Our furry friends give us some of the greatest moments in life but some come close to the day we met them for the first time and brought them home with us. With so much excitement in the air, it is extremely important that we are prepared for their first few days in a new home.

If you get a chance to watch Dog Whisperers show on National Geographic, you will notice a very remarkable insight and a common theme that, typically it is the dog parents who are the problem and not the dogs. Why is that? Poor or no knowledge of the choice of breed or its natural requirements, instincts or just basic temperament maybe some of the general causes.

Let us help you understand some basics things to consider before bringing a pup home.

1. Are you ready to commit?

Will you have the time to walk your dog two times a day or have someone at home to ensure it is done? Can you take him to work sometimes or just spend lazy sundays all with him? Do understand that a dog’s life is much shorter than an average human’s life and they want to spend every moment of those small lives with us. If you think you can give your dog more importance than a random office party or your favourite daily soap, you might be ready for this leap.

2. Affordability

The expenses of a dog goes beyond basics like food, water and shelter. Regular veterinary care is of utmost importance which includes vaccinations, regular check-ups and grooming. You have to ensure that your dog gets high quality food and exercises regularly. You must also invest in toys and treats so your paw friend feels energised and happy. Then there are services like - will you require a trainer? will you need a dog walker if you are working long hours? The expenses can vary between breeds so it is essential to ensure you are well covered and have enough to provide before adding this new member to your family.

3. A Puppy or an Adult Dog?

Should you get a puppy or an adult dog? Many would like to bring home a puppy because they want to mould him their way. Raising a puppy can be demanding and may require time for them to develop their social skills and learning of life situations. You’ll need to make sure they're staying out of trouble. And you’ll need to take them to regular obedience training classes to give them a solid foundation in good behaviour. Overall, the first 2-6 months are going to be hard work! If you work from home, have a family or have some flexibility with your schedule, a puppy is for you! If not, consider an adult dog that has been house trained and is able to mind their manners while you’re away. But they might also come with behavioural issues that you must be ready to deal with. Choose the best fit for your situation.

4. Will Your Doggie Fit Your Lifestyle, Home and Surroundings?

Before choosing a dog based on how popular or cute it is, which is probably the most common mistake people make, you need to think over some basic points as well. A dog is not a status symbol, (s)he is a member of your family and will look up to you to take care of them. Wanting a breed is not a problem as different breeds react to different people and surroundings differently which makes it quite natural to want a certain breed for your perfect home. Get to know the breed you are attracted to and be open to changing your mind if they don’t fit your ability to provide for its temperament. Do you want a quiet dog that mostly lays around and never barks? Or you would want one that has bundles of energy? Would you want a protector of your abode or one that would be welcoming to everyone? Take as much time as you want while choosing your breed. Do your research and choose wisely!

5. Proper Healthcare, Grooming

Those regular visits to the vet are essential. Getting checked on their overall growth, in time vaccinations, and just ensuring any seasonal requirements as well. In addition regular grooming is also important part of responsible dog care. Regular grooming keeps your dog clean, healthy, and comfortable. Some breeds might require longer and more frequent schedule than the other.

6. Mindful Nutrition

It is important to choose the higher quality, higher protein and healthiest food for yourself and dogs also require complete and balanced diet. Cheaper quality food has lots of wheat and corn which 1/3rd of dogs are allergic to. This promotes itching which leads to more hair and dander around the house which gets you sneezing. From the time they are young until the time they are seniors, your doggie food choices should be guided by the dog’s specific needs, life stage, and lifestyle. You can do some cursory research to get a good idea of why it is important and what to look for, but for the best advice a consultation with your veterinarian is the best way forward.

7. Making Your Home Pet-Friendly

Dogs are curious and love to explore their surroundings. It is highly important to go through your home now, before you bring a new pet home, to search out hazards and get them out of the way or out of the house. Make sure there are no toxic plants or any substance within reach. Something as simple as a chewing gum or baking chocolate can be hazardous for dogs. We will also be coming up with another article around this topic in further detail.

Once you know what to expect and the challenges or steps involved you will be far more prepared to deal with it and just like with any companion, you will both be happy and appreciate each other even more.