"No matter how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."--Louis Sabin
Nothing makes a house feel like a home more than a new family dog. Pets enrich our lives, and dogs bring a level of unconditional love & enthusiasm and brighten our day. Many of our real estate professionals are dog owners, so they understand just how important your four-legged family members are. Coldwell Banker has teamed up with Adopt-a-Pet.com, North America's largest nonprofit pet adoption website, to help 20,000 dogs find their forever homes. You too can go to Adopt-a-Pet.com and find the perfect pet to adopt. Below are some great tips to get you ready to bring home your new family dog.
Get everyone on board
"Anybody who doesn't know what soap tastes like never washed a dog."--Franklin P. Jones
Have a family meeting first. Make sure that your whole family is committed to doing everything it takes to adopt a new dog. Talk about all the positive things that your new family member will bring, as well as exploring any concerns or reservations thoroughly and make sure that everyone is on board. Be sure to discuss the financial aspect of owning a dog. From food and toys to vet bills, the added expense must be factored into the household budget. Determine well in advance who is responsible for filling the food and water dishes, who will be giving the baths, and what the schedule for walkies will be. State the rules of the house clearly (e.g., which furniture is okay to get on? When is crate time? When are snacks appropriate?).
Puppy-proof your home
"Happiness is a warm puppy."--Charles M. Schulz
Puppies have a lot of extra energy. Mix that with a tendency to chew, and you will soon see why puppy-proofing your house is such an important step. If you are bringing home a grown-up rescue dog instead of a puppy, you may not need to go to quite the same lengths. But every dog is different, and your view of "housebroken" may differ from others. Start with a section of your home that is centrally located, not isolated from the rest of the family. Consider using temporary gating to protect the less-than-puppy-proof areas. Make sure there are plenty of interesting and engaging things (and these will vary depending on the age of your new dog) to do in this space. Expand this area as your new furry friend learns and grows.
Be a good pack leader
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."--Roger Caras
Dogs are social animals, and your family is the pack that has adopted it. Be the best, and most responsible, pack leader you can be--just like a human infant, your new family dog is entirely reliant on you for its health, well-being, and guidance.
- Health: Your dog will need check-ups and vaccinations. Find a good vet.
- License: The State of Maine requires all dogs over six months old to be licensed.
- Tags and/or microchip: Dog tags are inexpensive and invaluable if your dog ever gets lost. Microchips require specialized equipment to read, but are pretty hard to lose, are quite affordable, and can be done in just a few moments.
- Training: Professional training classes are available in most areas. Try to find a trainer that helps teach you how to train your dog, rather than doing the training for you.
- Diet and exercise: Your dog will need different types of food and levels of activity throughout the stages of its life. Make sure your new furry friend receives the proper kinds of both.
- Have fun!
Are you and your family ready to adopt a new canine friend? Go to http://blog.coldwellbanker.com/adoptapet/ and learn more about Coldwell Banker's Homes for Dogs project and how Adopt-A-Pet.com is leading the way in pet adoptions. Even if you aren't able to adopt, you can still help out by volunteering, sharing adoption info on social media, or posting an Adopt-a-Pet.com widget on your business or personal website.
Share the joy with your family that only a dog can bring. Adopt today and remember: Life is better with a dog.