Adopting a dog is the best feeling in the world! There are so many different breeds and personalities to choose from, and so many gorgeous dogs to adopt. Therefore being prepared before you welcome a new dog into your home, is essential. So here is the PetnPony guide to adopting your new four-legged best friend.
A particularly important step, you need to make sure you have space, attention, and proper care in place. This, of course, varies with every Dog Breed, and dog individually too. For an in-depth guide to choosing the right dog for you, head to our: What Dog Breed Is Right For Me? Blog to review each Dog breed and find the perfect dog for you
In 2016 the RSPCA rescued 129,602 animals (dogs, cats, horses etc.) only 46,949 of them were rehomed. Rehoming an animal is brilliant as they get a new shot at life and you get a friend that will love you forever, check out these sites for animals up for adoption near you:
A Dog, or any animal for that matter, is a lifelong commitment. You need to make sure before you buy the dog that you can pay for any emergency vet bills, leaders, collar/harnesses, good dog food, grooming: The list is extensive. Although dogs are fantastic, just like a human child, there is a large list of expenses that have to be factored in too, although if you can afford a dog the cost shouldn't deter you from getting a dog, as it is definitely worth it.
Dogs can be unpredictable you don't know what they might do next, so its good to be prepared in case your beloved pooch takes off in the opposite direction. First of all, by law, your dog must be microchipped by the time it's 8 weeks old, this means if your dog ever does get lost, it can be easily returned to you. However, it is also a mandatory requirement for your dog to wear a tag with your name and address when it a public space, whether it is microchipped or not.
Brushing your dog is important and, depending on the breed, can need to be done every day! Brushing your dog is a great way to prevent shedding, stop matting and to help keep your dog's coat in brilliant condition. Bathing your dog is also important but should be done less frequently, like once a month, to prevent your dog's skin from drying out. However, if your dog has a skin condition you should follow your vet's advice on bathing your dog. In regards to nail clipping and trimming their fur, it is best to send your dog to a professional groomer to make sure everything is neat and tidy, and that you don't trim their nails too far.
A good food can help your dog maintain a balanced diet, stay healthy and give them a good range of nutritional goodness, but you must make sure you feed your dog the correct food for their size, health, and age. A dainty chihuahua has different nutritional needs than a Saint Bernard! Also as much as the odd sausage or chunk of steak won't hurt, it's best to keep human foods away from dog's as many foods including chocolate, avocado, and grapes. Stick to doggie treats or try baking some homemade treats, with doggie safe ingredients!
Dogs need exercise and daily walks to keep them fit and healthy. At least one good long walk or two average sized walks a day is recommended, and an interactive game, even just playing a quick game of chase with their favourite toy on the nights to keep them entertained. Speaking of toys, Dog's both need and love stimulation. Giving them their own toys means they can keep themselves occupied and happy even when you can't play with them.
But dogs are never content with their toys, especially puppies. Puppies love to chew everything and anything, you are going to want to dog-proof your house, move cleaning equipment up high and store it away; keep all doggy treats and food in a secure out of the way location and anything of value or anything you don't want them chewing, keep up a height.
Training a puppy is essential, whether to house train them or just the simple sit/stay commands, it teaches them the rules of the house what to do and what not to chew. Dogs of any age do not react well to negative reinforcement, instead of learning they will just become scared of you, so positive reinforcements such as belly rubs or small treats to help your dog learn what he needs to. Check out our blog on how to Train your Dog for more help!
Flea, worm and tick prevention is an incredibly important part of being a pet owner. Make sure you check for fleas and worms and use a flea and worm prevention medication every 8-12 weeks. And check your dog after every strange dog interaction to make sure they haven't picked up any fleas that the stranger might have had. If you keep up to date on flea medication your dog should have a very slim chance of getting fleas.
Your dog is family, they crave love, attention and companionship. You are as much their best friend as they are yours. Take good care of them and they will love you dearly.