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7 Tips For When You Get a Dog

There are few days more exciting in a young family’s life than when they bring home a dog. There’s a new member of the clan, and it’s oh so lovable and furry! We got our dog a year after we got married; even before we had any children so she was practically the first member of our family. Our German Shepherd, Sasha, was only 8 weeks old when we welcomed her into our family and she was the most adorable and cute thing ever.  However, while your excitement will be sky-high, it’s also important to remember that canines can be difficult, demanding work. To make sure that you – and your dog – adjusts well and has a prosperous time in your household, you’ll need to know and do a few things.

7 Tips For When You Get a Dog

1.Dog-Friendly Spaces

You’ve probably designed your home with human needs in mind, but that all needs to change now. Well, it doesn’t ALL need to change, but it does need to be adapted. It’s all about giving your new family member a comfortable, relaxing space that can feel like their own. Of course, you don’t want to transform all of your home – your dog isn’t going to wander everywhere, after all. But do focus your attention on creating a few dog-friendly spaces, especially in the corners of the rooms where the family gathers. Don’t forget to keep all the chargers, cables, and shoes out of the reach because when they are small, they do chew everything and just like that, a lot of my clothes were ‘custom made’ to say it nicely.  

2. Ignore First Impressions

They say that first impressions are everything, but that’s not really true, for humans or for dogs. Especially dogs! It’s going to take a few weeks for your new canine friend to feel comfortable and show their personality. So if they feel overly nervous or not all that friendly in the first days, then don’t panic. If you make sure they’re filled up with love, then in a few weeks they’ll be their magnificent, loving selves. Sasha was really small when we got her, so she probably missed her mum and family, so of course she didn’t feel comfortable with us for the first few days. It didn’t take long though; we all showered her with so much love, she felt at home quicker than we thought. 

3. Learn What’s Up Ahead

You’ll hope that your dog has a long and happy life. One way to ensure this is the case is to research what you might expect from the future. The more you read about your dog’s breed, the better you’ll be able to manage any conditions they may be more susceptible to. If you’re not entirely sure what breed your pet is, use a service like wisdom panel dog DNA. It’ll tell you what type of dogs yours is, which is just good information to know, but also reduce the chances of any nasty medical surprises popping up later on in their life.

4. Getting Social

Your dog is going to be loyal to your family, but they’ll also miss spending time with their fellow canines. This is something that you’ll be able to remedy with no trouble at all! People take their dogs to the park all the time; because in the end, they have as much energy as children so they need to let it out somewhere.  walk Sasha every single day. The biggest advantage to this is that we connected with so many people we never knew and made really good friends along the way, and also, your pet will be able to run and play with other dogs too. It’s a win-win! It is important that everyone is kept safe though. If your dog seems to be a little bit too keen when they’re around other pets, maybe wait until they’re better able to control themselves or kindly train them into it. 

5. Ground Rules for the Family

Your children are going to be more excited than you are about your dog. Our boys love Sasha. To them, it’s as if a cuddly toy has come to life. But of course, this isn’t a toy; it’s a dog, who needs to be protected from the pawing hands and rough play of over-excited children. As such, it’s important that you’re laying down the ground rules for your family. Show them the correct way to pet and play with your pet; it’ll keep him or her safe, but also your children – dogs can cause harm if they think they’re being attacked.

6. Don’t Overwhelm All The Time

To be a dog is to be a celebrity. Everyone wants a piece, all of the time; you don’t overwhelm your dog all day, every day. Give them space to themselves, and let them relax. Put yourself in their shoes – you wouldn’t like it if you constantly harassed by others (think back to when your children were young). This will also have the additional benefit of helping your dog keep a semblance of calm.

7. Go With the Flow

As with parenthood, no-one gets everything right when it comes to owning a pet. So go with the flow, somewhat. Stay calm when they do things you’d rather they didn’t do, train them well, and enjoy the process of having another creature in the household. They’ll give you as much love as you give them, and will become an important part of your clan for years to come. 

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