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Getting a Dog – Complete Checklist for New Dog Owners

 

Bringing a new dog into the family is a very exciting time. Becoming a pet parent is rewarding, but also full of responsibility. The best way to prepare for your new dog is to have a checklist to lay the groundwork for your new addition.

 

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Dog  Checklist

Four Important Considerations:

1. Time: It is very important to think about how much time you’ll honestly be able to give your new pet.

  • At the very least dogs need to be fed 2-3 times a day and walked at least once a day.
  • Dogs with more energy may need even more time for proper exercise and stimulation.
  • Healthy pets should get at least an hour or day of direct attention, even if it’s just cuddling.
  • Don’t forget to add in time for grooming, hygiene, and appointments.

2. Costs: You want to make sure that you can always care for your vet. The best way is to create a budget for a new dog before you bring them home.

  • Does your new pet need to be spayed or neutered?
  • Is there an adoption fee that needs to be paid?
  • Monthly expenses such as food, pet sitting or new supplies
  • Routine veterinary care
  • Microchipping
  • Grooming equipment and supplies
  • Will you want to sign them up for training classes?
  • Beds and toys
  • Spare supplies

3. Age & Size: These are also two important factors in getting a new dog.

  • Puppies take far more time and training
  • Is your home accommodating to a large dog or would it be better suited for a small dog?
  • Do you have another pet to consider when deciding on what type of dog to get?
  • Can a large pet travel with you comfortably?

4. Lifestyle and relationship: Another big consideration is how your lifestyles will blend and the relationship you want to to have with your new canine companion. 

  • Are you active and want to bring your dog on hikes and camping trips?
  • Will your work and social life affect your ability to spend time and care for your pet?
  • Do you want a pet that will travel with you?
  • Do you have children that need a reliable and safe dog?
  • Is your new dog going to be your best friend or more of an independent roommate?

 

Shopping Checklist:

  • Age appropriate food
  • Water and food bowls
  • Collar
  • Leash
  • ID tags (make sure your phone number is on it)
  • Dog carrier or crate
  • Doggy shampoo and brush
  • Super absorbent paper towels
  • Various types of toys
  • Blanket
  • Dog toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Plastic baggies for waste

 

Getting a new dog awesome. Once you have considered all the important factors and gotten their supplies, the only thing left to do is have fun with your new family member!

Download the Complete Preparing for a New Dog  Checklist

5 Tips to Picking a Veterinarian You Love!

 

Adding a new pet to your family is very exciting. It’s important to find a good vet and start their care as soon as possible. But it is likely that you feel a little overwhelmed when you see the long list of vets in the directory. It’s not too hard to narrow down the search if you know what to consider when choosing a vet.

1. What kind of accreditation do they have?

The best veterinary hospitals are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). They regularly evaluate the practices on about 900 different standards of excellence, which means the level of care is the best in the industry. Visit their website to find an AAHA accredited vet near you.

Many clinics are also starting to offer a Fear Free certification. This is a course that teaches veterinarians to work with animals in such a way as to minimize the fear and stress involve in a vet visit. Find a Fear Free certified veterinarian near you.

2. How convenient are their hours and location?

There’s no doubt that we are busy people. That is why it is important to have a veterinarian office that is located near your home or on your daily commute. Moreover, make sure that they have the hours that fit your daily schedule. If you work long days, find a location with evening or weekend hours.

3. What type of emergency care do they offer?

Accidents and sickness happens. We can’t plan for them and unfortunately they also can happen at all hours of the night. Make sure to have a plan in place for emergency care. If the vet you choose has AAHA accreditation, there is a good chance they have 24 hour emergency services.

4. Do they have in house medical equipment and lab testing?

The best offices have in house testing and equipment. If your pet needs lab work or x-rays, the results will be faster; meaning you will know what is wrong and how to treat it as soon as possible.

5. Are there good online reviews and testimonials?

Nothing beats a face to face encounter to tell how much (or how little) you are going to like any particular office. However, in the great day and age of the internet, we have sites like Yelp.com that help shine the light behind the doors. Read reviews on community sites as well as testimonials on their website as well. This will help you get an idea if the practice is a good fit for you family.

 

After you’ve picked a vet, go for a regular check to assess the level of care. If they are a perfect, then great! If not, try again until you find the one that is just right for you.

Do you have any recommendations for veterinarian offices in the Fort Collins or Loveland area? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!