Before Getting Your First Pet Dog, Here Are 7 Things You Need To Know
Being a fur-parent comes with a huge responsibility.
Animal lovers can totally relate when we say that dogs are truly a man’s best friend. They can make your life so much happier and complete. However, there is so much more to being a pet owner than just bringing one home. Getting a pet also comes with a huge responsibility, so if you’re planning to get your first pet, check out these 7 reminders from fur-parents.
#1: Ask yourself: Can you commit?
On the minimum, dogs need to be fed, bathed, cleaned after, and played with. They need to be walked at least once every single day. They will require vaccinations and check-ups. They will ultimately change your schedule and you will need patience to train them.
Annie, 27, got her first pet when she was 25 years old. The reason she waited so long before adopting a pet is because she wanted to make sure she was ready. “When I was a teenager, I really wanted to get a puppy. Pero sabi ng nanay ko, hindi ko pa daw kaya alagaan, which was true. I realized then that if I was going to adopt a dog, I should really know what I’m doing, and I should be able to commit to it.”
“Ask yourself if you can commit,” Annie says. “If the answer is no, then it’s probably not the right time for you to get a pet.”
#2: Research licensed veterinarians.
Another tip from Annie is to research good veterinarians around your area before you even take your pet home. Interview them, ask them questions, read reviews about their clinic, and make sure that you choose a vet that best matches your needs.
“Some people overlook this, but it’s really important to establish a good relationship with your pet’s vet,” she says. “They will be helping you all throughout and if the need arises, they will be taking care of your pet too.” You need to find a veterinarian you can really trust.
#3: Do a self-check: Will a pet fit your budget and lifestyle?
Aside from your time and energy, getting a pet will also require vaccinations, food, equipment, and toys. Annie suggests to only get a pet if it fits your budget and lifestyle.
“Before I adopted my first dog, I laid out my budget plan. I listed all the things I would need to spend on monthly if I got a dog, kasama yung check-ups, dog food, medications, lahat.” Annie says this is why it is very important to talk to a veterinarian beforehand, as they could tell you what you will need to stock up on once you get a pet.
#4: Pet-proof your home.
Hannah, 24, has been adopting pets for four years now. Her experience taught her that when you are adopting a dog of any age, you should consider getting the following:
- Food and water bowls
- Toys (bone, ball, or stuffed toy)
- A collar and a leash
- A bed or comfortable cloth
- Pee pads or puppy pads
- Health kit (vitamins, dextrose powder, syringe, ear drops, itch creams, and nail clipper)
“Prepare your home, whether you’re getting a puppy or an adult dog. Although puppies are more likely to chew on things, you have to anticipate the chewing even in adult dogs, so rearranging your home is a must,” shares Hannah.
“Better to get storage [like] cabinets and shelves so you can keep the important stuff out of your dog’s reach. I think it’s also important that you know which part of the home you’d like to dedicate [as] your dog’s own space. There you can put his food and water bowls, and his bed too.”
#5: Be prepared to train your pet.
Training your pet is a must. It does not have to learn complicated tricks, but it’s important that it learns the common commands like “no,” “go,” and “stay.” These simple commands are enough to teach your pet boundaries and establish and maintain a close relationship with it.
Hannah says, “The common mistake of dog owners is that they overthink it, they overdo it. They expect so much from their pets that when their pets are not able to live up to their expectations, they get disappointed and unfortunately, this causes many dogs to end up in city pounds or the streets.”
#6: Follow a to-do list after before bringing your pet home.
If you have decided that you can commit to getting a dog, follow a to-do list on the same day you are picking up your first fur-child.
“Go to the vet first and vaccinate your pet, then to the groomers to get them bathed,” says Hannah. You may skip going to the groomers if you’re getting your puppy from a pet store, but grooming is absolutely necessary if you’re adopting a pet from the streets or the city pound.
#7: Take good care of your pet.
Once you take home your pet, get ready for a lifetime of happiness and adoration. “My pets make me feel so safe, so loved, and so complete. If you’re getting one too, make sure you give it all the love it deserves,” Annie says.