Min menu


Adding a New Dog To Your Family

 Adding a New Dog To Your Family

dog training near me

Bringing a new pet into your home is much like having a child. Whether a puppy or adult dog, your new friend will need guidance, obedience instruction, and understanding. So, how do you prepare, and then choose the perfect pet? First, getting 'just any dog' is a recipe for disappointment. Every breed has specific characteristics; each individual dog, its own personality. If you're an athlete and want Fido to run and hike with you, getting a sedentary breed will drive you crazy. And if you're a couch potato, an active breed will frustrate you both.

So, do your homework - check books and websites for lifestyle questionnaires to help learn what's best for you. Will it be a puppy with potty-training needs, or an adult with an attitude? Do you want purebred or mixed, active or lazy, teacup or giant, long-hair or hairless? Will you buy from a responsible breeder, or adopt from a shelter? Seek the best possible match, so your family and your new pet can look forward to a happy lifetime companionship.

Whatever kind of dog you choose, be prepared for the expense. Dogs cost approximately $1,000 per year over their lifetime. Aside from food, additional costs include medical bills, licenses, obedience training, and equipment such as leashes, beds, and toys. There's grooming and flea control, boarding, a tattoo or microchip ID, and sadly, final costs when your friend passes on. And meanwhile, doggie costumes for Halloween can be pricey!

Next, how much time and energy can you devote to obedience training, potty training, exercise and play? Who takes care of the dog if you're not well or go on vacation? There are many considerations before you start shopping. Once you've decided, learn about the dog's origins. If from a breeder, are they knowledgeable about the breed, and careful about selecting *you*? Good breeders don't want their pups going to bad homes. Rescue organizations may require a detailed application and even a home visit.

Most puppies sold in pet stores are born in puppy mills. If you buy such a pet, you risk purchasing a puppy with serious genetic faults, disease, or a history of abuse or neglect. To end this inhumane industry, boycott potential puppy mills and buy from a responsible breeder; or adopt from a caring shelter or rescue organization. Phew! - you've chosen the type of dog you want, searched for the perfect match, and BINGO! You've met the dog of your dreams and are ready to bring him home. All done, right? Not quite!

Stock up on essentials before introducing Fido to his new home. Make sure you have food and water bowls, a comfortable bed, and a leash and collar or harness. You'll want an ID tag, possibly a kennel for potty-training, and a good reference book on health, obedience training, grooming, and temperament. Finally, you'll need a few days' supply of whatever food he's been eating. If you switch foods, gradually shift from the old to the new, to avoid stomach distress. Especially with tiny puppies, this step can mean life or death. In a new environment, even a mature dog can have accidents, so learn about potty-training in advance. Have supplies on hand: enzyme cleaner, potty pads, maybe even a "pee-post" in the yard, alerting your dog that THE TOILET IS HERE!

Once you're settled, start obedience training right away. It's the best way to bond with your dog, so find a positive training program, and have fun! You're on your way to one of the best friendships you'll ever have.