Having a pet will change your life in more ways than one. For starters, you’ll have a lot more responsibilities on your shoulders, a good chunk of your time will need to be devoted to your pet, and cleaning up pet hair and (possibly) pet mess is also on the cards. Yes, caring for a pet – such as a dog – is serious business! On the other hand, dog owners are treated to a whole new level of unconditional love and loyalty!
While the joys of having a loving, furry, four-legged family member come with some rare ‘not-so-jolly’ moments, any pet owner will tell you that the bond created between them and their pet makes everything worth it! Moreover, most of the frustration you are likely to experience is generally during the house training phase which requires a lot of time and patience in the beginning. The other frustrating part may come in the form of chewed up laces and nibbles on your rug! With that said, the most important thing to remember is that you need to be patient with dogs throughout their puppy/adolescent days; it takes time for them to learn the difference between right and wrong, as well as obey commands, however, once they do, it’s safe to say that you won’t find a companion so loving and cuddly!
Now, let’s look at a couple of things you can expect when adopting a dog, and discuss in detail how to work through them.
Regardless of your dog’s breed, he or she is going to shed fur on a daily basis. It’s inevitable! In fact, there are certain months during the year when dogs shed more fur than usual (this largely depends on climate and breed). Either way, if you don’t clean up pet hair regularly, you’ll find it everywhere in your home! Regular dusting and vacuuming are definitely advised to remove dog hair from your furniture and floors. To make this an easier task, there are special cleaning tools you can use for a more effective clean. For example, rubber dust gloves are great for picking up fur from your furniture and other household surfaces, while an upholstery attachment can remove pet hair from carpets more effectively.
Apart from regular cleaning, there are other measures you can take to minimise the amount of fur your dog sheds which include the following:
- Bathe your dog once a week
- Brush your dog using a pet brush to remove loose fur from his/her coat; do this outside
- Give your dog prescribed supplements
- Make sure you don’t feed him/her foods that cause shedding; consult a vet for this
Hours Upon Hours of House Training
Depending on how much time is devoted to house training dogs, it can take anywhere between 4 – 6 months for them to be fully trained. That may seem like a long time but just like children, dogs grow up so fast! Before you know it, you won’t be stepping into puddles in your home or sniffing out pet mess from the other room!
If you’re looking for tips to house train a puppy, here are some of the most important ones to keep in mind:
- Pups between the ages of 12 – 16 weeks are ready to be house trained
- Stick to a strict meal schedule; avoid feeding your dog between meals
- Take puppies outside immediately after a nap and/or meal
- Depending on their age, pups should be taken outside every 30 or 60 minutes to relieve themselves
- Note down timings when they do something (pee or poo) regardless of where they do it; this way you can understand their bathroom patterns (even though this will change every few weeks)
- Try as best to take your pup to the same spot outside
- Reward him/her with a treat when they do their business outside
There is a reason why animal-assisted therapy exists; several studies have proven that pets such as dogs and cats aid in improving one’s mental health in a number of ways. For anyone suffering from depression or anxiety, emotional support dogs play an important role in reducing stress hormones and making one feel loved and wanted.
Along with mental health benefits, owning a dog can improve other areas of your life, as well as your personality! For starters, dogs lift your spirit and boost your mood, while all that extra walking around the block will definitely do your cardiovascular health some good! It is also said that dogs make you more sociable and less fearful. If you live alone, having a dog for a companion means a lot of doggy kisses, cozy cuddles, and the constant presence of another living creature that will sit by your side when you feel just a tad bit lonely. Yes, pet dogs are truly a blessing!
A Homecoming Fit for a King/Queen (Every Day!)
You’ve probably seen those compilation videos of dogs jumping for joy when they sense their owners pulling up in the driveway or walking up to the front door; it’s an instant mood booster for anyone to see an excited face and a tail wagging so vigorously simply because you came back home! This is true with any dog; no matter where you go or how long you’ve been gone, your dog will welcome you home like you are the most loved and missed person on the planet!
The reason why dogs react this way when you come home is not just because they love you and are loyal animals to begin with, but simply because they genuinely miss you when you’re absent! Hence, you could step outside for even ten minutes and your dog will still be happy and overly excited to see you when you walk through the door!
So, if you’re wondering what to expect when adopting a pet dog, remember that the rewards are immensely greater than the responsibilities of owning a dog!
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