Things to know when getting a puppy or a dog

There are many things to consider when getting a dog. The biggest thing to know is that all dogs are like people, they all have their own personalities and labeling one dog breed as aggressive or not safe around kids is very wrong. If you said the same thing about humans, it would result in a lot of anger from other so don't assume all dogs are the exact same and don't assume specific breeds of dogs are aggressive.

1. All dog breeds require maintenance, and it can differ between all breeds. Some dogs like Huskys are super adorable but will shed a lot. And I mean like, you're going to have a whole other dog when its finished shedding. But then there's other dogs like poodles that grow their hair out like humans. These dogs will need regular appointments to get their hair cut. And lastly there are dog breeds that hardly shed or grow hair at all. Breeds like pugs or chihuahua hardly lose much fur and due to them usually being very small, will have a very minimal amount of fur left around your house.

2. Some dogs are a lot more active than others. This could be their breed in general or it could be their personality. Either way your dog will need to be walked and played with a few times a day. Some dogs are born more relaxed and laid back but forcing your dog into that mind set is terrible. It would be the same as not letting your child play outside or with toys and even play at all.

3. Food and treats are essential. Now unless your dog has a specific dietary restriction, they can usually eat any kind of food or treats. This is excluding human food. Many human foods are very harmful and toxic to dogs, they can in the end kill them if you're not careful. Dogs can't have things like grapes, chocolate, and onions. With some food they can have part of it but it's always best to do your research because too much of something that they can have can hurt them. You don't need to buy the most expensive food there is but if your dog enjoys it and doesn't give them any problems, then you should stick with it. Dogs also don't need to have every meal as a wet one from a can. Though it is okay to give it to them every once in a while. It's also good to have two or more different kinds that work well with them to make sure they get all of their nutrients in.

4. Baths are necessary. Every dog is different with baths. Some really love them and some hate them more than the vet. The easiest way to wash a dog is in an enclosed shower if they don't like baths but the easiest way to wash a dog who does like baths is outside in a non-inflatable kiddy pool. Dogs do require baths at the very least once or twice a month to help maintain their coats and to be sure they don't have fleas or ticks. You can bath your dog more than this but more than once a week is not recommended because they will start losing fur and will begin to have dry patches.

5. Toys! Every dog loves their toys. Ropes are a great way to play with your dog or to have another dog play with them. Balls are a great way to get your dog up and running around. They may not want to give the ball back to you, but you can at least throw it and as they run to get it and bring it back, you can then throw a second one. Sometimes dogs will drop the first ball to go for the second ball. Rubber toys are okay for dogs but if they like to play rough with their toys then they might break it and ingest some of the pieces so be sure to start out with stronger toys and if you're constantly finding your dog's toys are destroyed then you have a rough playing dog and need to find much much stronger toys.

6. Vet appointments. Your dog is going to need all of its shots. In some areas, free rabies clinics will be available but most of the time you will have to go to a vet for your dog's shots and you should get all of them. Rabies and other diseases can affect humans and rabies in general makes an animal lose its mind and your dog will not even know what it's doing as its biting you because of rabies.

7. Getting your dog fixed. A lot of people don't want to get their dogs fixed at first but with the amount of animals in our systems, its best to get yours fixed so that you know your dog isn't getting pregnant or getting other dogs pregnant. This also helps prevent illegal breeders from taking your dog and attempting to breed it with another in a puppy mill. Some dogs are also calmer after being fixed. Femals in particular bleed when they are in heat and any dog around them will be able to smell this and know that your female dog is in heat.

8. Love your dog. The biggest thing a dog needs is love, if it's not getting love, it will mope around the house. Your dog can become depressed so if you realize that your dog is cooped up in your house or apartment all day for weeks on end, be sur to give them as much love as possible. And if you really think you can't handle them anymore, don't drop them on the side of the road but instead try to find someone else to take them in. Usually someone else is looking for a new dog to add to their family so if your dog wasn't a good fit for you, find someone else they would be a good fit for.

9. Other dogs. Some dogs have a very hard time adjusting to new dogs. The best way to introduce a dog to your current dog is to have one of them be a puppy or to have them in crates next to each other so they can safely sniff each other out and get used to each other's scents before letting them out to try and play together.

10. Meet the dog before saying yes. Always let every member of your household meet the dog before bringing it home. This helps the dog become more of a family dog and if everyone can agree on taking in the same dog then everyone can agree on helping to care for it. Dogs are not gifts and should never be treated as such. They are mean to be family. 

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