Whether you’re purchasing a special breed pup or scouting out local rescues to adopt a canine companion, it’s important to research and plan for your future dog’s specific care needs. Doing this will ensure that you’ll have the time and resources to provide the best possible care for them throughout their life.
As well as checking that you can meet your four-legged friends’ day-to-day care needs, you’ll also have to consider any special breed care requirements and any breed-related health issues they may be prone to.
Here are some tips on how to thoroughly prepare for a new pup, and how we can help you through the process!
1. Consider your available time, resources and energy
If you want to be really certain that you can properly care for a new furry family member, it’s worth considering a few practicalities, such as:
- Do you have time to exercise your pet daily according to their breed activity requirements? If not, can you afford to pay a professional dog walker or send your pet to doggy daycare instead?
- Do you work long hours? If so, does your pet have access to a safe, confined area where they can eat, drink, rest and go to the toilet regularly, with appropriate shade in summer and warmth in winter?
- Have you budgeted not just for upfront puppy costs (i.e. a collar, bedding, toys), but also for ongoing dietary requirements, routine health care (such as vaccinations, desexing and parasite control), and semi-regular healthcare procedures (such as dental procedures)?
2. Consider your pup’s specific requirements
If you’re planning to buy a particular breed of dog, it’s important to source them from a responsible breeder. In terms of general tips when choosing a breeder, it’s recommended to:
- Ask the breeder about that breed’s health issues – a good breeder will be happy to acknowledge any special breed needs (e.g. predisposition to hip dysplasia) and will have a regular vet whom they work with to perform any available screening tests or special breed maintenance
- Attend the premises on at least one occasion to assess the puppies’ parents for good general health and temperament, and check that the puppies are being brought up in a clean environment with lots of positive handling
Even when obtaining a mixed-breed dog from a rescue organisation, you should be able to check with the staff regarding the suspected breed genetics your canine may carry, and any known individual behaviour quirks they may have (e.g. thunderstorm anxiety).
3. Consider pet insurance
Unless you have a significant buffer of money for any unexpected injuries or health problems in your pup, it’s a great idea to consider pet insurance, activated as soon as your pup is obtained for the best coverage. This can help to ensure you’re never financially caught short in an already distressing situation.
4. Attend regular veterinary checks
We recommend regular veterinary health checks for all dogs – this involves monthly checks during the puppy vaccination period, annual checks for healthy adult dogs, and checks at least every six months for dogs who are older or have known health issues.
These regular checks allow us to monitor your pet for any known disease predispositions, and proactively manage their general health (e.g. joint and dental health). With careful preparation and ongoing support, you’ll be helping to ensure the best quality of life and health for your four-legged family member.
For more information on special breed care requirements, consult our knowledgeable team.