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Let me guess, your kids have been hassling you and dropping hints for months that they want a dog. They’re sending pictures to your phone of puppies, they’re talking about local groomers that have litters available, and they’re doing everything in their power to try and bring a pup into the family.
By this point, you’re probably thinking about giving in. However, before you do, you need to know some crucial pieces of information about owning a dog. Too many families bring dogs – and other pets – into a household that’s not equipped to look after it. So, here’s what you need to know:
Dogs can’t eat certain foods
We’ve all seen dogs sneaking under tables and looking to get a taste of the scraps from your dinner. Unfortunately, dogs don’t know what they can or can’t eat. If they can smell it, they’ll eat it. As a dog owner, you need to understand what a dog can and can’t eat. Chocolate is a big no-no for dogs as it makes them sick, but there are plenty of other foods a dog shouldn’t eat as well. Make sure you know this so you don’t give them dangerous foods or leave certain things lying about where they can pinch them.
Puppies need to be potty trained
Puppies are like little babies. Much like a human baby, a dog baby doesn’t know how to go to the toilet. It sounds bizarre to say this, but lots of people just assume a puppy is born knowing where to do its business. In reality, they need you to housetrain them! It can take some time, so expect to deal with the odd bit of rogue pee or poop from time to time. Don’t get too mad at your puppy for doing this – they don’t know any better!
Dogs shouldn’t be left alone for long periods
Before you get a dog, you might think you can leave it on its own for hours on end with no problems. While some dogs can survive at home – provided they have food and water – it’s still not recommended. They can get really lonely, and this impacts their mood and can make them very upset and then super-excited when they see you. While this may seem cute, it actually leads to severe separation anxiety for the poor dog. Instead, think about hiring someone to look after the job if nobody is at home while you’re at work. Certainly, if you go on holiday, then you need to book them into a holiday dog boarding place where they get 24/7 care and attention. Never leave your dog at home if you go on holiday for a few days. Even if you’ve arranged for someone to check up on them, it’s not fair!
These things may sound pretty obvious, but you’ll be amazed at how many families don’t think about them before getting a dog. It’s lovely having a new addition to your family, but you need to understand the amount of work that goes into looking after a dog. It’s literally like an extra child, but they can’t talk to you! So, make sure you’re fully-prepared before giving into your children’s wishes and getting a dog.
**This is a contributed post. While Amber did not write it, she has approved it for your reading pleasure 🙂