You should ask yourself these questions before you take the leap!
Topics covered in this article:
Can You Commit?
Will you have the time to train and give your dog regular exercise? If the answer is no, and you have no one who can perform those essential tasks, you should stop right here and rather consider a low maintenance animal companion like a fish or hamster.
Will Your Pet Fit Your Lifestyle?
Choosing a pet based on how popular or cute it is, is probably one of the worst decisions people make. Too often these pets are unceremoniously dropped at an animal shelter when they show themselves to be too high energy, too needy, too intolerant etc. Get to know the breed you are interested in and be open to changing your mind if it doesn’t fit your ability to provide for its temperament. Ask lots of questions to the people you are adopting your pet from, maybe even find a breed specific group to ask questions to some of the members. Before getting a puppy it’s very important that you do your research wisely.
Interview Veterinarians before the Adoption
Before you have settled on the type of pet that will suit you, ask your friends for their veterinary recommendations. A veterinarian can be an excellent source of information to help you choose the best pet to suit your lifestyle and needs. This will be a lifelong relationship and as such, the choice is very important. Again, do your research. Read online reviews of the vets in your community (with a grain of salt), ask groomers in your area who they recommend, and make interview appointments with them.
Make Your Home Pet-Friendly
Did you know that something as simple as chewing gum can be deadly for dogs? It is highly important to go through your home now, before you bring a new pet home, to search out hazards and get them out of the way or out of the house. This includes cabinets at pet level, counter tops, bottles of chemicals on the floor, small toys, electric cords and curtain cords. And it doesn’t stop there.
You will also need to check your home and yard for toxic plants to dogs or cats, and if you carry a purse or bag, you will need to find and discard any potential dangers – like sugar-free gum, which often contains xylitol.
Choose an Appropriate Food for Your Pup’s Age and Breed
Not all pet foods are alike. Some are better than others, and some make claims that are not always backed by facts. It would be easy to just grab the pet food bag or can with the nicest design on the cover, but that is not what is going to guarantee our pets’ long-term health. Choose the best food for your dog and cat by looking for a balanced diet on the label. From the time they are young until the time they are seniors, your pet food choices should be guided by the pet’s specific needs, life stage, and lifestyle. You can do some cursory research to get a good idea of why it is important and what to look for, but for the best advice, consult your veterinarian.