A dog needs the proper nutrition, his shots up to date, his coat kept clean and unmated, and his teeth clean and nails clipped.

You should check the ingredients in your dog’s food. You might even discuss his food with your veterinarian the next time you visit the vet for his shots. The vet can also clip the dog’s nails if you do not feel that you can do it yourself. If you can hear the dog’s nails on the concrete or floor, they are too long. For the vet to clean the dog’s teeth he will have to put him under anesthesia which is always a danger so you should give the dog things to chew on which will keep his teeth clean.

If you have a longhaired breed, either you will need to bathe the dog and brush out the mats, or you will need to take the dog to a groomer on a regular basis.

A happy dog knows his limits so you need to establish boundaries through training. This is potty training in the beginning and teaching the puppy to not nibble on fingers or toes. Later training will mean walking on a leash and obeying commands like sit and come.

Owning a dog is fun, but it is also a job.

Questions to ask yourself before you get your new dog:
(in no particular order)

  • How big do you want the dog to be when full-grown? All puppies are cute, but some will get bigger and bigger. Make this decision before you look at puppies.
  • Do you want a lap dog or a larger dog that can live more outdoors? Either size will require a fenced in area unless you plan to walk him on a leash to potty. The larger the dog, the larger the fenced-in area needs to be.