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If you’re feeling a little lonely during the pandemic, adopting a furry friend is a great solution. Pets make fantastic household companions, especially during times like these when all you need is a cuddly couch buddy.
Whether you’re a first-time pet owner or a seasoned expert, adopting a dog requires some careful planning. You’ll have to discuss pet care responsibilities with the rest of your household, develop a training plan, and find a compassionate and dedicated veterinarian. Before you head to the shelter to pick up your new best friend, check out the following tips and resources to ensure a smooth adoption.
Prepare Your Home and Yard
Our homes can hold a lot of hazards for our furry friends. Spend some time preparing your home and yard for your pet’s arrival.
- Set up a comfortable home for your dog in the backyard. Horizon Structures can provide you with the perfect dog kennel for your budget and your pup’s needs!
- Consider installing a self-closing gate as an added level of security.
- Inside, check your home for toxic products that your pet could get into. Detergents and insecticides aren’t the only items poisonous to your pet, according to the Huffington Post. Certain plants, such as lilies and English ivy, are also toxic. And don’t forget to keep foods like chocolate, grapes and onions out of reach.
- Until you know more about how your pet behaves in the house, store breakable – and chewable – items out of reach.
- Prepare for messes ahead of time by vetting furniture cleaning and maid services.
Choose a Veterinarian
Your vet will play an important role in your pet’s lifelong health, so make sure you choose a professional you can count on.
- If money is tight, look for ways to save on your vet bills, such as going to a veterinary college for your pet’s treatment. The Humane Society and agencies across the country are wonderful resources for finding help for cash-strapped pet owners.
- Pet insurance can help you cover the costs of emergency veterinarian services.
- Before your first vet visit, help your dog prepare for a stress-free experience.
Make a Training Plan
Whether you’re bringing home a puppy from a breeder or an older dog from a shelter, it’s important to get an early start on your training.
- First, focus on training a solid sit and stay.
- Learn how to manage and stop leash reactivity.
- Teaching fun, new tricks is a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind.
- If your dog has aggressive tendencies, seek advice from a professional trainer.
Plan Ahead to Sell Your Home
If you’re planning to put your house on the market, there are a few things to keep in mind, and they all pertain to potential buyers.
- Remove your pets before an open house. Many people are allergic to pet hair and dander, not to mention the potential issues that may arise with people who are generally uncomfortable around animals.
- Understand your dog’s stressors. When it comes time to show your home, know that it can be nerve-wracking for Fido, with strangers coming and going. This is another reason to take him on a walk or to the park when potential buyers are checking out the property.
- Keep it clean. Be sure to pick up after your pet inside and outside the house, as well as cleaning areas frequented by your pet.
Adopting a dog is a wonderful way to make your life a little better during the pandemic. By following these tips, from smart preparation to planning, spending all your time at home may not be so bad if you have a furry friend to share it with.