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Have you been thinking about getting a puppy and you have never had a dog before? We know the amount of information can be overwhelming and with time you realize raising a puppy is not as complicated as it sounds. Of course, it is better to be prepared, so we thought to help you with our easy to follow guidelines when it comes to getting a new pup!
Your energy, your dog’s energy. Choose a breed that will match with your energy.
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Do you love hiking, taking long walks and being out in nature? Then a high energy dog would be a good partner in that! However, this applies for weekdays as well, so if you have a busy office job, you need to hire a company or ask a friend to take your dog out every day for at least 2 hours. Some breeds even require more.
Some people think having a garden can sort out this issue, which is partly true. Young dogs need constant stimulation, taken out to green areas to learn about the world especially when they are young. Taking them out helps with socializing, getting used to other people and dogs especially.
If you are a type who prefers staying home, find a breed with a low energy.
Breeders can advise about the particular breed needs, so take your time finding of what could be the best match for you.
Also where you live is ideal for dogs? Are there any parks around? If not, how can you take your dog for a walk? All important to consider before deciding.
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Do you live on your own, or with a partner? Apart from sharing the duties a little one requires, it is also important to agree on some issues with your partner
- where will you keep a dog? (outside or inside)
- which areas of the house the dog is allowed to walk in?
- generally, what things do you allow to the dogs? Some people like having the dog next to them on the sofa, some people do not.
- how the duties around the dogs are shared? (feeding, taking the dog for a walk or out to the toilet etc)
It is better for you and also for the dog to have a clear understanding of these, an otherwise poor pouch will be confused and it will not help at early days.
A dog needs their dedicated space in the house (or outside) which should be comfortable and the right temperate (consider the climate you live in and the breed you are thinking of getting), so the puppy can rest. They will sleep a lot in the first months, so it is a good time to teach them what they can consider their bed. It is also important to teach them to get used to the crate because it serves multiple purposes such as it gives them a safe space. If you have kids, make sure the puppy has its own downtime where she/he is not disturbed. Sleeping at this age is crucial for their physical and emotional well-being.
Collar vs. harness? What type of leash?
Now, this is a confusing topic, we really do understand it. Puppies grow fast, so you might need 1 or 2 sets before getting the final set that is going to be right in size for life.
When the dogs are very little, collar and leash will be just fine and when they grow bigger you can use a harness, too.
There are different types of collars and harnesses available, to choose the right one, it is good to consult with a dog trainer, or ask for advice from a professional. A good kit can make the walks easier and also to help you to train the dog.
Back to School
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If you have never had a puppy (or even if you had) it is important for you (and for the puppy) to go to school and learn or recap on the basics. The puppy training will help you with potty training, explain the importance of positive reinforcement, give you advice on common puppy issues like chewing. Yes, you will need a lot of toys to help your puppy with teething.
To choose the right school, always call and ask what method they use, also you can visit one of the classes for free and decide if you like it. It is also a good idea to ask some dog owners around to see what they recommend.
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Can not be a more controversial topic but crucial to touch it. The first year you need to use puppy food then you can change it to an adult’s food. It is good to consider the breeders advise on this if you have not done your research yet.
There are multiple brands out offering dry food, wet food, raw food.
It is your choice which one you end up using but consider the following:
- check the ingredients. Your dog thrives on protein, check how much the meat content is in the food. The more the better and the more natural the better!
- alternate food for your dog, so she/he is exposed to more protein sources. In these case, you can avoid the chance of developing an allergy to certain proteins.
- your budget will determine your choice greatly but still, try to find the best option possible.
- unfortunately, there are not many vets who studied pet’s nutrition. It is an overlooked topic, but we believe many problems arise from what the dog is fed with. So if you stick to having a good, natural food, you do the best you can.
- if you choose to feed your dog with raw food, make sure you have enough space in the freezer and keep a good sanitary routine when handling the food.
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Choose your vet wisely. It is going to be a place where you have to go regularly and ideally it is the place where your pup is treated with attention, care and love. If you have any doubts about the treatment you get, go to another clinic.
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If you are worried about the costs that your pet may bring to your household, check the insurance companies offers. It might be worth paying it and get you cost reimbursed. Besides all these duties, do not forget to have fun, you choose a great friend for a lifetime!