Are you considering buying a dog? That’s amazing! Dogs are loyal and will keep you company their whole life. However, they are a bit like kids as they need to be taken care of and trained as well as food, toys, and gear. Read on to find our top tips for buying your first dog!
Points to consider while buying your first dog
1. Dogs are a commitment
The first thing to consider before buying a pup is: Are you ready to have a dog? Can you commit to taking care of it?
This is an essential aspect as it will make you stay with your dog throughout its lifetime. A dog needs a great deal of care and attention from you as they are very much like kids.
They need to be trained, taken out, fed, played with, and looked after since they are part of the family. You can’t just leave them on their own!
Having a dog is like having a child. They need love and give lots of it. You need to spend time with them and give them undivided attention, especially when they’re puppies.
Sometimes, you may need to leave work to come home and take care of them.
They develop a strong bond with their owners and the family they live with. If you change your mind and want to sell them, they will experience trauma. And, no pup has deserved that.
So think twice… Are you ready to commit to that for years? Maybe your entire life? Can you take care of them? If your definite answer is YES, then you’re ready to have a dog.
2. Plan your budget
This is very important since dogs can be expensive. They have to be trained, fed and made to adjust to your home environment. The price also depends on the breed and personality traits of the dog.
So, what does a dog cost? The difficult answer is that it depends. Typically a purebred puppy cost between $500 minimum to $1500 minimum. If you choose to get an adult dog when you are buying your first dog that might be a cheaper alternative. That is especially true if you adopt or go through a shelter.
If you prefer a mixed breed dog, the price range can also vary greatly. Some mixed breeds are both quite popular and somewhat rare with prices reaching $2000 and more.
3. Deciding on the Type of Dog
Ok, so you are ready to be a dog owner. Now comes the question: What type of dog do you want?
Are you looking for a loyal companion, a watchdog, hunting buddy, show dog, agility athlete, etc.?
Remember that different types of dogs have different needs. For instance, terriers are energetic and need more exercise while Labradors are more laid-back and love the couch more than playing fetch with their owners. Breeds within the group may also vary in temperament and activity level.
Finding the right dog is very important. Determining the right breed will significantly impact your life.
4. Picking your dog (and your dog’s breed)
You may know the name of your dog before you buy it, but what is its breed? It’s a known fact that a certain breed has a specific personality and temperament. They also require a lot of attention and training.
So, before going for a dog, you need to have some knowledge about the different breeds and their characteristics. You will have to research on how many traits they have, as well as their health problems.
Activity level: Describe your lifestyle and enjoyments. Determine whether your new addition will fit in with you or suit another household’s needs better.
Maybe you want a small dog breed like Chihuahuas or prefer species that like to cuddle and are super-sweet like Pugs or Golden Retrievers.
Different breeds have different needs, so make sure you choose the one that best fits your lifestyle. For example, if you work long hours or tend to go for a drink with your colleagues or friends after work, you should go for breeds that can stay at home alone like Maltese, Greyhound, or Pug. Likewise, if you have small kids at home, you should go for Pug, Golden Retriever, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or a Bulldog.
5. Describe your lifestyle and enjoyments.
Determine whether your new addition will fit in with you or suit another household’s needs better. size/weight: No matter how big your apartment is, will a Great Dane indeed fit in?
Think about the size of the dog and your space. You need to consider how big or small they are; therefore, finding out what size they can grow to is essential in selecting them for purchase.
6. Your Home Must Be Dog Proof
We can’t stress it enough that dogs are like kids, and having a safe home is one of the things both of them share. Indeed, if you want to buy a dog, you must first dog-proof your residence.
What does that mean?
It means removing anything hazardous to your dog’s life. That includes eliminating electrical cords as much as possible, having cabinet locks, houseplants placed high, a trash can that can be locked, a gate in front of the stairs, … in short, keeping away anything that may harm your dog.
The best way to take care of your puppy is to constantly monitor it since dogs are unpredictable and can do the thing you least expect.
