Not having grown up with a dog myself, adding a furry friend to the family was high on my list of things to do when we bought our house. Jay and I ultimately decided to wait a bit as we were both working full time and not at home for long stretches during the day. Once I began working from home, it seemed like it was the perfect time to add a dog to the mix. We didn’t really have a specific breed in mind and were actually thinking we would wind up with a lab. But when we met Roofus, it was love at first sight and we knew he was the perfect addition to our family.
Seriously – who could resist that face???
Like I do with most new things, I set about learning as much about taking care of our new addition as I could via Google. While I did get a lot of good information online, there are some things that only experience can teach you! Like….
- Be realistic about how much time you have. When picking out your furry friend, be honest with yourself about how much time you have to devote to your new pet. While puppies are undeniably adorable, they take a LOT of time and effort to train. They also have an abundance of energy and need frequent exercise. There are tons of mellow, already trained dogs at your local shelter. If you feel training a puppy might be too much right now, an older dog might be a great fit.
- Know what your dog’s grooming needs will be. I did not realize that some dogs have fur and some have hair. (I never had a dog before – remember? This was never an issue with my pet fish!) Roofus has hair which is actually a plus for us since Josh and I both tend to have allergies. He also doesn’t shed which I have grown to really appreciate as well! However, he does require regular baths and haircuts which we have had to factor into the budget and schedule.
- Get a good sense of what your dog can get into. Once you’ve selected your new dog and brought him home, take another look at your house – from his perspective. The best way to do this is to get down on your hands and knees (or like in our case – lay on your stomach if you have a small dog) and see what your dog sees. If you previously had a small dog and now have a larger one, see if there are new surfaces your dog can reach that your previous pup couldn’t. I’ll never forget the look on my friend’s face when she realized her new Lab had snagged the pot roast that had been sitting on her counter. That was NOT something she had worried about with her Shih Tzu! While Roofus is tiny, he is resourceful. We’ve had to learn to push in our chairs when we get up from the table or he will go hunting for crumbs.
- Be prepared for unexpected expenses. Whether you have a new puppy or an older dog, unexpected things come up and they sometimes require a trip to the vet or animal emergency room. Just a few weeks after getting Roofus, he caught a robin in his mouth and then proceeded to throw up over and over again. It was a Sunday, so off to the animal hospital ER we went. Then there was the time he climbed onto the table and drank my pineapple juice and vodka. That was our second trip to the ER.
One of the ways you can get a bit of a handle on unexpected medical expenses is to invest in pet insurance. Healthy Paws is partnering with me on this sponsored post to help me let more pet owners know what their options are. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance has been #1 customer rated since 2015 with 98% customer satisfaction! They offer unlimited lifetime benefits and cover things like emergency surgery, medications, ER visits and tests, genetic conditions and even cancer and alternative care. And you can see the licensed vet of your choice! (I’m getting a little envious here…)
You can put in your dog’s information and get an instant quote to see how much your cost would be. And you can adjust the coverage and deductible to best fit your own needs! (While we are obviously dog people here, Healthy Paws does not discriminate and also offers policies for cats too.) Learn more from this quick video:
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