Choosing the ideal best friend should not be a quick, mindless process. You are likely going to live with your canine for 10 to 13 years, give or take. Anybody who has decided to take the first step toward dog owners must consider a slew of factors before heading to the rescue shelter, humane society or pet store.
It is an undeniable fact: some dogs shed more than others. It is also undeniable that some people’s allergies are more susceptible to dog fur. If you have known allergies, consulting a list of dog breeds and their allergenic qualities is the first step in identifying your personal Fido.
Dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The same can be said for homesteads. The size of your home or apartment and accompanying exercise spaces are pivotal considerations when it comes to determining the size of your ideal dog.
If you find yourself at a stage of life where a one-bedroom apartment with paper-thin walls is the only option, a Great Dane would be an irresponsible choice. The dog’s misery in such a tight space would be rivaled only by your downstairs neighbor’s torment.
Contrarily, a vast expanse of greenery in the backyard of your home affords a level of freedom to, say, choose a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd as the family’s furry companion.
3. Other Breed Considerations
Different people value different traits in their dog. Some breeds tend to be smarter than others, and therefore capable of more complex tasks. Some breeds take to exercise better than others, so if you desire a jogging companion you should research such criteria.
The list of considerations when it comes to choosing a breed is much longer than you might expect. When in doubt, do more research before making a final decision. Once you have decided on a breed, it is time to dog-proof your home.
4. Preparing Your Home
According to the Humane Society, a dog may take as long as two months to get acclimated to their new home. If you choose to adopt a rescue dog, it is fair to expect the process of forming a bond and establishing comfort to take a bit longer than a non-rescue. While substantial lists are provided for the most dedicated owners, there are essential steps every dog owner must take to ensure they are doing the bare minimum.
1) Attain the essentials, including water and food bowls, the food itself, a collar and leash, a crate, and some toys.
2) Establish a plan for taking care of the dog, including scheduled feeding times, whether you will allow it on furniture, and where they will initially sleep.
3) Plan the arrival wisely. Have the dog delivered or picked up at a time when you will be home to spend time with it in its new home. For many, this will mean the weekend.
4) For those who choose a puppy, anticipate teething and potty-training by removing shoes from the floor and lining sensitive areas with the stain-proof material.
5) If you have a busy work schedule, arrange ahead of time for a dog walker or pet sitter whose schedule meshes with yours.
5. Find Time to Bond
If you think that life with a pet is stressful, consider the dog’s perspective. A new home, particularly for rescue dogs who may be wary of new surroundings and people, can be daunting.
For this reason, food can oftentimes be relied upon to get acquainted with each other. To teach its name, stand by the food and call the dog, the food serving as an initial tool to establish the call and response reaction.
Take your dog out frequently at first to establish this routine. The stress of a new environment can cause unintentional accidents, so giving a dog ample opportunity to do their business outside can establish a safety net during a volatile period of the relationship.
Lastly, dogs love to go outside, and they love playing fetch. Purchasing a throw toy will help to establish a positive relationship between dog and owner, while also allowing for years-long fun by both parties.
The purchase of a dog is not to be taken lightly, as it is the first step in a relationship that will last years, resulting in a bond that remains even after a dog’s passing. Considerations pertaining to dog choice and preparations pre- and post-purchase are many, so make sure to do ample research before making a final decision. You will be glad that you did.
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