an area, handy when they got a little over excited/over- stimulated and need to calm down.
Make sure that any soft toy your pet arrives with is kept in the bed for a sense of familiarity and security. It can also help to keep your home quiet and calm for the few days whilst your puppy is settling in.
For the first few weeks, your pet won’t need much in the way of exercise. In fact, too much running around can harm their legs and development. It’s important to follow your vet or the breeder’s advice on when to start lengthening daily walks. In preparation for their daily walks, my friends bought a no pull dog harness to help keep control when walking. I’ve been told these are more comfortable for the dog to wear than other types for young dogs.
As well as exercise, pups will also need mental stimulation. There are plenty of fun toys available. I noticed that my friends seemed to have quite a few ‘Kong’ toys to keep their fun-loving pups entertained.
As your pet grows, they’ll need more exercise. Even the most laid back of pets will get bored and destructive if not exercised regularly.
Many pets will be happy with a daily walk, but, for more athletic animals such as whippets or greyhounds the chance for a good run is often necessary to burn off excess energy. It helps to have somewhere with plenty of space if you’re looking to take in one of these breeds.
Many breeds of dog can make great running companions. A great way to help keep you active and also save on expensive gym fees. This is a great way to get those daily walks in for your pet and exercise for yourself.
Dogs will need approximately two meals a day with portions appropriate to their weight and breed. Like most dogs, they will probably give you an adorable pleading look when you’re eating. It’s important to avoid feeding your dog titbits. For a start, not all human food is suitable for your pet and may cause tummy troubles. You also run the risk of your dog becoming overweight, which can lead to more serious health complications.
Talk to your vet about which food your pet needs and what you might need to change to enrich their diet as they grow older.
Training your dog is important. It’s best to avoid starting too late, otherwise, your pet will learn bad habits. Training starts with simple commands such as to sit, go to its bed and not bark when you are not home. Consistency is key. You can find a dog trainer who can teach you various useful techniques.
Taking on the responsibility of a pet is an intense experience especially during those early days when your puppy needs almost constant supervision. I’ve heard it likened to having a young child. It is a big commitment but also very rewarding.
A dog will add a special dynamic to your family life and will grow to become a much-loved member of your family. From an exercise partner to a friend who’s there for you no matter what. Once you bring your dog home it will feel like he’s always been there, a friend and companion for life.
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