Dog lovers should absolutely make the leap to bring home their first dog. What no one should ever do, however, is bring home a dog without first understanding exactly what you need to do to offer them a safe, healthy, and supportive environment. It takes a lot of work and dedication to care for a dog but done right these same actions can actually work to keep you both healthy and happy.
Training comes later. For now, you are going to want to prepare to bring a new puppy home. To do that, you will want to follow this guide:
Buy the Essentials
One of the first things you can start doing while you are waiting to bring your puppy home or before you go and look for a new dog is to buy the essentials. A dog bed, puppy pads, a crate, water and food bowls, toys, and of course a leash and collar – and those are just the start.
Once you know the breed of dog you are either going to look for or are going for, it is important to read up on breed behavior. Some dogs have high chew behavior, others hunting behavior, others scavenging. By finding toys that allow them to engage with these behaviors in a healthy way you can keep them happy and protect your home. Active dogs that like to chew, for example, need heavy-duty toys like a suction cup dog chew toy that allows dogs to chew and play tug-of-war for long periods of time.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
Next, you will want to puppy-proof your home. Wires should be organized and hidden away, the floor should be cleared away of small items that you want to spare, and if you have any expensive or delicate rugs you may want to remove these from your floor beforehand.
Explore Vet Insurance and Support
Insurance is essential, as vet bills can rack up and the last thing you need is to have to choose euthanasia because the surgery for your dog is too expensive. There are also plenty of online vet support chats and services that are affordable and allow you instant access to a specialist who can answer questions and make recommendations from the convenience of your own home. Shop around and find the best options for you.
Read Up On How to Train a Dog
Being familiar with how to raise a dog is one thing. Reading up about it beforehand is another. It is a good idea to look up how to train the specific breed you intend to get as well, as there will be important differences in how you raise certain dogs versus others.
Decide How You Intend to Raise Your Dog
Everyone has their own style. Whatever your style is, it does not matter as much as consistency. If you only enforce a rule some of the time, then your dog is going to become stressed and confused. By being consistent you can set the right expectation, they can follow the rules, and everyone will be happy. Setting out rules in advance can make training your puppy that much easier – especially if you are co-parenting.