Brining up a dog is no different than brining up child. The efforts that go into both are the same. Just like how no 2 children are the same, similarly, no 2 dogs are the same either. Every dog has its unique characteristic traits and learning habit, but the essential personality characteristics of the dogs are universal. I am no expert, and, am still learning every day. I would like to share my experience with Casper and Junior and bring light to the mistakes I made in the beginning when I got Casper home. I hope this helps to anyone out there, and makes it a little easy and pre hand knowledge for first time dog parents.
As mentioned in my previous posts, I was extremely scared of dogs and accidentally I became a dog mom. Having no knowledge about the handling of dogs, I took each day as it came facing a new challenge and overcoming it. Most important, I was well versed when Junior came into the picture and it was a piece of cake to then look after him.
- Choose the breed of dog you want to bring home. Do your research or ask for advice from a vet or shelter employees. I would always suggest adopting a dog and giving a pure soul a home and family
- Be firm and prepared as the dog will spend around 15 years of his life with you’ll. See to it that everyone in the house agrees to have a dog. No one is allergic. Space, time and money also to be taken into consideration. Who will take care of the dog when you are away? Will future changes affect your dog like moving to a different state or country, getting married, having a baby, etc.
- Set the rules pre hand as to allowing him/her on the bed or in the kitchen, etc.
- Keep a collar and leash ready
- Since I do not believe in keeping dogs in crates, I never bought one. But if you intend to do so, invest in a size bigger as per the size of the dog to ensure he/she is comfortable
- Food and Water bowls should be ready. They should be given high quality food and fresh drinking water at all times. Do not begin with raw home food
- Once you get your dog, the first thing to do should be to take him/her to the vet for suggested food and vaccinations
- Normally, till 3 months and till all the vaccinations are done, puppies shouldn’t be taken out of the house to protect them from diseases like Parvo, Distemper, Tick Fever, etc.
- Puppies tend to sleep for 16-18 hours a day. So do not force play with them
- Start training them for House and obedience. There are various ways to train them. Either hire a professional dog trainer or see some YouTube Videos. But start at the earliest and establish a schedule
- When they are young, they have a lot of energy and will be teething. They will also chew on things like shoes, remote controls, wires, clothes, etc. Keep all these away from them and instead give them chewys. But make sure to keep a check on them so that they do choke on it
- Ask your vet for over the counter medicines to keep at home in case of emergencies
- NEVER get choke collars. I repeat, NEVER
- Till they are trained, a regular collar is advisable. You can shift to a harness later
- Take them for enough walks or play with them to burn their energy
- Dog do not understand guilt; as shown in many Instagram Videos or YouTube Videos. They just get scared of loud noises. They feel sad. Never shout at them, but correct them by rolling a newspaper and snapping it on some surface to just make a little noise if the dog does something that he/she shouldn’t
- In the initial days, never leave them without a leash in public places unless the recall command is strong
- Bring some safe toys for your dog
- Always keep your Vet’s number handy
- Do not ignore the dog. This may create a lot of issues. Your dog may develop separation anxiety or biting problem or anger issues
- Get his nails cut and ears cleaned timely
- Any signs of abnormality, contact the vet immediately
- Do not feed them heavy meals before a car ride or a day at the beach or park
- Keep a good boarding/lodging or day care in sight to keep your dog incase everyone in the house is going out or you are a single parent and have to go to work
- Most important, BE PATIENT!
There may be many things to keep in mind, but as you take each day, you will learn on your own. All the above may sound scary, but trust me, they are not. And compared to the love and happiness these dogs bring in our lives, no matter how much we do for them is never enough. As a first-time dog owner, this may have been a lot to take in one go. However, being equipped and more informed should help direct you in a direction that will create a long-lasting relationship with your dog – you know the one you’ve always been dreaming of!