Proper dog care doesn’t just mean taking your dog for a walk occasionally, feeding them, and keeping a roof over their head. You’ll have to give your furry friend a happy and healthy life. When it comes to looking after a new dog, that’s easier said than done. Where do you even start?
Thankfully, it’s far from a stressful experience, as long as you’re willing to be patient and put the work in.
Why Adopt Instead Of Buying?
Before diving into how you can look after a new dog, it’s worth looking at how you should get your pet in the first place. There are plenty of places you can buy a dog, but these mightn’t be worth your time. Adopting a pet is much better for multiple reasons. It gives you a clean conscience and has a few other advantages:
- Avoid Cruelty – Puppy mills and other mass breeding facilities don’t treat dogs and other animals the right way. They’re seen as a product to be bred and sold on, and they’re usually treated cruelly. By adopting from a shelter, you avoid feeding into that kind of abuse. Your money won’t go toward funding animal abuse. Your pet could even be healthier.
- Additional Help – The people who work in animal shelters love and care about the animals they look after. They’ll know a lot about dogs, and can be a great resource to use. They’ll be more than happy to provide you with dog care tips and other information. Looking after a new dog is easier because of that. You could even go back to them for advice time and time again.
- More Affordable – If the above doesn’t convince you, maybe the financial aspect will. Adopting a dog costs less than buying one from a puppy mill. While adoption costs vary from shelter to shelter, they’re usually much lower than when dogs are sold for profit. You’ll save more money by adopting.
Adopting a pet is much better than buying one from a puppy mill or somewhere similar. Now that you have them, you’ll need to put effort into taking care of them. Looking after a new dog can seem tricky, but it isn’t. Outside of training them, focusing on a few areas helps. Five of these are great places to start.
Looking After A New Dog: 5 Top Tips
1. Vaccinate Early
When you’re adopting a dog from a shelter, it’s likely they’re already vaccinated, but that isn’t always the case. Ask if they are. If they aren’t, make sure you get your new dog vaccinated as soon as you can. Most vets will vaccinate at various points in an animal’s life, with their age playing a large role in this.
Usually, you’ll need to get these yearly to keep your pet healthy. Find out when their last vaccination was, if they were vaccinated, and proceed accordingly. It’ll be quick and easy to do, and there’s no reason not to do it.
2. Find A Vet
Speaking of getting your dog vaccinated, you’ll need to find a vet at some point or another. Put the effort into doing these when you get your dog. Even finding one you like before getting a new dog can be recommended. It saves you a lot of time and hassle once you actually get them.
Once you have your new pet, take them to the vet as soon as possible, and get them checked out. A complete health check might be needed. At a minimum, it gets your dog familiar with your vet and starts a file on them. You could then get notifications for when you need annual treatments.
3. Give Them The Right Diet
Have you put much thought into your new dog’s diet? You can’t simply give them whatever food you come across, and you’ll have to make sure it’s a healthy diet. Ask yourself a few questions when you’re coming up with this diet:
- Can dogs eat spinach?
- How much food should you give them?
- How often should you feed them?
- Will you give them wet or dry food?
As complicated as this seems, it’s easy to figure out. Ask your vet and similar professionals if you need advice.
4. Socialize Soon
Most dogs aren’t too social when you first get them. If you adopt from a shelter, they could’ve had negative experiences with people and other dogs. You’ll have to start socializing them early and getting them used to being around people and other animals. Since this can be a slow process, it’s best to start as soon as you can.
While you’ll need a lot of patience with this, it’s worth it. In time, they’ll be more playful with you, other animals, and people in general. Let them meet other dogs on their walks and introduce them to other people in your family. It helps a lot.
5. Get Them Neutered
As nice as it might be to have a puppy, you mightn’t want an unexpected pregnancy with your dog. Getting them neutered as soon as you get them is the best way to avoid this. While many animal shelters neuter their animals before they’re adopted, that isn’t the case everywhere.
If the dog you’re getting isn’t neutered, get them to the vet and neuter them early. It’ll offer a few other benefits other than avoiding unwanted pregnancies. It prevents some tumors from developing, and is much better for their health overall. It’s a great way to make sure they’re healthy long-term.
Looking After A New Dog: Wrapping Up
Looking after a new dog doesn’t have to be difficult. With how important taking care of them is, you’ll have to put the effort in and actually do it. Patience, a bit of time, and some work are all that’s needed for it. Add in a bit of training, and there’s nothing to worry about.
Your furry friend will be happy and healthy before you know it, and you’ll have a companion you know you can rely on. What’s not to love about it?