Bringing Your Dog Home: The Essentials

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Let’s say that you’re finally getting a dog of your own, and but aside from feeding and cuddling with it, you have no idea how to raise it. That being said, a canine companion is what everyone needs: they are lovable and slobbering fur balls that can relieve stress and make your life worthwhile. Unless if you get a shelter dog (they come with the shots and other essentials), your pet dog is relatively like a newborn child: susceptible to all sorts of diseases and unprepared to face the world ahead. So, if you’re about to bring a puppy home from the breeder or the pet store, here’s a checklist of all the essentials and the things you need to know about, aside from food, of course:

First off, the vaccines

A lot of diseases nowadays have now become uncommon, mainly because of vaccines. Basically, these are the “dead” version of the diseases that are introduced into the bloodstream. This in turn allows the antibodies to form a natural resistance against these diseases, thus making one immune to it either temporarily or permanently. As of today, there are a number of vaccines available in veterinary hospitals.

Vaccines are classified into two classes, core and non-core. Core vaccines are being employed to all dogs, and the ones that are classified as such include:

• Rabies – this is a fatal viral infection that affects the central nervous system, transmitted through saliva and can infect humans. That being said, it can cause madness and convulsions, and ultimately, death. Bear in mind that there’s only one human being who survived and fully recovered from rabies.

• Canine distemper – this ailment can cause a variety of complications, including diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration and seizures. It can be taken from the dog’s body fluids and primarily affects the intestines, lungs and the nervous system.

Meanwhile, non-core vaccines are for specific and uncommon diseases, as well as for pets that have special needs. Bear in mind that vaccines are highly important in keeping your dog alive, happy and healthy. Talk to your veterinarian about your pooch’s vaccination options and priorities.

Pet-proofing procedures

Aside from preparing your puppy, you need to prepare your home as well, in order to avoid unwanted incidents and damage. Remember, dogs can get really playful and restless, so them knocking over a table and dropping that hundred dollar vase isn’t a far-off possibility. You may need to remove all of the carpets, keep all electrical cords out of reach, along with harmful plants, fertilizers and poisonous substances. Also be sure to prepare other pets (if you have them) if another canine companion will be around.

Spaying or neutering

The removal of the sex organs might seem cruel, but doing so actually helps out the entirety of the dog population, by reducing the possibility of breeding strays. That being said, female dogs are spayed, or have their ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus removed. Meanwhile, male dogs are neutered, or have their testicles cut off and castrated. Bear in mind that there are a lot of benefits to this, even if your pet is deprived of its reproductive life. Female dogs are less susceptible to ovarian and breast cancers, while male dogs won’t roam around in search of females to mate with.

Accessories and identification

Your dog needs some sort of identification on it at all times. This comes in handy if it inadvertently leaves your home and decides to roam around, eventually getting lost. Having an ID collar complete with its name, address, name of the owners (yours) and contact numbers would come in handy. That said, chipping your pooch is also a must, in order to make it easier to locate in case it gets lost.

Your pet also needs a crate (for training and transport), along with a food and water bowl.

So, are you ready to bring your pet home? Remember these tips the next time you’re bringing one home!

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