- in Dog Grooming
Whether you are buying a puppy or getting one from a shelter, it is important to know what you are getting into. Puppies are indescribably adorable, and for that reason, many dog owners have acquired their pets without fully thinking through the decision.
While the results of those snap decisions are sometimes positive, in all too many cases, those once cute puppies end up in shelters, on the streets, and in other bad situations. If you do not want to add to the unwanted pet population, do yourself a favor and think about the lifetime care needs of your new puppy before you decide to add a new four-legged friend to your family.
One of the most important but least understood aspects of pet ownership in general, and dog ownership in particular, is the time commitment required. You may already know that owning a pet can be expensive, and you may have even budgeted for the inevitable vet bills and quality dog food. What you may not realize is that your new puppy will need your time as much, or even more, than your money.
Take Charge Of Your Schedule
If you are planning to bring a puppy into your home, you will need to think about how you can reorganize your schedule to make the most of the time you do have available. You cannot add more hours to the day, but you can make every one of those hours count through judicious use of your organizational skills.
You might want to keep a diary for a few days to find those lost minutes that could be devoted to walking the dog, playing with the puppy and cleaning up after your new pet. Something as simple as taking the puppy along on your daily walk or combining putting out the garbage and cleaning up the yard could make a big difference, and greatly reduce the disruption that would otherwise occur.
Get The Family Involved
If you have kids, chances are they want a puppy just as much, if not more, than you do. Taking care of a pet is a wonderful way to teach responsibility to kids, so do not be afraid to ask your children for help. The kids can help with everything from taking the puppy for a walk and cleaning up after it to keeping the food dish filled and the water bowl clean.
You may need to keep a close eye on your kids to make sure everything gets done, and you may need to pick up the slack once in awhile. As the kids get more responsible, however, you should find that the amount of work you need to do is somewhat lessened.
Set Your Alarm Clock
Housetraining a puppy can be a real struggle, and many first-time dog owners find the task more difficult than they anticipated. One of the most important factors in successful housetraining is keeping a regular schedule, and being in sync with your puppy will make the task a lot easier.
Once you have established a daily schedule, try to stick to it as closely as possible. Even if it means waking up 30 minutes earlier, you would rather spend that half hour walking your puppy than cleaning your carpets or floors.
The Importance Of Play Time
Puppies love to play, and there are times when they will happily play by themselves. Even so, it is important to schedule play time with your new puppy, so don't forget about the fun.
Puppies learn to socialize through play, so having fun with your new addition is good for you - and for your dog. Whether it is throwing a ball in the back yard, playing a game of hide and seek or just rolling around on the floor, the time you spent playing with your dog can be very rewarding.
Put Everything In Its Place
Your new puppy will explore every nook and cranny of your home, so puppy-proofing and organizing your home is essential. Take the time to clear away the clutter and put things up on shelves, and always remember that if your puppy can reach it, he will treat it like a toy.
Last but not least, it is important to make sure someone will be home with your new puppy for most of the day. Puppies need a lot of care and attention, and more time you can spend with your new friend, the better.
You do not have to quit your job to care for your new puppy, but rearranging your schedules to some degree can help a lot. Simply making sure your kids come right home from school to take the puppy for a walk can make housetraining easier and get your new puppy off to a great start.
Welcoming a new puppy into your home is a wonderful thing to do, but it is important to be prepared. Understanding the care needs of your new puppy and recognizing that you are making a decade-long commitment will help you see pet ownership for what it really is.