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What to Know Before Getting Your First Dog

There are so many great reasons why you might want to get a dog for your household, whether it’s for your family or if you live by yourself. But before you go ahead and get a dog, especially if you’re going to be doing so for the very first time, you’ll also want to consider a few things. There’s a lot that you need to know before you go ahead and get a dog.

Being fully informed of all the things that matter will ensure that you’re doing this for the right reasons and that you’re going about it in the right way. It’s obviously not something that you want to rush into without taking the time to properly think about it first. Instead, you’ll want to consider all of the issues that matter.

We’re going to talk about all of that and more today, so read on now if you want to learn more about getting your first dog and the things you’ll want to think about before doing so.

A Dog is for Life

The first thing you should know and accept before you go ahead and choose a dog for your home is the fact that this dog will be for life. You’ll need to care for and look after this dog for as long as it’s alive, and it’s a commitment you should not be willing to break. Of course, that can be easier said than done in many cases, but at the very least you should go into this willing to look after that dog for as long as it’s alive, and you should ensure you have the capacity to do that as well.

You’ll Need to Get the Home Prepared Beforehand

Before you bring your new dog into your home, you’ll also need to make sure that the home is properly prepared and that everything is in place to take proper care of that dog too. Making sure the home is properly kitted out and everything is in place that needs to be in place will be very important. Making it safe for a dog and ensuring things that are valuable and breakable are stored away will be very important indeed. You’ll want to make sure that they have the right facilities, toys and everything else that’s needed before their arrival too.

Take the Time to Find a Good Vet

Taking the time to find a good vet who you can turn to if your pet ever has a medical issue of any kind will also be very important. It’s up to you to make sure that the right insurance coverage is in place as well. That’s another thing that you certainly won’t want to overlook. Putting all of these things in place and comparing the options out there will need to be one of the first things you do when you get your dog. It’s important to know that you’re covered in the event of your dog needing any care or medical attention in the future.

Understand the Financial Implications

One thing you will definitely need to know about and understand is the financial burden that can be placed on you when you own a dog. As we’ve already mentioned, things like vet bills and insurance need to be covered at times. And you also need to be able to cover the basic costs of things like food and grooming. These costs can add up and it’s something that you won’t want to overlook when you’re deciding whether and how to get your first dog. Crunching the numbers beforehand is usually a good idea.

Training and House Training Can be Tough

When it comes to training your dog and making sure that they understand how to live in the home, it can be tough. There will be plenty of challenges along the way and it’s not something that you’ll want to completely take for granted either. You need to make sure that you have a plan in place for how you’re going to train your dog. And because you’ve never been through the process of training a dog before, you’ll also want to make sure that you get the right professional help and assistance with the whole process too.

Socializing is Key for Them

Making sure the dog is socialized is something that’s very important too. This generally applies to their interactions with other dogs. When your dog is not socialized and never gets the chance to spend time with other dogs and to play with them, they can become fearful and aggressive towards other dogs on the occasions when they do encounter them, and that’s obviously not something you want. So spending time with other dogs, either dogs owned by people you know or simply dogs at the dog park, is something that will be highly valuable.

Be Prepared for Grooming

As we briefly mentioned above, you’ll need to think about grooming your dog and how you’ll do that. The costs associated with grooming vary depending on the kind of grooming and who you take the dog to. You should have some sort of plan in place for how you’re going to take care of the grooming of your dog. For some people, it can make most sense to groom the dog themselves at home. But for dogs that need a more specialized level of attention, it makes more sense to take them to a professional groomer instead.

Consider Practical Implications

There are lots of practical implications that come with owning a dog that you might not have considered before now. For example, taking a vacation can be more difficult, especially if you don’t want to put your dog in the kennels while you’re away. There are lots of things that you can’t do or at least have to plan ahead more for when you own a dog. That’s something that you’ll at least want to think about before you go ahead and get your first dog. You don’t want to rush into the decision and then only later realize that your lifestyle doesn’t really align with dog ownership.

Understand What to Expect from Each Breed

There are lots of different breeds of dog that you might be considering. But you have to think about it a little more deeply than simply choosing the breed that you think is most cute and visually appealing. You can find out more about different types of labrador breeds by following this link; it should give you an idea of just how much variation there is out there. Before you adopt a dog, you should know as much about their breed as possible. That way you can ensure you’re making an informed decision and won’t have regrets later.

Does the Dog Need to be Child-Friendly?

One thing to consider is whether the dog you ultimately choose is going to need to be child-friendly. If you have children in your home, you’re obviously going to want a dog that’s calm and can tolerate a lot of attention because children tend to give dogs a lot of attention. You don’t want a dog that has a short fuse and that tends to get aggressive quickly as that can have all sorts of ramifications that you probably don’t want to be dealing with.

You’ll Need to be Able to Manage Their Exercise Needs

You also need to think about whether you’re going to have all of the necessary time and energy required to manage your dog’s exercise needs moving forward. You’ll have to make sure that you’re paying attention to this as it’s not far on the dog to let their exercise levels slip below what’s required. If you can’t handle a lot of exercise and activity, you should choose a dog that needs less of that. There are breeds out there that offer a solution for all different types of lifestyle and activity levels.

Ensure You’re Getting Your Dog from an Ethical Place

The best way to get a dog is to simply adopt one from a shelter. But the problem with that option is that it doesn’t let you choose the breed that you might be looking for because not all breeds are going to be available at your local shelter. So instead, you’ll need to think about buying from a breeder. Be sure to check their background and choose an ethical breeder.

Don’t Make the Decision Lightly

Finally, you should make sure that you’re considering everything that matters and don’t rush into a decision. Adopting a dog and giving them a home is never something that should be done lightly.

Getting your first dog is a huge step as we’ve discussed at length above. So be sure to think about each of these things if you’re currently in the process of getting your first dog or at least thinking about doing so. It might be the best decision you ever make, so take the time to consider each of the matters above.