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September 15

So You Want to Own a Dog? Part 1

September 15, 2015

Whether you are searching for that forever friend or adding a dog to your existing pet tribe, this month’s two-part Pet Talk pays homage to Responsible Dog Ownership Month with some need-to-knows below.

The Basics 

The decision to own a dog is not one to be taken lightly, so make sure to do your research and not only find a reputable breeder, but also hold out for a puppy or dog that suits the personality of your household – better yet, adopt from a shelter if you find the perfect pup! Avoid purchasing on impulse from a pet store, as many of these dogs come from backyard breeders with unacceptable practices.

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Introduce your new housemate slowly, letting them acclimate to their new surroundings without stressful distractions. Though it may be hard, you may want to start kennel training your dog from the first night at home; soon they will be safe and happy having their own private space to rest and relax. It is also important to make sure your new pup has healthy food and plenty of fresh, clean water, and an opportunity to cool down while they are outside.

Safety First 

Now that you know the basics, let’s discuss keeping your dog where he belongs – by your side! First things first, make sure your dog has a properly fitting collar with an identification tag that contains your contact information, rabies vaccine certification, and city license tag. This is a necessity to wear any time your pet will be outside the home. Also, make sure your dog is leashed with a regular, non-retractable leash while in public to prevent injury to your dog and others. If you plan on letting your dog go leash-free in your backyard, make sure it is properly secured and there are no holes in or under the fence that your dog can fit through.

We also suggest that you consider micro chipping your dog; it’s a simple procedure that will ensure he can be identified and returned to you, even if their collar is removed.

Health 

Proper veterinary care is essential to keep your dog happy & healthy for years to come. Most dogs require a yearly appointment to administer necessary vaccines and check up on their general well-being. Puppies, seniors and special needs dogs should visit the vet more often to monitor the changes that happen very rapidly in the young and geriatric, as well as dogs with diagnosed conditions. Once your dog is old enough, it is also important to spay or neuter them to prevent both unwanted litters and adolescent behavior problems.

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Stay tuned for part two of this month’s Pet Talk in the coming weeks, which will cover grooming, dental care, training, and exercise! If you have any questions about the special furry friend in your life in the meantime, we would be happy to help you today at 701-757-3500.