With Christmas just around the corner, thousands of households up and down the country are looking to bring a special canine companion into their home. Millions of us are dog lovers, but if you are one of them and are looking to adopt a dog, there are certain things to be aware of before welcoming a pooch into the home.
To ensure you make the right decision and are fully prepared for what’s to come, here are some things you should know before adopting a dog this Christmas.
1. Vet Costs
As long as you adopt from a reputable organization, they’ll most likely provide a full record of your new dog’s health history and records. You may find the dog has already been neutered or spade.
However, this will depend on their age. Once you welcome a new dog into your home, you need to prepare for vet visits. Whether you’ve noticed a change in your pooch’s behavior, or they’re not touching their food, there are all kinds of things that may warrant a trip to the vets.
As you can imagine, vet appointments cost money, so you must have your finances in order. That way, you can be confident you can realistically afford the upkeep of owning a dog.
2. Pet Insurance
If your dog does require a visit to the vets, you may not have the funds behind you to foot the bill at that given moment. Thankfully, you can take out a pet insurance policy that will protect you in these instances. Depending on the policy, it may feature routine care like annual visits, prescriptions, and vaccinations.
Make sure you take your time looking at pet insurance providers. It can be easy to be lured into the first policy you see. However, you may find a better one if you conduct more research. Having pet insurance in place will reassure you that your dog can get the treatment they need without the worry of spending a fortune.
Depending on the age, breed, and history of your dog, you may need to factor in training. As you would expect, your dog will need time to find their feet once they land in your arms, but if they’re having difficulty settling in or acting out of character, it’s time to look into training.
While dog training can be an expensive endeavor if you choose an outside source to do the hard work, it’s very effective and will pay off in the long run. For those who want to train their dog themselves, you may wish to do it as part of a group or class, which won’t cost as much, plus you’ll have tons of fun! Once you train your dog, they’ll soon settle in and become part of the family.
Just like with human beings when we get our hair and nails done to look and feel our best, you need to pay attention to your dog’s coat and factor in regular grooming. The level of grooming your dog will need can be determined by their size, age, and breed. For instance, if you have a short-haired chihuahua, they may only need a bath in the sink from time to time, whereas a Labrador may require regular baths to keep their coat fresh and healthy.
If you want to keep costs down, you can groom your dog yourself. For those who would prefer to leave it up to a professional, there’s bound to be a dog groomer near you that can help. Make sure your dog’s coat is trimmed regularly and pay attention to cutting their nails too.
When adopting a dog, you may find they have allergies that you weren’t aware of. There are a mixture of symptoms and signs to look out for which could indicate your dog has seasonal allergies. These include sneezing, red, irritated skin, and hives.
Native Pet’s article on seasonal allergies can explain everything more clearly, helping you know what to look out for. Native Pet sells a range of supplements that may help in alleviating dog seasonal allergies symptoms.
Before deciding on a dog, it’s worth asking the provider about any allergies. Once you know what you’re getting yourself into, you can take precautionary measures to help your dog live their best life. This can include giving your pooch fish oil and probiotics.
As you welcome a new dog into your home, you need to ensure they’re eating the right foods to support their health and growth. Of course, all dogs enjoy eating, so it’s what you give them what matters. While some dog owners may like to cook for their pooches, others may prefer to purchase already made meals. Whatever you decide on, you need to ensure your dog is having the nutrients and vitamins they need to keep them on track.
As well as food, make sure you have plenty of treats on hand. You can use treats to reward good behavior but try not to indulge them too much. Treats play a huge role in forging an unbreakable bond between you and your canine companion. Also, treats are a great training tool.
7. Walks and Exercise
We’re all aware of how important regular exercise is for our own health and wellbeing, but it’s just as important for your dogs too! Whichever dog you decide on adopting, most will enjoy nothing more than going for daily walks. When you adopt a dog, you need to ensure you have the time, stamina, and dedication to take them on regular walks.
Whether you head to your local park or go on a quick stroll around the block, you need to focus on your dog’s physical health and wellbeing, meaning walks and exercise are a necessity.
Whatever breed you have your eyes set on, or however old they are, before adopting a dog, there are lots of factors to take into consideration first. If you’re about to become a dog owner for the first time, reading the above tips will ensure you know what to expect to give your pooch a happy and fulfilled life.