10 Ways to Be a Responsible Dog Owner

 Monday Mar 05,2018
By  Lancaster Puppies

Make no bones about it: puppies are cute. They also have needle teeth that’ll shred your favorite shoes. They’ll urinate on the dry-clean-only curtains and jump through screen doors to chase a squirrel. Still, they’re one of the most loveable creatures on the planet and there is nothing like coming home to see their wiggly rumps greeting you at the door. They’ll follow you all around the house like you’re the grand marshal of a puppy parade. After all, they’re man’s best friend for a reason.

Having a furry best friend in your life comes with responsibilities. These living creatures depend on you for food, water, shelter, and health care. Lancaster Puppies values placing puppies from reputable breeders in loving and responsible homes. That’s why we’ve created 10 tips for you to be a responsible dog parent.

1. Think About Your Lifestyle

Brown French Bulldog sleeping on a gray couchIf you’re someone who rarely comes home, getting a puppy might not be right for you. Dogs are social creatures that thrive on human interaction, and they require lots of time and care. If you’re not around to be the pack leader, getting a puppy isn’t a wise decision.

If you have time to devote to a dog, consider your lifestyle. For example, if you're an active individual, consider blending your lifestyle with your dog's by getting an energetic dog breed. Alternatively, if you're more laid back, a low-energy dog may be a better choice for you.

2. Interview Your Breeder

When choosing your puppy, make sure to interview your breeder. Ask questions, and ask to see the puppy’s parents. This will help you get a better idea of what your puppy will be like when it matures. Look at the breeder’s premises. Is it clean and free of odors? Do the pups look lively and well-nourished? You’ll be able to assess if a breeder genuinely cares for the animals.

Ask about the puppy’s health as well as its parents' health. A good breeder will be knowledgeable about a breed’s genetic diseases as well as offer proof of health screenings. Your breeder also won’t let you bring a puppy home until it’s at least eight weeks old.

3. Pick Your Puppy

Once you decide which puppy is best for you and you purchase the dog, make sure to get all the information about the sale in writing. Your contract should have information regarding spaying or neutering, fees, health guarantees, as well as instructions on what to do if you’re unable to keep the puppy. Most breeders would request that the dog be returned to them if you’re unable to keep it. Get these signed documents when you purchase your puppy. 

4. Bring Your Puppy Home

Get a license for your dog once you bring it home. Get proper dog food, a flat leather or nylon collar, a non-retractable leash, a crate, baby gates, a dog bed, dog waste bags, pet stain and odor remover, food and water bowls, grooming supplies, ID tags, and toys.

5. Decide Who Will Care for Your Puppy and When

Your puppy will need daily food, water, and walks. It’s important to create a schedule with your family and stick to it so your puppy will receive proper care. Ask your veterinarian which food is best for your dog based on the puppy’s age, activity level, and size.

Your dog will need to be walked every day. Some dogs can get away with a 30-minute walk, while more active breeds need much longer exercise to deplete them of their energy. Aside from walking your dog, you’ll enjoy running around the yard with your puppy and throwing a ball or stick.

6. Make Your Home Safe for Your Puppy

2 Corgis standing at a front doorPuppies will chew on anything so it’s best to block off areas where your puppy could get into trouble like rooms you don’t want your puppy to go into or spaces where there are loose cords. It’s wise to close toilet lids and make sure your puppy steers clear of houseplants that are hazardous to their health.

7. Contact Your Local Vet

Get your puppy checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible, and ensure that your dog gets vaccinated. Check with your veterinarian to know the best way to prevent heartworm, Lyme disease, fleas, and ticks. Don't forget to get your puppy’s nails trimmed, ears cleaned, and teeth brushed.

8. Give Your Puppy Time to Get Used to the New Environment

It will take a little while for your puppy to adjust. The puppy may feel insecure in his new home, and it’ll take several weeks for the puppy to get used to his new surroundings. Start by letting your puppy explore certain areas of the house, like where you’ve placed his crate and food and water bowls. As he becomes more comfortable, you can begin introducing your puppy to other rooms in the house.

It's important to note that routine is good for your puppy. You’ll help your new family member adjust by sticking to it.

9. Housetrain Your Dog

It will take time to housebreak your dog. You can choose to crate train, litter train, or paper train your dog. However, your puppy will have accidents, so make sure to clean them up with an odor-eliminating cleaner.

10. Love Your Puppy

Your puppy won’t understand everything you say, but he’ll enjoy the sound of your voice. Talk to your dog, pet him, and play with him. The first few months of a puppy's life are crucial when it comes to developing a close bond, so maximize this time to the fullest! 

In the end, there are many ways to be a responsible dog parent and these 10 tips are a great start on your journey to dog ownership. 

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