7. Dogs Need a Lot of Care
Yes, dogs do need A LOT of care! They need to be fed healthy and nutritious food, kept on a leash, so they don’t get lost until they are small and still not trained, ensuring a safe environment at home and taking them to a vet.
Since the vets are their doctors, you have to make sure you choose the right one. Please make sure they are professional, certified/licensed, knowledgeable, have a clinic or ambulance equipped with everything necessary, and preferably close to your home.
Once you find the best vet for your pup, you must take it for physical examination and vaccination whenever needed. This will benefit their health since the vet will thoroughly inspect them and suggest the right supplements.
8. Dogs Need Vaccinations
Yes, your puppy needs vaccinations to protect its health.
Your home-raised pup will need vaccines to protect them from life-threatening diseases like distemper and parvovirus.
These two viruses are extremely dangerous to pups.
So, your dog will need this vaccination twice a year until they are old enough to have adult shots for rabies. Also, puppies require shots for kennel cough every three months until they are fully immunized at 16 weeks of age.
9. Dogs Need to Be Trained
If you choose to buy a small pup, you will have to train them. This includes training how to behave at home and out of it.
You will have to learn all the commands they need—which means implementing them into their everyday life, which could be hard work if they don’t understand what you’re saying.
You will also have to train them on how to behave in public places like parks and other public areas. This is important for your safe navigation around the city.
One of the first things you have to teach them is where to… do their business
Also, you need to train them on where they can and can’t go around the home and in the yard (if you live in a house). And, of course, you need to train them how to behave around other people and animals, especially dogs and cats.
Be careful though, training a dog properly takes time and it comes with patience.
10. Dogs Can Make a Mess
Yes, they do, so you better be prepared to face that mess! They may chew your shoes and slippers, scratch the furniture surface, rip your clothes and curtains, and much more. A real mess!
While they need to be trained to teach them the proper behavior, you also have to be prepared to cope with the mess at first. This means hiding everything you can hide, like clothes and shoes, and making sure the drawers, cabinets, and closets are locked so that your pup can’t reach them. Still, you must be ready to cope with any mess they make.
11. Dog Food & Supplements
The next two considerations in buying a dog are: Dog food & supplements. This involves making an important decision: What should I feed my new pup? Do I choose dry kibble-based food or canned food?
Please make sure you buy food that is right for the breed and their age and high quality. It’s best to buy it from reliable stores, preferably specialized for pet food.
Nowadays, you can find several types of dog foods. The quality of the food is highly dependent on the ingredients it contains, its brand, and your dog’s needs.
Considering that there are different types of dogs with different nutritional needs, you need to buy dog food that is suitable for your pet. If you are not careful in choosing the food, you could be subjecting your furry friend to serious health problems.
Do you know that some pet foods contain dangerous chemicals? These include preservatives like ethoxyquin (chemical preservative used primarily to protect fats (or fish oil), BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene).
12. Buy Toys to Keep Them Happy and Healthy
If you want to keep your pup happy and healthy, you must buy toys for them. This will help them burn energy and engage in activities like jumping and running around. This is very important since it keeps them physically and mentally active even when you can’t play with them.
Pet accessories your dog must-have. They include a leash, adjustable collar with ID tags, a bowl, bed, toys, crate, brush, comb, or a grooming mitt.
13. Protect Your Dog from Extreme Temperatures
If you are living in an area that suffers from extreme temperatures, you need to ensure that your dog can survive at all times during the day without suffering from heat exhaustion.
It will also help you avoid scaring yourself when stepping outside in winter or wearing a heavy coat at night during summertime.
You just got a lot to consider before buying your first dog. While this may not be an easy choice it will ensure your furry friend’s healthy, happy, and long life. This is the best way to assure your dog’s safety and health.
As you can see, choosing the right dog is not hard at all… All you need is to find one that suits your lifestyle and meets his/her needs. These factors will help you find the right pet for their type and age.
Now it is your turn! Do you have any advice on dog nutrition? If so, please share it below.