Lessons on Adopting a Dog

Friday, August 4, 2017

If you know me, you know that I LOVE my dogs. For this reason, you can sort of guess what this post will entail. My husband and I got our first dog around the time we got married and our second one around Christmas 2016. Just like anything new, there are a few practical lessons that I hadn't learned prior to becoming a pet owner that I wish I knew sooner. Although some of these may appear obvious, when caught up in the excitement of adopting a new family member, the following often fall to the bottom of the mental checklist. For this reason, I've decided to list some of the most common lessons that are learned after adopting a new dog. Enjoy!

1. The importance of training
My husband and I had a lot of time to spend properly training our first puppy and not as much for our second. We quickly noticed the difference in behavior between both after a few months and had to put in even more effort in correcting bad behavior. My tip concerning this would be to adopt your dog during a less busy time of the year, where you can put in the work to properly train them while they are young.

2. The cost 
Dogs are expensive. From the food that they eat to the vet bills that they generate, you will want to make sure that you set aside a budget for your dog - trust me. Looking to purchase pet insurance is also something that may be worth it if your breed of dog is prone to health issues later in life.

3. Leaving them at home
I try not to leave my dogs alone for more than a few hours. I find that dogs are like children - leave them unsupervised for a certain period of time and you will regret the mischief that they will enviably get themselves in to. Doggy day-care can help on the days where you know you won't be home for an extended period of time. My husband and I have also been pretty good at coordinating our schedules when it comes to the dogs. This is an important topic that should definitely be discussed prior to adding your new family member!

4. Socialization and Stimulation 
Going off of the last point, the truth is that dogs are easily bored - they need socialization and they need to be in nature as much as possible. Taking your dog out for regular walks, to the park, etc., needs to be a part of your routine early-on. 

5. Love
I was a total cat person prior to adopting our first dog and I was pretty skeptical on if I would truly like having a dog. Little did I know that my heart would be busting at the seams with love for my new "baby". The love you will have for your pet is truly special and makes all of the work of having them absolutely worth it. You will most likely want to bring them with your everywhere you possibly can, and you will definitely come to appreciate pet-friendly stores (check out my post about that here).

I'd love to hear about your pet!

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