Preparing to rescue your first dog is an exciting time in your life. You are about to make a great decision that will have a positive impact on your family and your future. When you rescue a dog, you are gaining a friend for life. However, owning a dog is more than just going for walks and playing around the house. It is a responsibility that can come with its fair share of challenges. Here are three essential things to know if you are a first-time dog owner.
#1 - They Get Into Stuff
Dogs, especially young puppies, love to get into spaces they aren’t supposed too. This includes the garbage, the bathroom, your closet, and anywhere else there is food or even a scent that piques their interest. You may have seen videos online of dogs getting in trouble for their misdeeds. While they may seem amusing, this is no laughing matter. If your new dog eats the wrong thing, it could get very sick. If left alone for too long, it could end up destroying something expensive, such as your couch or shoes.
Before bringing home your new dog, do a full sweep of the house. Pick up things like the bathroom trash cans off the floor and make sure doors to bathrooms or closets are closed. If you live with kids, be sure they understand the importance of not leaving food lying around. As for your furniture and other belongings, try to keep your dog contained in whatever room of the house you are in. Slowly, as they get more comfortable, you can allow them to enter rooms unattended.
#2 - They Need Discipline
It’s very easy to want to spoil your brand new puppy because of how cute and adorable they look. Since they don’t know any better, you may be inclined to avoid disciplining them when they do something wrong. If you do not establish right from wrong at the start, they will grow up thinking they can do whatever they want. As difficult as it may be, they need to learn what they can and cannot do in your home.
Whatever type of training regime you choose to adopt, be sure to be consistent. You cannot sometimes scold them for going to the bathroom in the house, and let it go other times. When you find they have done something like get into the trash or tear up pieces of paper, they must understand what they have done. You cannot yell at them one minute and then turn around and cuddle them the next.
#3 - They Get Sick Just Like Us
Dogs can get sick just like we do. The only difference is, they are not able to tell us about it. This is why you must remember to take your new canine to the vet on a regular basis. Oftentimes they will need to take medicine for fleas, heartworms, and allergies. Be sure to monitor their bathroom habits to ensure they are regularly going and not experiencing issues like diarrhea. Keep track of their eating habits as loss of appetite could mean something is wrong.