10 Tips for becoming a dog owner

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There are SO many things to know about dogs before you finally decide to adopt one. All pets are a big commitment but they can definitely change your life in a fantastic way. After a while your dog will become an inseparable part of the family – just like my cats are to me. 

If you haven’t had any prior experience with dogs, there are a few things you might want to know before you head to the RSPCA, because living with a dog and training your furry friend can be a long process! Let’s have a look at some of the most important things to know about your future dog:

  1. Dogs are like big babies. They are instinctive beings. They also have very simple desires and can be really vocal if these desires are not met. They require you to be a strong pack leader, as well as the provider of food and shelter. If you’re the one making the choices and imposing the discipline, you won’t have any issues when the dog grows up.
  2. Do not underestimated the power of walking your dog. It is crucial for your dog to stay healthy and is a great remedy for almost anything. It will keep your dog in good shape, it helps it reduce tension and aggression, it allows your pet to socialise with other animals, and it builds a connection between you both.
  3. Be consistent especially during training and the puppy years. In fact, your consistency is the most important trait needed to train a dog and to build discipline. Without that discipline, you will have an untrained wild animal on your hands!
  4. Dogs are heavily reliant on their senses. Before you make any contact with it, make sure it sniffs you and establish a connection that way. These senses also play a big part during training as dogs can be confused when the environment changes. Always try to do your training in the same place so that the dog can adapt its senses to it and get comfortable enough to take in the things you are teaching it.
  5. Love is crucial for the development of a dog. This also means showing tough love when needed. If you start petting your dog right after it has soiled the couch, the dog will think that this is acceptable behaviour. Use your love to show dog the right way during training.
  6. Breed is very important. Before you get a dog, make sure that this dog breed suits your needs and your own character. If you get a dog that is full of energy and you don’t like going out, this can pose a big issue for both of you.
  7. Adapt walks to your dog. In lovely weather you may find that walks take longer and are more enjoyable for you both. But if your pet hates rain or snow, don’t force it to stay out for longer than needed.
  8. Never leave your dog in a parked car. This is a very warm space and it is even warmer for dogs due the hair. Furthermore, lack of space can make it claustrophobic and can lead to dehydration.
  9. If your dog has short hair you might want to consider getting some clothes for your pooch in the winter. It may seem silly, but your short-haired pet will feel the cold more than long-haired breeds.
  10. Be careful when it comes to diet. It is necessary to have a strict schedule. This will help you predict dog’s needs and when it has to go out to ‘visit the loo’ etc. This is especially crucial during puppy potty training so keep feeding times regular.

I hope these suggestions are helpful if you’re thinking about adopting a dog, and if you really wish to dive into the subject of puppy potty training, I recommend this handy guide: How to Potty Train a Puppy Fast: The Ultimate Guide. Let me know your own tips for taking care of your pooch by leaving me a comment below 🙂


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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