Congratulations, you?re the proud new parent of an adorable puppy! The joy an animal can bring to your heart is endlessly rewarding, but it does not come without sacrifice. For example, until your puppy reaches 16 weeks old, you have to bring her in every three to four weeks so the veterinarians can give her vaccines. This will help keep her free of any major or minor illnesses and prevent them from spreading. Every day is a new challenge and in order to have a happy, healthy dog, you need to learn how to rise to the occasion. Each day that you spend with your furry friend not only forms a bond but also gives you confidence that you can be a good parent. Yes, raising a dog is a great way to practice for the eventual baby boy or girl in your life.
- Providing Food
When you?re hungry you can only check the fridge so many times before giving up and ordering out. When your puppy is hungry, but there?s no food in her bowl, and you haven’t taught her how to use a phone yet, she simply doesn?t get to eat. It?s a pretty simple task to provide food for an animal since they?re typically not too picky, but it gives you first-hand experience to know what having something or someone depends on you.
- Potty Training
Be ready for puddles to happen in the . You have to remember that you?re dog is a baby and it?s still learning. Make sure to show your pup where to go, where not to go, and reinforce it firmly. Also, be patient, neither your puppy nor your future child is going to learn this overnight!
- Going For Walks
Your dog needs exercise as much as you do, if not more! Walks are an easy way to stay healthy and bond. Playing a game of fetch and taking fun car rides to the dog park are also great ways to get exercise and socialize with other dogs. You?ll start to see how puppies and children are not so different when they play, and just how important it is for both to be active and have time to make friends.
- Learning Tricks Paw? No, paw! Atta girl! Obviously, this isn?t how you should teach your daughter to high five, but the skills and patience learned from teaching a dog how to do certain tasks can transfer to teaching your children how to read or ride a bike.
- Emergency Room Visits This is where it gets scary. Veterinarians are like pediatricians for your pooch. They are great for treatments and services such as check-ups and minor illnesses, but what happens when your pup has urgent medical needs? Make sure before ever adopting a pet that you know where your closest 24 hour animal hospital is located. Emergency care can sometimes be difficult to access, but please be prepared. While this veterinary emergency is terrifying at the time, it will provide you with the level-headed responsibility that you will need when facing a similar situation with your children later in life.
Veterinarians are there to teach you about animal health and care, just as doctors are there to guide you in your child’s health for major and minor illnesses alike. You’ll learn and grow as a person. And as your puppy grows into a dog and a best friend, you will become increasingly prepared for the responsibility of children.