Getting a new dog is an exciting life event. We can all fall in love with a cute little puppy. With the joy comes responsibility. Before we take on the commitment of a new dog we have to understand that we have an obligation to him and to our community. We have to be prepared to care for our dog in such a way that he is safe, secure, well-fed and healthy. We also need to consider our neighbors and the environment
Support Animal Shelters
There are a number of reasons you should consider giving a shelter dog a home. Generally they cost less than buying a dog from a breeder. They will normally already have had complete medical checks and all necessary vaccinations. They will often already be microchipped. Dog shelters are full of beautiful dogs just waiting for a new owner to love.
But the overwhelming reason to adopt a dog from a home is because you will be saving a life. Sadly, compared to the number of dogs entering shelters, too few are adopted. This means that each year in the United State 2.7 million dogs are euthanized.
Have Your Dog Neutered
When you get your new dog, one of the most important decisions you will make is to have it spayed (removing the ovaries) or neutered (removing the testicles) These procedures bring lifelong changes of behavior in the animal and they will be far less likely to wander. There are health benefits for your animals. Spaying a female dog helps prevent breast cancer and uterine infections. It helps reduce the number of stray animals. Stray dogs can harm wildlife and cause motor vehicle accidents.
Look After Your Dog’s Health
Just like you, your dog will need regular health checks. You need to manage flea, tick and worm infestations. Pay attention to his oral health and take care of his paws and nails. He will need regular grooming. He needs nutritional food and a supply of fresh, clean drinking water.
Play With Your Dog At Regular Intervals
Your dog needs daily exercise. Exercise is essential for his physical and mental health. Taking your dog to a dog park will give them an opportunity for socialization. Exercising and playing with your dog will also be good for your own health and you will be creating a strong bond with each other.
Train Your Dog Properly
Invest in teaching your dog how to behave. Use the principles of positive reinforcement to teach him the life skills he needs to fit into his new home. Proper training will avoid behavior problems. It will open communications between you and your dog so that he understands what is required of him. Avoid punishing your dog but encourage him to do the right thing by praising and rewarding him
Clean Up After Your Dog
Cleaning up after your dog is a courtesy to your community. Stepping in a pile of dog poop is a very unpleasant experience. Dog poop can contain bacteria and parasites will infect other dogs.
Keep Your Dog Safe And Secure
Your dog should live in a safe secure environment. He should be protected fromexternal harm. This means he shouldn’t be allowed to roam freely where he is liable to be hit by a motor vehicle or even be taken by a dog thief. He needs to be protected from other aggressive dog s which could harm him.
Get Your Dog Microchipped
Getting your dog microchipped is a no-brainer. It is a simple procedure which causes minor discomfort at the time. If your dog is lost, a microchip will greatly increase his chance of being returned to you.
consider an older dog
If you get an older dog there are no size surprises. Small cuddly puppies can grow in to large dogs.
Older dogs are often house-broken and many times they will already be trained.
They are usually calmer than puppies.
Puppies grow in to older dogs anyway and you may be saving a life.