It can be exciting to become a pet owner. It will change your life, especially when you feel like your new companion is reciprocating the love. While those benefits can be worth the time and money you spend caring for a dog, you should never underestimate the changes you have to make to your lifestyle.
Before you invest in taking care of a dog, you might have to spend some time preparing your lifestyle to accommodate a pet. Some responsibilities are simple, but others might not be as easy as known pet owners make them seem to be. Here are some changes you must make when you become a pet owner.
Exercising with Your Pet
Dogs need exercise just as much as humans do. They need even more practice than we do because they have so much energy. A lack of exercise can make dogs restless and destructive. Pet owners are responsible for making sure their dogs get enough exercise. It might mean taking them on walks or playing in the yard.
You might be able to get away with not exercising if your dog is older or has health problems. But, in general, most dogs need around 30 minutes to two hours of exercise every day. You shouldn’t get a dog if you don’t think you can commit to that. Fortunately, you can try many dog and owner activities to make the responsibility fun. Playing fetch with a stick or a frisbee might be ideal for you and your pup, especially when walking starts to feel stale.
Cleaning Up After Your Pet
You are also responsible for cleaning up after your pet. It means you must scoop its waste and, depending on the animal, might have to groom it often.
Dogs, for example, need to be bathed every few weeks, and you should trim their nails monthly. Their coats should get brushed at least once weekly to prevent matting and tangles. Long-haired breeds might need to get brushed more often. This grooming can take time to get used to if you’ve never done it before.
Identifying the right hygienic products for your pet will also be necessary. Your animal might have specific allergies or sensitivities that you need to consider. You don’t want to accidentally harm your pet while trying to clean it.
Feeding Your Pet
You will need to feed your pet regularly, which means having the proper food and supplies. Dogs, for instance, must eat at least once or twice a day. Their diet should consist of high-quality dog food that meets their age, size, and activity requirements.
You will also need to get a water bowl and keep it filled with fresh water. Some pets require special diets, such as those with diabetes or allergies. These diets can be more expensive, so you’ll need to factor that into your budget.
As a pet owner, you must also be responsible for knowing what your dog should never eat. The list includes everyday human food items like chocolate, grapes, and onions. Eating these foods can make your dog very sick.
Teaching Pets Basic Commands
Pets, especially dogs, need to know basic commands. These commands can help you better train and control your animal. The most common orders are sitting, stay, come, down, off, heel, no, and leave it.
You might not need to use all of these commands with your dog. But having a general understanding of how to train them can be helpful. Dogs must also learn their names to respond when you call them.
Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and effort to teach these commands to a pet. You might need to consult animal training resources, such as books, websites, and videos. However, your best option involves taking them to dog obedience training classes. Those programs can give you the guidance needed to train your pup correctly. They can be accommodating when your dog exhibits rowdy or disobedient behaviors.
Dealing With Emergencies
As a pet owner, you must know how to deal with common animal emergencies. You can take quick action if your dog or cat gets hurt.
The most important thing is to remain calm when an accident happens. If you panic, it’ll only make the situation worse. You should also have a first-aid kit for pets that’s easily accessible. This kit should include gauze, cotton balls, scissors, and tweezers.
You should also know how to administer CPR to your pet if necessary. The process is similar to CPR for humans but requires some modifications. For example, you must use both hands when performing CPR on a small dog.
Owning a pet is a big responsibility, but it can be enriching. Pets offer companionship, love, and support. They can also teach you about loyalty, compassion, and patience. If you’re willing to make the necessary changes in your lifestyle, then owning a pet might be right for you.