Bonding Tips for Dog Owners


JUNE, 2018

For those who are new pet owners or who are planning on taking the first steps toward bringing a dog into their family, there are several considerations. First, you want to carefully consider the breed or size of the dog that is best for you and your family. Next, you want to takes steps to ensure that your home and you are ready for the new addition. Each of these concerns are easily addressed with a well-thought-out plan. Avoiding an impulsive decision to adopt a dog is the first step to ensuring a good fit at your home.

Understanding the obligation

Dog ownership is a serious obligation. There will be expenses and time commitments that you shouldn’t take lightly. Before you adopt, take a good look at your life and see how a dog will fit into it. If you are considering adopting a puppy, you be prepared for months of training. If your dog is older, although you may not have to housetrain the dog, you will still have to invest the time into obedience training on some level. Although older dogs often know basic commands, they will not regard you as their master until you establish a training regimen.

Beyond training, dog ownership affects your schedule. Vacations can no longer be taken on a whim – kennel or babysitter arrangements are necessary. If you work far from home, think of how much time the dog is going to have to wait inside while you spend hours away from home.


Finding the right dog

If the commitment of having a dog in your home for his life sounds good to you, then move on to the next stage and decide what kind of dog is best for you. With adopted dogs, you have less ability to pick and choose breeds and often the dogs are mixed breeds and even then it’s difficult to know your dog’s genetics precisely. You can generalize based on size and physical characteristics. A small dog with a short nose is not going to enjoy long walks and will also not be able to spend long hours locked up in the house due to a small bladder.

A large dog is going to require more space and a considerable amount of exercise. Some breeds such as a Labrador retriever mix are muscular and will be happiest with frequent long walks. These dogs make excellent running partners that can help keep you in shape as well.

If your new dog is a senior animal, you will be facing some additional challenges, but also some great advantages in having less training to deal with at first. A senior dog might have physical problems such as weak legs, joint problems, incontinence or other issues. Be patient and caring and speak to a veterinarian about how to best alleviate the dog’s discomfort.


Preparing your home for your dog

In order to ensure that your home is dog friendly, do a thorough walk-through from the dog’s potential perspective first. Look for anything that the dog would be tempted to chew and make sure that lower kitchen and bathroom cabinets do not contain anything poisonous. Dogs often like to dig through kitchen garbage bins, so make sure yours has a sturdy cover.

Be prepared for your dog to take several weeks before he is fully acclimated to your home.


Bonding with your new dog

The first few weeks of dog ownership is the best time to establish a good rapport between you and your dog. Spend as much time as you can playing together and training. Go over all of the basic commands, but pay special attention to the heel command, which is helpful if your dog ever gets out from under your control in public.

Adopting a dog is a serious decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Start with a plan, make sure you know what you are getting into and then spend the necessary time getting to know your dog while you teach him the rules of life.


Photo Credit: Pixabay

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