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Guide for Owning and Taking Care of Your Dog

Bernese Mountain dog

Bernese Mountain dog

Owning a puppy is one of life’s little pleasures. However, adding a puppy to the family can often feel like one of those Pinterest fails where the reality is far, much different from what you envisioned. Your head is probably filled with a lot of fantasies of adorable fun-filled moments playing fetch at the park and taking long walks around the neighborhood, but in reality, you might be in for a lot more than you signed up for.

So many people want to have a cute little puppy as a companion. But if you are thinking of bringing one of these furry friends home, think carefully about the decision you are making. Once you’ve made the decision to add a puppy to the family, you’ve committed to caring for him and making thoughtful decisions about his well-being.


From the countless hours, you have to spend house training to pretty much having to clean up after your pooch's mess, one thing's for sure, owning a pup is a lot of work.


But as it turns out, owning a pup doesn’t have to be that hard. This guide will reveal some awesome puppy care tips that’ll make your work a lot easier, and a few tips on how to become a good dog owner.

puppy

puppy

New Puppy Checklist

Food

The first thing on your checklist should actually be what you're going to feed your puppy. However, when it comes to feeding dogs, you have to be extremely careful with the portions. The misconception is that all dogs eat 3-4 times a day but that's only for young pups. When they are 6 to 12 months, you can cut back the portions to two feedings a day.

Dog Nail Trimmer

Nail trimming is an essential part of grooming your dog. So to ensure that his nails don’t crack, you will have to trim his nails regularly.


Bed

This may sound like a lot, especially if you’re just fine with sharing your bed with your furry friend, but a bed is without a doubt an important purchase nonetheless. However, puppies are generally quite the playful and can, therefore, rip apart the bed in the process.

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

Therefore, when buying a bed, you should first determine that it is indestructible and made with a dog's nature in mind. You should also ensure that the bed's internal material is sturdy enough, just in case your pooch decides to dig a hole in the bed.

Collar

A collar is an essential safety precaution that gets you reunited with your pooch if he ever gets lost. Keep in mind though that puppies grow extremely fast, and so it is important to adjust the size of the collar as it gets bigger.


Bristle Brush

Playing and rolling over on the carpet and couch, training all day, and negligence will often leave your furry friend’s fur tangled and matted. If you want your pooch’s fur to look well-groomed and shiny, you will need to brush his coat regularly. However, dogs have different types of coats and so it is important to find out which brush works best for your dog.


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Furthermore, you also need to figure out what food your new pup is currently eating. The vast majority of dogs will eat just about anything you bring to the table, but as a caveat, you should avoid switching their food instantaneously. Rather, continue feeding him what he has been having and then gradually introduce other diets with time.

Preparing to Be a Dog Owner

Recognize the commitment

Before finally bringing your furry friend home, recognize the responsibility that he brings. Are you ready for the financial implication having a pup will have on your finances? Are you emotionally vested in owning a pup?

And the most important question: are you ready for the time commitments that this adorable little chunk of joy requires?

American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

Evaluate Your Lifestyle

Keep in mind that dogs are dynamos. This goes for any dog and most especially puppies. So you'll need to think of the type of dog that will best suit your hobbies, personality, and activities before you decide on a breed.

Choose a Breed

Thorough preparation and research are the keys to success when scouting for a suitable puppy. Some breeds are easier to feed, breed and maintain. Others are a bit difficult and aggressive. Choose the breed that best suits your needs and preferences.

Ask Questions

The idea behind asking questions is to get to know more about puppies and more specifically the puppy that you want to take home. Here are some common pre-adoption questions that you need to ask:

  • Has the puppy been adopted before?
  • Does the puppy have any pre-existing health conditions?
  • Is the pup housebroken?
  • What are the breed’s practices?
Pitbull terrier

Pitbull terrier

Committing to Dog Ownership

Get It in Writing

When adopting or buying a puppy, owners have to ensure that all details pertaining to the sale or adoption are put down in writing. It should be noted that you paid this much, that there are terms of co-ownership and that there are certain health guarantees you should expect. The contract should also include instructions on what to do if things just don’t work out as planned.


Get your Papers

Now that you have the adoption or sale in writing, it's time to get the papers. And in this regard, we are talking about the AKC registration application which your breeder should fill out and sign.


Dog Registration

In addition to getting the papers, you need to send your completed application to the AKC so that your pup can become part of the nation’s largest registry and have an opportunity to participate in performance events.


If you enjoyed reading this article check out the second part Guide for Owning and Taking Care of Your Dog Part 2

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Adriel Ananiel

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