One of the things that people usually mix up is being a dog lover and being a dog parent. Being a dog lover is quite easy because if you ever see one, petting and playing with them isn't a hard thing to do, especially when no one can really resist their charms! But being a dog parent is a huge responsibility that a lot of us underestimate. Just because you love dogs, it doesn't mean that you're fit to become a dog parent.
It takes a lot of preparing and checking if you're indeed ready for the responsibility of taking care of another living creature besides yourself. I admit that before I got my 3-month-old poodle named Scarlett, I wasn't fully prepared—I didn't even have a nice shelter for her!
I thought that being a dog lover is enough, but it really isn't. Thankfully, little by little, I learned the ropes of being a good dog parent. So, if you're thinking of getting an adorable pup, listed down below are the things that you should keep in mind first!
1. Research the dog that's right for you.
Before buying one, you should consider what kind of dog is right for you first. List the traits and features you want your dog to have and research if the dog you want wouldn't be affected with the lifestyle you have. One of the reasons why we couldn't get a dog before was because I'm allergic to furry things, and the dog that I wanted was a poodle. I took the time to ask my doctor first if she thought that it would be okay to get a poodle even if I have an allergy. Thankfully, she gave us the go signal, so here we are!
2. Be sure you're financially ready.
From getting them vaccinated to buying them every dog supply that they need, being a dog parent isn't an easy thing to do. Before I became a dog parent, all I thought I needed was to buy her a bed and the right amount of dog food that will already get her through the week. But now that I own one, I learned that I should know how to budget my money for myself and for my dog. I don't only need to buy a few essentials, I also need to save money for her regular check-up and grooming. Plus, I also need enough money for accidents like being bitten by my dog. In just the first two weeks that I got her, I already got bitten by her, and since she's still a puppy, she wasn't allowed to be vaccinated yet. So I had to take the shot myself, and it cost me a lot!
3. They should be comfortable in their own home.
Since your dog will most likely spend her days inside the house, it's important to prepare your home before they arrive. Decide where you're going to place their cage or where they would be potty-trained. Unfortunately, as a new pet parent, I just realized that recently. My poodle came while I was unprepared. Now, I've become more cautious of how she navigates around our hom. I make sure that she's comfortable and that everything she needs is fresh and accessible to her.
4. You can't let them eat anything.
If you think dogs can eat anything that you eat, then you're partly wrong. It's true that they can eat it, but they shouldn't be allowed to! Dogs have their own food which is a much healthier and better choice than just giving them leftover ones. I remember when my dog ate a part of my food that fell from the table when I was eating, I saw her vomiting after a few hours. It's safe to say I was totally traumatized! When I'm buying my puppy's dog food, I always check the ingredients and ask the staff if my 3-month-old puppy is allowed to eat it. At the same time, I also buy numerous recipes and flavors like beef, chicken, and even chocolate, so my dog won't lose interest immediately.
5. You should be ready for countless visits to the vet.
As much as you've done everything to make your dog healthy with her vaccines and medicines, it's still important to take her to the vet monthly to get her checkup. You'll never know if your dog is already feeling something wrong. My dog caught a flu because I took her out knowing that she's still a baby. I didn't know puppies weren't allowed to play outside because they're an easy target for germs. But I admitted my mistake and went on countless visits to the vet just to make sure she's completely flu-free.
Now that you know all of these things, I hope you'll do a better job than me before you get your own puppy. At the same time, I hope you properly introduce yourself to her because just like humans, dogs also need time to be accustomed to their new home. Don't worry, once they're used to being with you, they'll be the sweetest living creature you'll have in your life!
ALSO READ: In Focus: 5 Ways Your Dogs Make You A Happier Human—Just Like Rachel Peters Is!
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