Adopting your First Dog? Here’s what you need to know

Thinking about getting your first-ever adopted dog? You must be feeling ecstatic right now! We know how it feels—scrolling through countless dog videos online and wanting to get one yourself. As you may have already known, adopting a dog for the first time is a thrilling adventure. But unlike usual adventures, this is not a spontaneous one. The journey to dog parenthood is something to be prepared for.

You see, being a dog parent is a long-term commitment. So, before you get a dog, there are a few reminders you should keep in mind for successful dog parenthood. If you want to know more, make sure to scroll further!

Choosing the right breed

Can’t get your mind off of that cute, fluffy Maltese you saw in the adoption center? Or that Golden Retriever with the cutest puppy eyes? We get it, there’s no way we can contain a dog’s cuteness, and you might be tempted to get that “adorable one” right away. But it’s important to figure out which dog best fits your lifestyle.

For instance, if you live in a small apartment, a toy dog like a Pomeranian or Yorkshire Terrier may be a perfect pair. On the other hand, if you have a huge backyard and are willing to take care of an outdoorsy one like a Labrador Retriever may suit your lifestyle the best.

However, if you already have a breed in mind, research about it. Find out about its quirks, usual behavior, common health problems, and special dietary needs, if any. Learning about your desired breed’s background will help you identify if his or her lifestyle will fit yours.

Gather necessary dog supplies

Now that you know how to identify which dog best matches you and your lifestyle, now it’s about time to gather his necessities!

Get everything your pooch will need to make him feel happy, comfortable, and safe in your home. From high-quality dog food to dog beds, pet toiletries, collar, and leash treats, grooming supplies, and chew toys.

Puppy-proof your home

Just like baby proofing, it’s vital to prepare a space before your new furry friend comes home. Keep away items that bring potential harm for overly curious dogs. Also, keep shoes, sandals, and other important items out of reach of your dog.

Aside from preparing your home, you should prepare the whole family too. You and your family members can assign and divide responsibilities among yourselves. Don’t forget to assign a safe, private space for your pooch. It will serve as a place wherein they can be comfortable throughout the adjustment period.

If you have cats at home, it’s imperative to have a designated dog-free spot wherein they can take refuge. The whole preparation process may be tedious, but all these efforts will be beneficial to everyone.

Now, you’re officially a dog parent! The first moments may be challenging, but following these basic tips will help your new four-legged friend feel secure in his new home, with his new family.

If you want more tips from fellow dog lovers, using the BarkHappy app may help you explore more tips, dog-friendly travel spots, and meet new furry friends nearby.

Author bio

Mike is a dog lover and an established writer from Los Angeles, California in the United States. He manages Dog Embassy, a website that aims to provide information about dog nutrition, exercise, accessories, and more.

Hit the Road with Your Dog: Some Car Travel Tips

Ready to take your dog on your next road trip? Cruising in the car to new and exciting places is a great way to bond. Planning and a little preparation can make the journey easy. BarkHappy can help. With over 27,000 dog-friendly places and meetups in over 45 major cities, the world is waiting for you and your dog to explore.

Safety first.  Many dogs love the car and can’t wait to hop aboard.  But they may be prone to injuries when given free reign. Car seats, pet carriers, seat belts, pet barriers or crates are all good options that will keep your pet safe.  A ramp or steps will help your dog get in and out of the car easily.

Make the car cozy and comfortable.  The more comfortable your dog is, the easier it will be for him to curl up, settle in and enjoy the ride. A warm fleece blanket is great for snuggling during winter travel and can be used as a soft cushion. For smaller dogs, pet car seats offer a safe way to sit and look out the window, keeping them engaged and interested.  Most car seats come with a safety harness that ensures that dogs will be secure should an accident occur.

Stop Frequently. Potty breaks can be a good way for your dog to stretch, burn off excess energy and gain exposure to new surroundings. Keep bottled water and a bowl on hand for short drinks and pack the car with some favorite toys or treats.

Carry some old towels or wash cloths. Some dogs seem to attract and thrive on mess. For unforeseen rain or muddy conditions, old towels come in handy and help keep both your pet and your car seats clean.

Never leave your dog unattended in a car especially in the warmer months. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, hundreds of dogs suffer and die each year from heat exhaustion. Dogs are sensitive to temperature and overheat quickly. Temperatures in a parked car can rise as much 20° F in just 10 minutes. On warm summer days, heat can quickly soar to levels that can be fatal.

Be open to new experiences on the road. The BarkHappy app is a great way to access and take advantage of the many dog-friendly places along the way. Get the most out of your trip by using the app to plan a vacation, a trip to the dog park or a special meetup that will let your dog in on all the action. Be sure to add your new dog-friendly finds to the BarkHappy map to share with other dog owners.