5 Things To Research Before You Get A Dog


Dogs make for amazing pets. So, naturally, the thought of getting a new one for yourself (or your family) is always exciting! But before you make that final decision, it’s always important to research some basic matters –– because getting a dog is a major commitment, and you need to be prepared to handle pet ownership as responsibly as possible. To that point, we’ve put together a list below of five key things you should look into before you get a dog.

1. Which food will be the healthiest for your breed?

Dogs have particular nutritional needs and puppies will have different nutritional requirements as compared to full-grown dogs. Most puppies will be fine if you feed them puppy formula or “all life stages” dog food. Once your puppy becomes an adult dog, you should have a plan for seeking out food that is specific to its size, or even its specific breed. Some diets have been defined with regard to these factors by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, which can be a good place to start. But you might also want to consult your vet as to your specific pet’s nutritional needs.

2. Will the dog need regular grooming?

Grooming is sometimes framed as a sort of pet luxury. But it’s actually a key component of keeping a dog healthy and happy, which makes it necessary to research your breed’s potential grooming needs in advance. Our article on “Unrefined Premium Pet Grooming Products & Their Benefits” discusses some important details to consider regarding types of shampoos, synthetic chemicals, and extracts. Additionally, professional groomers will be able to guide you toward the right products and practices once you have your dog.

3. Should you get pet insurance?

In addressing this question, it is important to figure out what exactly a given insurance plan will do for you and your dog. Per Sound Dollar, standard pet insurance will typically cover accidents and injuries, testing, illnesses, microchipping, and some prescription medications. Essentially, in exchange for a monthly premium, you can ensure that most potential medical expenses are covered. Some pet owners see it as a pricey “extra,” but it is ultimately an option worth considering if you’re to fully prioritize the dog’s long-term health (and protect against emergencies).

4. Are you comfortable with a nearby vet?

Just as people have regular check-ups, dogs should have routine examinations as well. Veterinarians will take care of these and other healthcare needs, which is why it’s essential to make sure that there’s one nearby that you’re going to trust with your dog. While you’re always free to find new care options at any point, the bottom line is that a good vet will become a very important part of your dog’s life, and will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding your dog’s health, diet, and safety. Finding the right one early will put you at ease.

5. Do you really know how training works?

Dog training is not just about fancy tricks and advanced commands. A well-trained dog is one that obeys its owner, comes when called, and responds to simple instructions regarding behavior around other dogs and human beings. And because these are essential factors, it’s crucial to determine whether or not you really have a proper plan for training your dog. On your own, you might practice classic training methods derived from a psychological process known as Pavlovian conditioning: Associate a stimulant with a natural response, until that stimulant produces the response. (For instance, if you whistle each time you hold out a treat for the dog to come and get, a whistle alone will begin to summon the dog.) Then again, you also have the option of seeking out a professional trainer, who will be able to teach you how to get good behavior out of your dog.

Ultimately, having a pet dog is a very rewarding experience, and if you take proper care of the animal, you might even gain a new best friend! But as with any relationship, it will require a lot of effort. By researching for such businesses offering the best via public records, and these topics ahead of time, you will be starting the process off responsibly.

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