The holidays are around the corner and you may be thinking about getting a new dog as a gift for the family. While you should never give a dog as a gift to someone unexpectedly, a dog can be a great present for an older child or loved one. There is a lot to consider when bringing a new life into your home. Do you want to crate or let them sleep with you? Will they be house trained? So, if you are thinking about adding to your family, here are some pointers to get you started on your journey of getting your first dog.
Special Spaces & Dog Proofing:
Go ahead and set up (or plan the setup if it’s a surprise) an area for the new dog. Even if it’s an older dog, everything will be new to them and keeping him to one area of the house will be safest. Since he will want to explore their new home, make sure to tuck away cords and cables, toxic plants or chemicals and anything else you think he may get into.
Getting everything for your first dog before you actually get him is crucial. Get a crate, bed, leash, food and bowls, brushes, and grooming supplies when you make the decision official. This way you can focus on bonding with your new dog and not at the pet store.
Pick A Vet:
Depending on where you get your dog, you will probably need to take him for a checkup and shots as soon as you get him. It’s also good to already know where to take him in case of an emergency.
It’s essential that you read up on the licensing and tag rules for your state. Almost every where requires a rabies vaccine and some cities have leash/care laws you need to know about. Make sure to pick out a collar and get a name tag as soon as possible. Since your first dog is acclimating to his new surrounds, it’s easy for him to want to flee and easy for him to get lost. Making sure he is registered and has tags will ensure he gets home more quickly, if he happens to get loose.
Take in consideration any allergies of family members. If you’re allergic to cats or anything other animal dander, then you may be allergic to some breeds.
Daily and Vacation Pet Care:
Will someone in your family be available to give your dog a potty break, during the day? If not, you’ll want to hire a professional dog walker to make sure your dog stays on a routine and gets the attention and exercise he needs to stay healthy. Also, what about care when your family goes away on vacation? Will you board your dog or hire a sitter to provide in-home care? It’s a good idea to do your research to make sure you hire a professional company.
Every family needs a dog and every dog needs a family. However, it’s important to make sure you’re completely prepared for your first dog. If you’re not quite ready, then it could be disastrous for your home and harmful for the dog if he has to be re-adopted. Getting your first dog should be a really happy time, not stressful, with a little planning the transition should be smooth and joyful for all.