If you are thinking of getting a dog and have never had one before, you might be a little uninformed about needs. This list is generalized to fit all dog breeds but be aware that each category will vary, sometimes slightly and at other times greatly, by the specific breed you choose to adopt. Bigger dog breeds will require more food and more exercise for example. Long haired dogs will need more attention to grooming details while short haired breeds will not. You can look for your dog’s characteristics online before deciding on what kind to get.
You choose between dry, canned, or raw diets. Do not be afraid to mix it up every once in a while. Puppies usually require four servings per day while one year olds and older can use two servings per day. The important thing is for your dog to receive a well-balanced diet and that his food provides him with all the necessary nutrients, like protein. Do not feed your dog human food as these do more harm than good. Harmful human pet food includes: avocados, grapes, raisins, and chocolate.
Training and exercise
Daily exercise is necessary to avoid frustrated behaviors from energetic dogs (excessive chewing for example). You should take into account a daily walk of at least twenty to thirty minutes or a few walks totaling thirty minutes. The occasional visit to parks and games of fetch count as exercise as well.
Professional training is optional but you should consider teaching the basics to your dog: sitting, stay, laying down, going outside, etc. These can easily be taught with patience and consistency through YouTube tutorials. Professional training range in cost and services but provide excellent results for easier and better companionship.
Grooming is important and necessary, whether you do it or an experienced dog groomer does it for you. Your dog requires regular brushing (if long haired or to avoid shedding) and perhaps a weekly bath. During the warm months, check for fleas and ticks.
If you are planning on getting a puppy you will have to visit your vet regularly the first year. Afterwards, it is only a yearly visit unless an emergency or sickness occurs. Always spay and neuter your dogs after six months of age. It is called being a responsible owner.
Licensing and identification
Use a collar on your dog with appropriate identification information at all times. There is also the option of microchip implantation that your local vet can do. What matters is that your dog can be returned to you if lost.
If your future pup is going to be sleeping inside the house, you should have his bed ready and begin house training as soon as possible. All areas where your dog is going to be should be cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis. During walks, you should be aware that you might be expected to pick up after him as well so prepare a bag or two.
Getting a dog as a companion is a rich and rewarding experience! It is also a learning process that entails effort, patience, and lots of love from your end. A dog is a lifetime commit and should not be taken lightly and remember that adopting an animal in need is better than buying one.