The lockdowns due to the pandemic have had the majority of people sheltering in place for almost a year. Even as these restrictions slowly begin to lift, spending time in crowded public places still remains a common cause for anxiety. For households holding families, this time has been an almost welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Parents have reported being thankful and making the most out of this time that they get to spend with their children. However, this time can be quite lonely and isolating for those living alone. While the internet has provided us with new and innovative ways to be able to communicate with our loved ones, such as Skype and Zoom, having a physical relationship can’t compare to these modern solutions.
During the new normal, animal adoption centers have seen their adoption rates skyrocket as more and more people find solace in taking in an animal in need of a home, particularly dogs. The health benefits of having pets have long been established. They’ve been proven to help not just our mental but physical health as well.
During the pandemic, pets have not only benefited those of us living alone in need of some love and attention but it’s also helped teach younger children about responsibility. However, as many long-time pet owners know, taking care of an animal is no easy task one should go into blindly. Here are the basics you’ll need to know before you take on that commitment.
Make time for them
As much as we love our furry friends, in the busy day-to-day, it’s easy to forget that we are, in essence, their whole world. We’re here to take care of them and love them to the best of our abilities. Your dog isn’t just one part of your day that you can squeeze into your schedule. Walks, baths, feeding, and play times are all aspects of a happy and healthy day with your pet.
First-time pet owners may not be familiar with how much tender love and care these animals will actually need daily. While there are breeds and personalities which may need less or more attention, it’s important to remember that before taking in a pet, make sure you have the time and energy to give them.
Dog proofing your home
Similar to how first-time parents take on the challenge of baby proofing their homes, you’ll also need to make sure your home is a safe environment for your dog. These all need to be addressed before taking your furry friend home from exposed electrical cords, fragile home décor, and possibly toxic food and home supplies. If you plan on keeping your dog indoors, you could also look into dog obedience training schools near you to help with the training needed for your dog. Even if you plan on keeping your dog outdoors in your yard, make sure any gardening or pool supplies are kept in locked cabinets and out of their reach.
Finding a good vet and groomer
Getting a dog also means taking on significant financial responsibility. Dogs require a plethora of shots and checkups to ensure that they’re in tip-top shape and aren’t suffering from many ailments. Finding a great vet that’s close to you in case of any emergencies will be essential to taking good care of your pet’s health. Grooming is another big part of taking care of your dog. Some breeds with thicker and longer coats may require more grooming than others.
Beagles, Dalmatians, and Labradors with relatively shorter coats will require less frequent visits to the groomers than Pomeranians, Huskies, and Poodles. Both of these activities will take up a significant amount of your finances, so make sure that you’re doing the needed research beforehand.
Love for a lifetime
As previously mentioned, it can be easy to forget how we’re our dog’s whole world. Taking in an animal is a lifetime commitment that should be taken seriously. Most pets will be with us for 8-15 years, which for some may just seem like a small chunk of time, but for these lovely animals, we’re all they’ll ever know. Five or ten years down the line, you’ll have to consider them if you’re going out of town on a trip or moving to a new place.
You’ll have to make sure that there’s someone to take of them if you’re staying late at work and ensure that any friends you have over at your place know how to interact with them. Our furry friends deserve our unconditional love and attention as that’s what they offer us in return.
So before taking the leap and bringing home the cutest pup, take a long hard look at all the responsibility and love that goes into taking good care of them.