If you been longing to hear the pitter patter of little paws around your house, it may be time to think about getting your first dog.  However, this is no decision to make lightly.  There are a lot of things to consider and a lot of preparation that goes into it.  So we have gathered a few tips to get you going.

Consider Your Lifestyle: The first thing you want to think about is your lifestyle and what dog would fit well into your daily life.  If you have a small apartment, then you probably don’t want to get a Great Dane.  Or if you have kids you want to make sure sure to find a dog that has a pretty affable temperament. Also, if you are away from home for long hours during the week, then make a budget for a dog walker or pet sitter to come by to give them some much needed TLC and exercise.

Supplies You Need: While you’re busy trying to find the perfect match for your family make sure to start stocking up on supplies.  You don’t want to wait until the ride home with a new pup to get a kennel or a collar.  If you know the general size of the dog you want, go ahead and pick out a collar and a harness.  Get bowls, chew toys, and other doggy must-haves so it can be ready for the big welcome home.  It also helps the new toys smell like their new home.  Find a local vet and get prices for spaying/neutering or vaccinations.  Your new dog will probably need to get checked out within the first few weeks at home.

Set Up A Space:  Next you’ll want to consider exactly where you want to your new family member to stay in the home.  A good place to set up a new dog is in the kitchen or laundry room.  If they have accidents on the floor it makes for an easy clean up.  This is also a great place to put their kennel if you want to crate train them. They need a special area that is where they are going to spend most of their time. A large brand new home can be a little overwhelming for a new pet. Also, don’t forget dog proof any area they will be and remove any toxic plants or objects that they could chew on.

Getting your first dog is a big step because you are truly adding a new member to your family.  But it can also be one of the most rewarding decisions you’ll ever make!