There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to bringing a new dog into your home. Every dog is unique, and no two humans are the same, so bringing a new dog home is an individual experience for you both. However, there are some important factors that are relevant to consider, irrespective of your individual circumstances.
- Choosing the right dog for you
- Medical care
- A complete and balanced diet
- Ongoing care
Choosing the right dog for you
Different breeds, ages and stages of life all come with unique challenges. Puppies are as adorable as they are hard work, and they aren’t for everyone. Rescue dogs on the other hand, may be older and through the notorious “puppy phase” however depending on their past circumstances, may have specific training or behavioural needs. The research phase in choosing a dog that’s right for you helps set you up for success as a dog-owner and gives you and your dog the best chance of a rewarding life together.
The RSPCA Smart Puppy and Dog Buyers Guide has more helpful information on this point https://rspcapuppyguide.com.au/
A health check soon after bringing your new dog home is important to ensure they’re in good shape and are up to date with all the important preventative health measures like worming and vaccinations. Your chosen veterinarian will be able to offer you helpful advice and information, especially if you are a first-time dog owner, on how to care for your dog throughout their life.
A complete and balanced diet
Critical for healthy growth and development as well as health throughout your dogs’ life, no matter the age of your dog, a complete and balanced diet that suits their life-stage is of the upmost importance.
Puppies have specific nutritional needs which can be easily missed when not feeding a complete and balanced diet. Nutrition sets your puppy up for healthy growth and development and helps prevent chronic health issues later in life, associated with a poor diet during this important formative time.
Adult dogs’ nutritional requirements are also unique to their life stage and a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs will help nourish them, support them and provide them with the energy they need to live a healthy life with you.
Senior dogs who are slowing down and need a little extra support from their diet also benefit from a life-stage appropriate complete and balanced food.
The Pet Food Industry Association for Australia advocates for safe and nutritious pet food in Australia. For more information on the different types of pet food available, visit this link https://pfiaa.com.au/your-pet-food/ and for trusted manufacturers find more here, https://pfiaa.com.au/our-members/
Beyond your new dogs’ nutritional and medical needs, consider their unique emotional needs. Does your dog have a safe space in your home? Do they get enough exercise and mental stimulation? Do they have any behavioural that warrant investing extra time in training?
Your dog will have unique needs that may change throughout their life and your bond with them will benefit from investment of time and energy on these unique needs.
For more information on pet ownership and quality pet food, visit the PFIAA website https://pfiaa.com.au/news-resources/