A dog is a bundle of joy and unconditional love, as well as a wet nose which is going to be always in your business. The decision to get a dog should be taken after some consideration and serious talk with your room mate(s). I know this because I got a dog when I unexpectedly fell in love with one, so I was completely unprepared for everything that followed.
As someone who never regrets the decision, I do wish I knew some things before I got the dog.
1. Dog-proof your home
You know that moment when your kid starts crawling or walking and your things are never safe again? Well, the same happens with a dog. The moment your new pet sets paw in your house, he is going to spot all the things he should never touch and destroy them. To prevent this from happening, pet-proof your house. Get on your knees and look around. All the fragile items must be lifted on upper shelves and all the potentially dangerous items, such as wires, have to be secured and hidden.
Second, you need to set things straight with everyone living in the house regarding the limits of the new dog. Where is he allowed, where he isn’t and so on. If not everyone is on the same page with the dog, when it arrives, you might have problems in the future.
2. Be ready to spend money
Regardless if you adopt or buy a dog, be ready to pay more than a fee. A dog is another living creature, so he will need food, toys, neutering, micro chipping, training classes and many more. The vet is going to become a constant in your life, as dogs also get sick and require treatments. Vaccinations and fleas prevention are other monthly costs.
Leashes, collars and other dog equipment are other things which can become a little pricey, even if you will probably need just two of them, in different sizes. If you live in multiple season areas your dog might need coats. Add to these costs the cost of random treats and toys, because who can resist spoiling the little one?!
3. Learn what a dog can and can’t eat
Dogs can eat some of the foods humans eat, but there are also foods that can easily harm them or even kill them. It’s very important to know the food requirements of your dog before you get him. Even if you won’t be giving him human foods, not all the dog foods are the same.
While most dogs will eat pretty much anything, there are good and bad dog foods on the market, just like we have good food and junk food. You have to learn the nutritional requirements of your dog to be able to choose the best foods for him and to be able to save your pocket: most dogs don’t actually need expensive grain free or gluten-free foods. By the way, the price is not an indication of the quality of the dog food, in many cases.
4. Puppies are little devils in disguise
Puppies are cute… because if they wouldn’t be, you would probably kill them! If you get a puppy you have to be ready for chewing, peeing, pooping and crying for several weeks. Indeed, puppies grow fast, but when you are sleep deprived, your couch is being pooped on, the floor is covered in pee and you are covered in stain remover, that puppy really needs to grow fast and be super-cute.
5. Dogs are very social
Dogs are social creatures and they need you and other members of the family. Cesar Millan’s stories with the pack leader are totally true! Dogs fall in love with their family members and don’t bear solitude. If you like to travel a lot you need to know you will have to take the dog with you from now on.
When you have a dog you will never be alone again, not even in the bathroom. Or, especially in the bathroom. However, despite the social nature of dogs, you need to train them and socialize them, if you want to have a friendly, well-behaved dog.
6. Your life will never be the same again
Dogs can turn your life upside down and will cause lots of trouble to you. But after you get a dog your life will never be the same again. You won’t be able to give up on the furry creature and it will become a real family member. You will be ready to do anything for him and he will do anything for you. There is no bigger joy than arriving home and finding your hyper-active dog happy to see you again.
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