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Taking In A New Dog? Here's What You Should Know

May 6, 2008
Owning a dog is a big decision to make, and should never be taken for granted. It's a commitment that can last for several years - small dogs may live up to eight years, while larger dogs can live twelve or more years. Make sure the dog will fit right into your current living arrangements, or else it's only going to result in a life of misery for both of you.

Before owning a dog, it's important to examine your lifestyle, your living accommodations, and what role in your life you have planned for your dog. If you live with other individuals, such as housemates or a family, make sure they're acquainted with the guidelines listed in this article. This'll make it easier to split the responsibility of taking care of your dog.

It's important to know what dog breed would be a good fit into your living arrangements. A large dog won't stand for being locked in a cage or cooped up in a small apartment, and dogs that shed hair heavily (like German Shepherd Dogs) may quickly make a mess indoors if no one vacuums often enough.

It's also important to check which gender you'd like to take in. There aren't any big differences between the two genders, except that female dogs may go into heat every month and may cause a ruckus with other dogs in the neighborhood.

Puppies should be at least eight weeks old before it could be taken from their mothers. Healthy puppies are outgoing, alert, and energetic. If a puppy is shy, thin, or has obvious health problems (such as unusual discharge from its eyes or nose) may not be the best choice to take into the household.

Never forget that puppies have to be vaccinated to keep you and other individuals in your household safe. Regular visits to the vet should also be in order. All these entail expenses that you might not be able to shoulder, so double-check your financial capabilities before taking in this additional responsibility.

In order to grow up properly, puppies need three daily requirements: plenty of fresh drinking water, suitable amounts of nutrients from food, and adequate exercise. Different dog breeds have different needs. For instance, bigger, more active dogs need more protein-rich food and greater levels of exercise.

Dogs also need shelter from the elements and plenty of shade during the summer months, and indoor pets must have regular access to the outdoors for elimination. Whatever their living arrangements, all dogs require the loving attention of their owners. Make sure they don't get bored being cooped up in the house or kennel all day. As a rule, dogs need to exercise at least twice a day. Take them out for walks or let them loose to run in the yard.

Finally, grooming considerations vary from breed to breed. Short-coated dogs usually need to be brushed once or twice a week, while long-haired dogs may need daily grooming to prevent the coat from any matting or tangling. Dogs need only be bathed when dirty, and the shampoo used should protect the coat's natural oils. Grooming also includes attending to the dog's eyes, ears, teeth, anal glands, and nails. Your dog's vet can show you the proper way to administer these special grooming practices.
About the Author
Jim Liu is the creator of Petclips.tv . He owns a cat named Snowrunt with his family.
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