Adding a new pet to your family is a big decision that will take time for the household to adjust to. Making an informed choice in which kind of dog to adopt is key in finding the best fit for your home and lifestyle. A dog is more than a pet, but a four-legged companion that will be a valued member of the family. There are a few things to keep in mind which will make the transition smoother and rewarding.
Adopting a Pet
When you make the decision to find a dog to bring home, there are a few options for adoption. Many may find that visiting a local shelter is the best way to give a pet a second chance at a life with a loving family, while others may have a preference or familial needs which only a specific breed may address. In these instances, working with a reputable breeder is a great way to find the perfect dog for your life. Be sure that they offer health records and documentation of breed, when applicable, which you will need if you plan on getting AKC registration.
The breed of a dog can often determine the temperament and the needs of a dog. There are some new cross-breeds that merge qualities of both, and that prove to be the ideal pet for many families. For example, a Labradoodle pairs the loving, loyal traits of a Lab with a poodle, known to be a smart breed that swims well. This particular breed also features the hypo-allergenic fur of the poodle, which doesn’t aggravate allergies for those with sensitivities to pet fur and dander.
Training Your New Family Member
When adopting a dog to bring home, breeders can provide a lovable, trained pet that can make the transition to a household simpler. It may become necessary to attend obedience classes or hire a pet trainer to provide the framework for discipline and housebreaking in the home. Consistency is truly the key when training and adapting a dog to the home.
Provide your new pet with a space of their own. Set up a kennel or quiet space that the pet can be contained in during certain situations, and while acclimating to the new home. Give the pet blankets and toys to help them mark their spot and feel at ease. Help your pet adjust to your lifestyle early, instead of curbing your activities based on the pet. If you are someone who travels frequently, allow your dog to become comfortable with riding safely in the car.
Transitioning to a New Home
It can take time for all family members to adjust to having a new pet in the home, and this includes any other animals. Make an effort to introduce the new dog to the existing members of the family when the pet first arrives. This will let the new dog know that they are the newcomer and might make the adjustment a little easier. Develop a routine and recruit help from other family members. Dogs need exercise every day, and skipping walks will result in a bored pet; bored dogs can wreak havoc on a peaceful home. Never give a dog to someone who is not in a position to care for it responsibly.
A dog can bring a true sense of family to a home. Choosing the right dog and taking steps to facilitate the transition are key in making this a lot easier and less stressful. Talk with breeders and veterinarians about the best type of dog for your lifestyle, as well as the best ways to minimize problems or issues that could ensue.