Getting a Dog for the First Time

We’re back on the subject of dogs again today – I’m like a dog with a bone (sorry) about this subject at the moment at Make, Do and Push! Towers… Soon! In the next few months we’ll hopefully be homing a pooch, but here is an article that’s well worth reading before one commits:

Getting a dog for the first time can be a lot like bringing a new baby home, but without the stitches, shell shocked expression and breast pads. Puppies are invariably cute, and look like butter wouldn’t melt. However, they can come with a few teething issues reminiscent of new parenthood.

Before you get a dog, make sure you have done your research. Dogs are the UK’s favourite pets but they need time, money and patience. If these elements are already stretched, then it could be a step too far.

• Space – do you have room in your home for a dog? They don’t stay small for long!
• Time – a dog needs time for play and exercise, which is great for all the family.
• Finances – vet’s bills, insurance, food and equipment can soon add up. Work out if you have room in your budget.
• Patience – a puppy or even an adult dog can take time to adjust to a new family and routine. If you have an already hectic routine, it may be better to wait until things have settled down.

If you think that these factors wouldn’t be an issue, then great! It’s time to think about the next step.

Before you bring your new pet home, you will need to ensure that you have the right kit. A comfortable bed, food and water bowls and some toys are a good start. A crate is a good idea too, as it can help the dog feel secure and protect your home too. Swell Pets have an extensive, affordable range of pet equipment and food that will make your dog’s new life even easier.

A good, socially responsible way to get a new dog is to adopt one from a shelter. Far too many dogs and unwanted puppies are left in shelters all around the country, and by rehoming one, you free up space for another. A good shelter will work with you to ensure that you and the dog are well suited. Many puppies and dogs are neutered and micro-chipped at the shelter, which saves you the time and cost.

Bear in mind that a new puppy will require some sleep training, if you don’t want him to sleep on your bed. Be prepared for a few nights of pitiful crying before he gets used to his new home. If you are happy to have him sleep in your room, this can alleviate this problem. Although, expect to feel a little paw during the night!

Toilet training can be a tough problem too, much like a toddler, a puppy needs lots of patience and love whilst he learns. This can take some time to resolve, but with perseverance it can be done. Adult dogs too may need time to adapt to a new home, and could have the odd accident. Be kind yet firm to establish the new routine.

Nick, Busby and Mutti’s pooch, Basil.

A dog can soon become a valued member of the family, and provide years of love and fun for you and your children. Owning a pet promotes responsibility and caring skills in children as well as increasing exercise for the whole family. It is thought that owning a pet reduces stress levels and promotes well-being too, so there are lots of benefits to bringing a dog into your home.

They are of course a long term commitment, which is why you should put a lot of thought into the idea before you go ahead. Hopefully, before too long you will have a new furry friend to share your lives – good luck! 

*Article in Collaboration with Swell UK*

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