Basic Dog Care

Basic Dog Care

It’s no big secret why exactly people love dogs so much. You’d be hard pressed to find a more loyal companion anywhere in the world than a good dog. They’re the perfect friend when you’re a bit lonely, or else maybe need a pick me up. They’re dead useful, too. There have to be about a million reasons to get a dog, all of which are great reasons.

A good dog can help you protect your home, perform at a higher level in sports like hunting, and they’re incredible motivators if you’re trying to get yourself into shape. At the end of the day, the question really become why would anybody not want to own a dog? The answer is a rather simple one: responsibility.

Owning a dog is a two way street, and if you’re serious about wanting all the many benefits that come with being a dog owner, than you better be just as familiar with the massive amounts of responsibility that also comes with owning a dog.

Relax, the realities of dog ownership are not so onerous that it would turn most people off the idea altogether, but it’s certainly worth considering so you can fully understand how a dog will fit into the big picture of your life.

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To help you better understand how dog ownership could play out, we’ve compiled a quick and dirt guide to dog ownership, so you can see what it takes and better understand how you and your new dog will get along.

Evaluation

The first thing you should do is take a good long hard look at your life and determine, with complete honesty, if you have the time and dedication to bring a dog into your life. Remember, when doing so, it’s not only important that you look at what your life looks like at the moment, but also what it’s likely going to look like down the line. You can be busy, but just be sure you can make time for your dog!

A dog is a commitment you are taking on for the entirety of that dog’s life, and it should not be taken lightly. If you feel you’re at a transitional phase of your life, it may be best to wait until things are a little more predictable. You and your future dog will thank you for it.

Paperwork

Responsible pet owners will take the actual job of buying a pet and establishing ownership very seriously. The first step in all of this is going to be finding a reputable individual or institution that you can count on getting a dog from.

It may seem easy to save a buck up front by buying a dog for cheap, but the reality is that dogs born and raised in adverse conditions may be sick, or else suffer in other ways that will affect their quality of life. By getting a dog through an irresponsible sources you risk getting a more sickly dog, not to mention the fact that you’re supporting an institution that may be treating dogs in an irresponsible and often inhumane manner.

Not all the due diligence happens before you purchase your dog. Everything including spay-neuter agreements, health guarantees, and terms of co-ownership should be thoroughly documented and then kept somewhere safe. It is also your responsibility to register your dog if at all necessary.

Physical Preparations

You’ve done the soul searching and paperwork, now it’s time for a little bit of fun. You have to purchase all the equipment that is going to owning a dog just a little bit easier. True, this step can be a little expensive, but so owning a dog is expensive in general. Cost should be a major consideration you make before you decide to purchase a dog, and it’s safe to say if you’re struggling with this step you may not be able to make expensive payments down the road.

With that being said, this part really can be a great deal of fun. Take time to find the right collar that will compliment your new dog or puppy’s personality. Find a set of food and water bowls, or a proper dog crate that will get you excited to bring your dog home for the first time. All that really matter is that you make sure you have everything you’ll need so you’re not scrambling last minute.

If you’re not sure what you’ll need, check out online resources where you’ll quite easily be able to find a comprehensive checklist.

Training

People that don’t own dogs think of training as teaching your dog to sit and shake hands. The reality is that training encompasses the whole breadth of your dog’s behavior, and it is your responsibility as a pet owner to be sure that you dog is properly trained.

The first part of training is another fun part of getting a dog. You get to decide your new dog’s name! Pick a good one, and then start the process of teaching your dog to properly respond to their name.

Then start house breaking your dog. The sooner you can teach this the less stressful life will be for both you and your dog. Getting a new dog requires a lot of patience, so just be sure to remember that during the more difficult times. It’s all worthwhile in the long run!

Another huge part of training is introducing your dog to the people in your life, and just as importantly to other dogs. Your dog must be socialized, or else you risk having a dog display antisocial and potentially risky behavior when confronted with other people and dogs.

A huge part of socialization is getting to know your dog yourself! Each dog has its own personality just like people, and getting to know them is what makes your dog your dog. Enjoy it, and don’t forget to be a friend.

Final Thoughts

There are many considerations to make before you buy a dog, during the process of obtaining your dog, and in all the years that will come after, too. Through it all, though, you’ll be happy you did because there’s no friendship like that you share with your dog.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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