What You Should Know Before You Adopt A Dog

Bringing a pet into your house is a wonderful experience.  It is something that should not be entered into lightly, however.  While most people are plenty capable of handling a dog in their home, many don’t take the time to research being a pet owner beforehand.  To have the best experience possible with your dog, you should read about it and talk to several dog owners first.

Prepare your Home

When you plan to bring a dog into your home, you must be ready to make several changes to accommodate it.  If you decide to bring in a puppy, then you must clear everything on the floor out of the way or be ready to have it damaged.  With older dogs, the changes are somewhat less severe.  The first thing to do is consider where your dog will be sleeping.  Do you want it to stay in a crate overnight?  Will it stay in bed with you?  Stop by your local pet shop to see what types of bedding they offer.

The other big shift is figuring out where the dog is allowed to be when you aren’t home.  Consider whether you want an indoor dog or an outdoor dog.  If you intend to let your dog outside, you’ll need a fence, be it physical or invisible, and a dog house.  (You’ll also want to consider what to do when the weather gets colder, and on days when it’s raining!)  Or, if you want to keep the dog indoors all the time, invest in dog gates to keep your pet from wandering where you may not want it.

Learn to Teach

Unless you want to suffer through the aggravation of trying to deal with an energetic dog that isn’t following your commands, messing up in the house and ignoring boundaries; you should learn a bit about training your dog in advance.  While each dog has its own personality, there are several items that will be addressed with all of them.  The most important thing is that you treat your dog with love – positive reinforcement goes a long way toward cementing the relationship with man’s best friend.

Stock Up on Supplies
Before you pick up your new pet, make sure you run a shopping trip to stock up on supplies.  It will take time to get your new pet acclimated to riding in your car, and you don’t want to leave it alone on day one.  Local pet stores are great for pet food – buy small amounts of several types to expose the dog to variety, as well as finding out what it likes best.  Check online for some of the best deals on other supplies like leashes, flea and tick medication, and food dishes.

Following these guidelines will help you as you welcome the newest member of your family into your home.

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Heather B has always enjoyed helping dogs and cats find their forever homes. She always likes to share helpful information with new dog parents.

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