The joy of welcoming a dog home is something that only those who have gone through it will fully understand. Having first-hand experience, we can vouch that its explicable. But it’s a huge responsibility too. A long-term commitment that we must be willing to make after evaluating our life situation. A good starting point would be our dog homecoming series. It covers all aspects that people must consider before welcoming a dog home – from preparedness to expenses and much more. For now, we’ve curated a quick checklist for new dog parents.
Find out a reliable veterinary doctor
Even before you actually welcome a dog home, its important to find out a reliable veterinary doctor and clinic not. A vet visit is one of the first things that you will anyway have to do to ensure that the dog is vaccinated. Along with vaccination getting a general check-up done is something that you can consider. References, recommendations and word of mouth are some great ways to find a reliable veterinary doctor and clinic.
Do your research to find the right dog food
Given the wide range of dog food brands available in the market, coupled with the choice to feed raw or home-cooked can sometimes be overwhelming especially for new dog parents. But worry not because your veterinary doctor or friends who have dogs can recommend a good brand of dog food. However, we suggest that you research on local pet products sites for raw, wet or dry food to find a brand that suits your pocket and your dog’s nutrition needs. For those who are keen to serve your dogs delicious home-cooked / home-made raw meals we suggest that you research for well balanced menus. Or consult a dog nutritionist to find out what constitutes a well-balanced meal for your dog factoring in their age, size, level of activities and any specific condition.
Over to bed, bowls, toys and more
While buying items like bed and leash, we suggest that you opt for a larger size and better quality as these items are designed to last for a long time. For bowls and toys our suggestion is you look for safer options good for your dog’s health and wellness. Importantly, if you are welcoming a puppy who is not toilet trained, don’t forget to add puppy pads to your list of things to buy. Here’s a forewarning, those puppy eyes will always melt your heart but stick to a low-to-moderate quota of treats.
This is something that every experienced dog parent will tell you – consider training. You can do it on your own, only if you know that right way to do it otherwise work with a trainer for a while. Training is one of the most fun exercises that deepens the dog-human bond. Also, one that is often required especially if you are welcoming a dog home who is anxious or has suffered from trauma. Obedience training is often crucial.
Set a aside a budget
Now that we are at the end of this quick checklist for new dog parents here is a word of advice. Always set aside a budget for regular and emergency expenses. Regular expenses include grooming, day care charges (should you opt for it) and vet visits for any special needs. While emergency expenses would largely include vet visits, boarding should you have to travel or relocation if you are moving to a new country.
I would emphasise the importance of training despite of being an experienced doggie owner. Refresh training session especially with a new dog may offer a solid start for the years ahead. Training is a commitment to a relationship together with an improved understanding and skills in taking care of the dog. I trust that training of the owner will limit the number of dogs ending into adoption just because the owner did not know the basics on dog handling like house breaking and obedience.
Secondly, would add the importance of having friends or a solid dog day care place. Taking care of the dog, or any pet is important too. I want to highlight this as well as it is an item to be considered in budgeting too.