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Tips For New Pet Owners

It's almost time to bring your new family member home. You've scouted a walking trail to explore, purchased chew toys and picked out the perfect collar and leash. Owning a dog for the first time is an exciting milestone, but it doesn't come without its share of challenges. The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association recommends some simple tips to help you navigate this new chapter.

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A Pitbull dog  mid-air, running after its chew toy with its owner standing close by.
Photographer: Eldad Carin

A Pitbull dog mid-air, running after its chew toy with its owner standing close by.

Money matters.

Pets can be expensive. You are introducing a new member of your family that requires food, regular check-ups, grooming and toys. Budget out the costs so you know exactly how much you will need for important things like quality food, veterinary visits and any unexpected medical costs.

Protect your possessions.

When dogs are being housetrained, they can wreak havoc on your belongings and some of these may pose a choking risk for your pet. Be sure to keep things like shoes and cords out of reach.

Get physical.

Puppies can have endless energy. Regular exercise, like walks or a run at your local dog park, will help keep them active and healthy. Be sure to let your new pet get the rest it needs after an exciting day — lots of growing means lots of sleeping.

Dogs rule.

Dogs like routine and stable habits. Make sure you gently teach your dog acceptable behaviour with clear and consistent expectations.

Family unity.

Remember that adopting a pet is a big financial, emotional and time commitment that all members of your family should be on board with

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