Having decided that you would like to get a dog, and this takes a lot of thought and consideration, there are certain things you need to prepare well in advance to bringing them into your home environment. It goes without saying that your garden has to be a secure area for your new pet to be in, and that there is no way of them getting out. Your home too, needs to be made 'dog safe' because there are a lot of everyday things that can be extremely harmful to dogs (See article on foods that are poisonous to dogs).All dogs love to play so you will naturally want to get them some new toys and there are loads to choose from on the market. In fact, the pet toy industry is huge but the problem is that not all dog toys out there are really suitable or safe for your new four legged friend to play with.
Dogs love to be kept busy, and they are pretty active animals that over the decades man has domesticated. A suitable toy allows a dog to do the sort of things they would do naturally in the wild and the best part is that good dog toys will really help them stay healthy, fit and well adjusted pets to have around your home and be part of your family.
One of the most popular dog toys are ones they can chew. Our furry friends just love and need to chew things, puppies chew on things to reduce any stress they may be feeling as well as to soothe sore gums. Chewing also helps them get rid of their baby teeth so that there's room for new adult teeth to grow. In the older dog, chewing helps develop jaw muscles and it certainly helps reduce the boredom factor. There are some great chewing products on the market that are specifically designed to help avoid teeth and gum problems your dog might otherwise suffer from.
Other great toys which you might like to invest in for your new family member, are comfort toys. Although, not all dogs like or need them, some breeds really do benefit from a familiar, distinctive comfort toy that has a nice texture and often makes a noise. A lot of dog owners like to use this type of comfort toy when they need to separate pups from mum.
Activity toys are great for keeping a dog in good shape, both physically and mentally. When combined with a good diet, these toys add to the much needed exercise your new dog will need on a regular basis. Playing with your dog encourages loyalty and develops a superb interaction between you both. Dogs love the thrill of a chase, so the 'fetch' action you ask them to do by throwing a toy for them, is an activity they adore. You should always reward your new friend when they retrieve any toy for you, it reinforces your bond with them.Some great activity toys include balls, frisbees and rubber sticks. It is not a good idea to throw wooden sticks or branches for your dog to retrieve as they could stab themselves with them, and wood splinters can get stuck in their throats and teeth which could really injure them badly.
When you first bring your dog home, make sure there is not too much happening in the house. A nice quiet place will reassure a nervous dog who won't feel so intimidated by their new surroundings if it is nice and peaceful. The last thing you want to do is bring your new friend into a noisy and hectic environment the very first time they walk through your front door with you.Your new friend should be a nice healthy dog, but it never hurts to check them over a day or two after you get them home. This gives you a little time to get to know your new pet and they start to know and trust you a little more too. One thing to check is if your furry friend has worms.However, you have to know what sort of worming treatment you need to treat your dog with because there are several types of worms. Your new dog might have tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms, roundworms or whipworms and you'll need to buy a specific wormer to treat them if necessary.If you are unsure, the best thing to do is take your new dog to your local vet to register them and to have the vet give your new found friend a 'medical once over'. Your vet will also be able to advise you about organising a regular worm control programme as well as any injections needed to ward off nasty canine illnesses.
When you introduce your dog to your local vet, it might be worth asking them about microchipping your new friend. There has been a bit of a debate about microchips over recent times, and not everyone agrees that it is actually a good thing to do. There have been some concerns over whether or not a microchip implant is good for a pets' health and well being.
Micochips are marketed as being totally safe to use on all sorts of pets, horses and even reptiles. However, there have been some studies that showed these tiny microchips, they are about the size of a grain of rice, can cause cancerous growths, so it is something worth investigating and then discussing with your vet.The good thing about a microchip is that it links you to your dog, should they ever get lost or even stolen. Some pet insurance also insist on owners microchipping their dogs in order to get insurance cover for them. But the final decision is up to the owner – especially as there have been health issues connected to microchips.
There are some great deals on pet insurance these days and it no longer breaks the bank to get cover for a dog. It is certainly something worth thinking about because vet bills, should your dog ever need treatment for anything, can prove to be extremely expensive. However, if you do take out pet insurance, make sure you read all the small print to make sure you fully understand the amount of cover you have on your pet insurance plan.Owning a dog is wonderful, these lovely creatures whether large or small, can give us so much pleasure. They become our loyal and unquestioning friends and they are always happy to be around us which is why so many people decide to offer a dog not only a place in their homes, but in their hearts too. If you are thinking seriously about getting a dog, then why not see if you can re-home a lovely animal from one of the dog charities? This is a great way to give a dog a second chance when they need it most.