Thursday, March 14, 2019

5 simple things you need before bringing home your first dog by Jessica Brody

These Are the 5 Things You Need Before Bringing Your First Dog Home

You’ve been waiting for this moment for years. After searching high and low for the perfect dog, you’re ready to bring your first pet home. Or are you? Before you introduce your dog to his new home, make sure you have these five necessities.

A Pet-Friendly Place to Live

Renting with pets can be challenging. Before adopting a dog, make sure your current home allows pets and that you’re prepared to find pet-friendly housing if you have to move.

You should also consider the type of dog your home can accommodate. If you live in an apartment without a yard, look at small breeds who don’t need a lot of space to play. Large and high-energy breeds like Dobermans, Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers do best in homes with fenced yards where they can run. Keep in mind that not all small-breed dogs are laid back. The American Kennel Club places Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Russell Terriers, and Miniature Pinschers among the most active dog breeds.

A Great Veterinarian

Your dog’s first vet appointment won’t be long after his adoption day. If you bought a puppy or adopted a dog from an animal shelter or rescue, he may need booster vaccines to establish immunity against a number of nasty illnesses. The first vet appointment is also a good opportunity to get a prescription for flea, tick, and heartworm preventative and have your dog microchipped. If your dog isn’t spayed or neutered, schedule this important procedure as well.

Get recommendations from friends and neighbors for a great veterinarian in your area, and make sure you’re prepared for the first appointment. By establishing a relationship with a vet you trust, you can protect your pet’s health for life.

An Exercise Plan

Dog ownership completely transforms your household routines. Lazy mornings become neighborhood walks and couch potato evenings turn into backyard play sessions. While it’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot of responsibility too. If you don’t keep up with your pet’s exercise needs, it could lead to unwanted behaviors in your new pet. Have a plan for getting your dog plenty of exercise every day. If you have a family, assign exercise duties so your dog gets trips outside every few hours. If you’re running the house solo, make use of dog walkers (which can run between $18 and $22 for a 30- to 40-minute walk) to get your dog exercise while you’re at work.

Don’t forget to buy a leash and harness so you’re prepared for your first walk! While it’s still important for your dog to have a collar to carry ID tags, Whole Dog Journal explains why harnesses are better for walks.

Training Tips

Even the sweetest pooch needs training to become a well-behaved member of your household. Unfortunately, first-time dog owners often underestimate the training time commitment. As Modern Dog Magazine explains, training should happen multiple times a day, every day. And it doesn’t stop once your pet knows a few commands. To build a strong relationship between owner and pet, make training a lifelong endeavor.

As a first-time dog owner, it’s a good idea to work with a professional trainer to teach your dog basic obedience and teach you how to train your pet effectively.

Tools for Clean-Up

From muddy paws to shedding fur, dogs are messy creatures. Make sure you’re prepared for the reality of living alongside a four-legged family member by stocking up on cleaning supplies. In addition to grooming tools, you’ll want an enzymatic carpet cleaner for house-training accidents, a scooper for picking up the backyard, and a dog shampoo to minimize smells. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner that’s built to handle pet fur, this is the time to upgrade. A quality vacuum properly equipped for pet messes not only eliminates dust and fur floating around your home, it also tackles odor and reduces dander so your friends with allergies can still visit.

Every once in a while, you might discover that you’re short on time and can’t devote enough attention to all the pet hair and dander that has built up. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to bring in a team up who can whip your house back into shape. When making your budget, keep in mind that a house cleaning in the Monticello, Minnesota, area runs between $126 and $240, though a number of different factors (location, house size, etc.) will influence that price.

Adopting a dog is a big step. As much fun as it is, adding a dog to the household can also be stressful if you’re not prepared. Follow these tips before bringing your dog home and you’ll be able to spend time enjoying your new pet’s company instead of worrying about your to-do list.

Written by our UDR friend for the benefit of UDR

Jessica Brody

Thank you Jessica!