Author: Cathy Beer, Founder of www.pets4life.com.au
Pets give us the greatest joy, not to mention many health benefits! But sadly, thousands of dogs end up in over-burdened animal shelters every year.
Many new pet owners often realise, once the excitement of the bringing home a puppy has passed, that they weren’t prepared to be a pet parent, said Cathy Beer, founder of Pets4Life.
Before you rush into getting that cute puppy, here’s 8 tips from Pets4Life’s eGuide: Before You Get A Dog to get you started…
Tip 1: Everyone in the family must be on the same page about getting a puppy
The first step is to have a family meeting to discuss everyone’s views and concerns about getting a dog.
Tip 2: Ask yourself – do you have the time and money for a dog?
Looking after a dog takes a lot of time and money – $25,000 for the average dog’s lifespan*. Puppies take up a lot more time than you think! If you work full-time, consider a mix of strategies to keep your pet happy.
Tip 3: Do your homework on dog breeds
Choose a breed that suits your family’s lifestyle and energy level, research the original purpose of the breed and research inherited disorders.
Tip 4: Buyer beware! Be careful with online pet shopping
It’s so easy to click on ‘Buy Now’ and your new puppy arrives by courier. All sounds good, but is it? You could be buying your puppy from an unethical breeder.
Tip 5: Know how to keep your dog happy and healthy
Keeping your dog happy and healthy requires daily exercise and mental stimulation, and regular veterinary check-ups.
Tip 6: Learn the basics about dog behaviour and start dog training early
The dog is not being naughty when he digs up your rose garden. There’s a reason for every dog behaviour. Find a positive reinforcement training puppy school and start training straight away.
Tip 7: Have a Plan B to look after your dog when you no longer can
Unexpected things happen to us throughout life, such as moving house, divorce, illness and death. Have a plan in place to look after your pet when you are gone.
Tip 8: Do a trial run
Volunteer at a dog shelter/pound or walk your neighbour/friend’s dog for a while to see if pet parenting is for you.
Get your FREE copy of the Pets4Life’s eGuide: Before you get a dog, 8 essential tips to get it right at www.beforeyougetadog.com.au
* Australian Veterinary Association. www.ava.com.au/news/media-centre/hot-topics-5
Pets4Life is an independent online resource centre for cat and dog pet parents and those who are thinking of adding a cat or dog to the family. The overall goal is to reduce cat and dog surrender and improve pet well-being.
The purpose of the site is to help families be prepared and confident throughout the journey of your pet’s life.
This site has original content including podcast interviews with the experts (vets, animal behaviourists, dog trainers etc). www.pets4life.com.au
Cathy Beer is a student at the Delta Society of Australia learning about positive reinforcement dog training and attain a Cert IV Companion Animal Studies.
Images: Cathy Beer with her dog Toby, front cover of eGuide.