Friday 19 May 2017

In The Doghouse... Bringing A Pet Home

If you're thinking about a pet for the family, you need to think long and hard about what it can do to you as a family. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but it’s so easy to get a pet now and not really have the means to look after them properly - it really is a big commitment.

* Collaborative post

A pet can be a wonderful addition to any family - I for one have always had several pets and can't imagine not having any around. They can bring families closer together, instil a sense of responsibility in the children, and, if you opt for a dog, it will get you out of the house more than you already do. But what do you need to do to make sure that everyone is ready for a pet?

The first thing to do is pet-proof your home. The best way to do this is to think back to when your baby started to crawl and pull themselves up! It was difficult, wasn’t it? Now, get a pet’s eye view of the house and look at potential hazards, such as wires, cables, electrical items, etc. And look under the sofa for any stray bits of food. If you're getting a dog for the first time, chocolate is very toxic to them, and even a little corner of a chocolate bar could end up with you making a trip to the vets.

It may sound pointless to do a deep clean before you bring the pet home, but it’s the best thing to do to get your house to a decent base level of safeness. Minimising accidents at home needs to be your priority before you bring a pet back.
Stocking up on all essential items will be the next port of call. If you're getting a dog, they can be very shaken up by a change in environment, and it’s like a culture shock to them. So by making the environment as welcoming to them as possible, it will be easier for everyone. Everything you need, you will probably need to get double of, especially paper towels! And certain home comforts will not go amiss! A leather dog lounger or chew toys are always going to be welcome. A dog needs their little comfort area in the home to relax and sleep, so make a space that is theirs and theirs alone. Other essentials include flea medication! Do not forget about this, or you'll be paying much more to have your home fumigated.
A vital piece of the puzzle is making a routine for the pet. For dogs, they need walks and time to play. A lot of children don’t realise how much responsibility owning a pet is. The best thing to do is to lay down the rules very early on. Structure the “walking week” with the family, and who is going to feed the pet, play with them, etc. A rota can be really helpful in the first few months because a routine is vital to making the dog settle in quickly. And once that has been sorted, it can easily be stuck to. A pet is great, but the responsibility cannot be underestimated.    


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