Last Updated on July 1, 2020
Bringing home a puppy may seem like one of the easiest decisions of your life—but being a pet owner is a huge responsibility.
It’s not always a walk in the park (pun intended) to take care of a pet. Dogs can be mischievous, gnawing at your new booties or peeing on a nice rug, but that’s to be expected!
They’ll be forgiven the second they flash those puppy eyes.
While it will be rewarding and worthwhile, there will also be important duties to ensure the safety of your little friend. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the most important things every pet owner should know to keep your buddy healthy and happy, according to experts.
It’s essential to pet-proof your home.
You’ve probably heard of baby-proofing, and the idea behind the two is similar: safety first!
Make sure your new pet cannot get their teeth around wires, poisonous house plants, remote controls, or shoes. These basic household items can cause a serious peril to your puppy.
World-famous pet trainer Sara Carson insists that pet-proofing is essential because dog ownership, is in her words, “A lot. It’s like bringing a new child into your household…get educated and educate [yourself] on exactly what a dog needs and what is and is not appropriate to do with a dog.”
You just can’t leave random things lying around on the floor anymore.
Dr. Jerry Klein, an emergency and veterinarian in Chicago and chief veterinary officer for the American Kennel Club, insists that bags of dog food, purses, or anything a pet might peruse, should be kept sealed and out of reach. Dr. Klein additionally states that all garbage cans should be well-covered and secure.
Just in case, always keep emergency numbers nearby!
Accidents happen and no matter how securely you pet-proof your home, there’s always the possibility they’ll discover that leftover Halloween candy.
Or perhaps your puppy has come down with a concerning cough or limp. Regardless of the emergency, to best protect your pet, you’ll need to act swiftly. You should laminate the number of an emergency pet hospital and keep it on the fridge. Knowing where the nearest emergency vet is could save your friend’s life.
Feeding time will become an important ritual.
At the end of the day, your dog needs sustenance to grow and thrive. However, you will likely make it through a bag of pet food faster than you think.
To prevent midnight grocery store runs, consider having a pet food subscription. This is a nifty service that delivers healthy dog food right to your door.
Not only does it take away some of the legwork, but it also helps your pet maintain a healthy eating schedule. Some of the best pet food subscriptions are affordable, easy, and provide fresh options.
Find the right veterinarian for your dog.
There can be many misconceptions about what a veterinarian is and what they’re responsible for. Dr. Justine Lee, a board-certified veterinary specialist in emergency care and toxicology, emphasizes that “our goal is to preserve the quality of life and alleviate pain while making sure that we work with our pet owners as best we can to help them care for their pets.”
Do some preliminary research online prior to committing to a veterinarian for peace of mind.
Love your puppy!
This may seem obvious but is so important. Give your pet lots of belly rubs, playtime, walks, and overall affection. Believe it or not, your pet is not just hungry for kibble but is hungry for love and affection.