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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New family pet

Make sure pets are allowed - per your rental agreement or insurance contract.
If pets are allowed, be sure that the breed and size you have are allowed

1. Let the dog live indoors with the family.

2. Let the dog settle in before inviting friends over, taking the dog pet stores, etc.. If the dog is shy or not confident around strangers, keep him/her away from strangers for now

3. Start a savings account right away - just for the dog.  You can start small - perhaps 10 dollars a month.
This list has some ways to save money if needed
Also see:

4. Find a good vet, get a heartworm test. If the dog is negative, get started on heartworm preventative right away.  Also discuss with the vet and do your own research on vaccinations. Rabies every 3 years is the law.

5. Discuss with the vet and do your own research on dog nutrition. Try not to feed items with sugar or artificial coloring or other harmful ingredients. Feed every day. Don't over feed - an overweight dog is an unhealthy dog - but don't let the dog get too skinny either.

6. Get the dog acclimated to a crate but don't crate excessively.  Crates can be large - they don't' have to be "just big enough to turn around in"
See crate acclimation here:

7. Potty train the dog. Details here and here:

8. Teach the dog how walk on leash and take the dog on daily walks.  No need for special equipment such as chokes and prongs. A comfortable harness will do.  Details here

9. Keep the dog out of trouble -
Keep counters clean
Don't leave shoes and other interesting things laying about

10. Never leave the dog tethered unattended

11. Don't leave the dog outdoors if you are going to be gone for extended periods

12. If the dog spends any time outdoors, be sure that the fence is secure  - no gaps, high enough to not jump or climb over, locked gate, etc..
If the fence is easily escapeable, take the dog outside on leash until the fence is fixed.

13. Discuss flea and tick control with your vet and consider some non toxic option if possible:
Don't buy over the counter flea or heartworm medications.

14. Teach the dog some simple obedience behaviors like sit, down, stay, wait, etc..

15. If you decide to go to training classes or hire a trainer, here are some considerations

16. Groom the dog regularly
Brush/comb , nail trims, ear cleaning, etc.. - ask the vet to show you how.  You might need the assistance of the vet for nail trims. Try to have nails clipped or dremmeled at least once a month. Brush or comb every day.

18. Bathe the dog a couple of times a year in a mild shampoo. Try to use something without dyes, perfumes, sodium laurel sulfate, etc.. If the dog gets dirty or gets fleas, bathe more  often. Flea shampoos probably aren't necessary - the water and suds will drown the fleas.

19. Discuss spay/neuter with the vet

20. Spend quality time with the dog but don't force petting on to the dog if the dog does not want to be petted:

21. Prevent door dashing with air locks:

22. Never let the pet roam off leash

23. If any expensive medical bills come up, see some options here:

24. Things that are NOT required for training a dog (and will usually do more harm than good)
Shock collars,
spray collars (for barking),
spraying a dog with water, or water/vinegar
Threatening a dog with newspaper
Actually hitting a dog with newspaper
hitting a dog
kicking a dog (sometimes called "using your foot")
Choking a dog (sometimes called leash or collar "correction")
Strangling a dog
Yelling at a dog
yelling "no" to a dog
Throwing a bean bag, can of pennies or other object at the dog
Shaking a can of pennies
Choke chains
Prong collars
Placing a collar or slip leash "high behind the ears"
Alpha Roll
Poking in the ribs
Jabbing in the neck

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