Everything you need to know before getting a dog
People who want to get a dog run into many questions. Especially if this is their first dog. Purebred or mongrel? At a breeder or shelter? Can you understand what kind of character the dog will have?
We asked a professional veterinarian to share what you need to know before becoming a dog’s mum/dad.
A boy or a girl?
When deciding on the puppy’s sex, keep in mind that each of them has personal unique characteristics of the character. Bitches are more affectionate, calm, and obedient, however, they come into heat twice a year. In the absence of mating, false pregnancies can occur, the consequences of which can sometimes be eliminated only by a veterinarian. Normal pregnancy and childbirth are also very responsible matters, especially since some dog breeds have problematical childbirth.
Make sure to be aware that you will become a dog owner
Not everyone can keep a dog at home. Consider if your lifestyle allows you to have an animal that requires a lot of attention, time, and money.
If you need to keep the wallpapers and furniture in perfect condition, well, bad news. Change your priorities or don’t get a dog.
If you work a lot and spend little time at home, think twice. But now with all the working from home, doggos are the happiest creatures on earth. Either way, don’t let your dog get bored, as this can cause aggressive behavior. Many people have dogs at a time when a child is to join the family. But can you handle the double load?
Not only the dog needs to be fed. It should be given dog food only. Even the most exotic and nutritious human cuisine is not good for our little friends. You need to either cook for it separately or buy ready-made feed.
Are you a traveler? You can always create one of those travel blogs with your dog, but keep in mind that it’s not the same as traveling alone, and even though dogs have been living side by side with us humans. In many countries, it’s hard to find accommodations where dogs are allowed.
Shortly, be aware that the dog will change your lifestyle.
What is the purpose of you having a dog in the first place?
That is a very straightforward question, but if you get an honest answer from yourself, you and your doggo will be a lot happier together. Sadly many people get dogs, thinking they are some kind of toys. But they are not!
There are decorative dogs, hunting dogs, guard dogs, shepherd dogs. You can find online a detailed description of each breed, information about the characteristics of temperament, about the predisposition to various diseases. Also info about the attitude towards children and special needs for training.
Decide for what purpose you want to have a dog. If you are going to walk a lot with the dog in forests and fields, the dog must be quite resilient. In case you want to give a puppy to your grandmother so that she is less lonely, do not give her a large or hyperactive dog. Children are better off adopting a calm, medium-sized or large dog because the small breeds are often treated like dolls, resulting in injuries to the dogs. And if you need a dog for protection, give preference to those breeds in which protective qualities are genetically inherent. We all remember the story of the german shepherd pup, who was fired from the police for being too friendly.
Choose not only the breed but also the breeder
If you have already decided on the breed, carefully consider the place where you will get the puppy. Never buy puppies on the market or through advertisements. Find a cattery with the most relevant information on its website. It’s best if such a nursery is advised by friends whom you trust. The site should contain photos of puppies and their parents. Thus, you may already have an idea of what will grow out of your puppy.
When buying a puppy, a sales contract is drawn up, which specifies some important points. For example, it may be written there that you undertake not to transfer the puppy to third hands.
Take your puppy only from the kennel, do not meet with the breeder on the street. Look at the conditions in which the dogs are kept. Will they raise doubts in you? Only an experienced dog breeder can afford delivery from another city. If this is your first dog, don’t risk it.
The breeder must provide you with the documents for the puppy. This is, first of all, a metric in which the breed, date of birth, sex of the puppy, nicknames of the parents are registered. With this metric, you can then go to the club and register the puppy in your name. In addition to the metric, the breeder can give you a puppy’s veterinary passport, it may contain marks about the first vaccination. It is good if the passport has the stamp of the veterinary clinic, but often, to save money, breeders buy the vaccine themselves and vaccinate the puppies. Then it’s a matter of trusting the breeder.
If you need a dog, not for breeding, but the soul, choose the best “breed” ‒ a mongrel. Fair choice. Often these dogs are distinguished by good health because they have undergone rigorous natural selection. But, on the other hand, they have genes of completely different ancestors, and what kind of surprise this or that combination will present you is unknown. But no one will have a dog like yours. Watching a mongrel puppy grow and develop is a very exciting experience. Here it looks like a husky puppy, and two weeks later ‒ like a greyhound, but now the beard has either appeared or not, but the ears have risen or…
A mongrel puppy can be taken from the street, bought by the ad, taken from friends, or a shelter. Try to take a healthy puppy if you are not ready to seriously deal with its treatment.
So yes, mongrels are usually cute, but always unpredictable.
Maybe you are ready to take a dog from a shelter?
Dogs with life experience often get to the shelter. It can be grief due to separation from the owner, vagrancy, hunger, fear, or distrust of people. Of course, they are quite socialized, but as a rule, they have already passed the age when it is so important to lay the first communication skills with the owner. Much, of course, depends on the conditions in the shelter. Dogs can be kept free, and in an open-air cage for 10-20 animals, and in individual boxes. It is important who and how communicates with them, how long the dog is in the shelter.
On the other hand, if you are already taking an adult dog, then it is possible to avoid the problems that are associated with small puppies: puddles on the floor, constant destruction of shoes, wallpapers, and books.
Taking a dog from a shelter is undoubtedly an act of charity. But think about whether you are ready for it, whether you have enough strength, time, skills, desire to adapt an already formed animal to your lifestyle. And if you are confident in yourself ‒ feel free to take it.
Taking a dog from a shelter is a good thing, and a huge responsibility, but it’s worth it.
Give Your Dog Proper Education
It is necessary not only to be friends with a dog but also to practice. Even if you have neither a hunter nor a guard, the dog must still be well-mannered, know the basic commands. If you do not have sufficient dog training skills, contact a professional dog handler.
Yes, dogs are an enormous responsibility, but at the end of the day, they share so much love and happiness, that all of the moments said in this article are more than worth the try.