No matter what size or breed you decide to bring into your home, there is no doubting that owning a dog is a wonderfully rewarding experience. But while owning a dog can provide your home with endless fun and devotion, it does come with its responsibilities.
A new dog brings a wealth of love and enjoyment to a home. The positive health benefits gained from owning a dog also cannot be underestimated.
But choosing the right dog for your home and lifestyle is more complicated than simply asking 'how much is that doggy in the window?' Dogs require a lot of time, attention and training, so consider its size, coat type, potential health problems, ease of training, need for exercise, behaviour, temperament, and attitude before you visit a pet store or shelter. This will help you make a good decision on the dog that will share your home.
Your home should be well prepared for your new dog before you bring it home. Dogs do most of their investigating with their mouths so it is important that you do a safety check of your house before bringing your new canine companion home.
Check each room to see what dangers lie in wait; electric cords that tempt dogs to chew or grab, cleaning rags or sponges left in your dog's reach, hanging cords on curtains and window blinds and small objects that your dog might swallow.
Take a walk around your yard looking for potential hazards. If your yard is fenced, check the boundaries and gates for openings that could be potential escape routes.
Your dog will also need:
- A warm, draught-free, safe place to sleep
- A cosy bed; such as a blanket in a durable box or bed
- Two clean, unbreakable bowls for food and water
- A supply of good quality dog food
- A collar
- A few simple toys