5 nerdy dog owner necessities

Odin San_Fotor

Whether you’re adopting/buying your first pup, have had your trusty companion for years, or just want to know what you’ll need ahead of time, these five necessities for puppy/dog ownership and care are the most important I’ve faced with my Siberian Husky, Odin.

1. Knowledge

This is what you’re here for, and I applaud you.

Perhaps the most important aspect here is research into the breed of your future/current companion. Before taking in my new best friend, I spent years waiting and asking around about what I could do to make my dog comfortable in an environment that isn’t nearly ideal for the breed I’ve had eyes on since childhood. Tons of great references exist online for every breed out there and can be found in every media form imaginable. A good place to start is Youtube, and the channel Dogs 101. This video series covers most breeds and basic ownership necessities/trials that you’ll face with your companion.

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Make sure you also check text references such as Vetstreet for detailed information on ownership laws, and what you’ll need to make sure your pet isn’t confiscated by authorities for neglectful actions that you may have not even know about. Lastly, ask around. Don’t be afraid to approach random dog owners, friends, family, and others who’ve had experience with this specific breed, as a small dog owner won’t have nearly the same issues as those with large breeds.

2. A Good Veterinarian

It can mean the difference between life and death for your pet.

Ok, maybe that was a bit morbid sounding, but you would be surprised at how many diseases your pet can catch just from strangers petting him/her.
Yelp can be a huge help with this step. (The site’s name is somewhat ironic to your current task.) Check reviews and ratings on the Vet you choose for your pet. Some specialize in certain breeds and may catch early onset issues with your puppy that are preventable ahead of time. Vaccinations are an absolute necessity so keep detailed track, in writing, and in a saved document of your dog’s visits and what he/she has had recently. Most puppies can be taken for walks after the third or fourth vaccination, and while not recommended, careful owners who stay alert can still take their pets outside with limited environmental interaction.

3. Puppy Proofing Their Environment

The amount of times you’ll say, “What are you eating now?!” came at a real surprise to myself.

Previous to adoption, my living room, office, and bedroom were cluttered with wiring, gadgets, controllers, headsets, you name it. What I quickly realized is the danger this can all pose your best friend. Braided sleeving is an absolute necessity for any home with a young, adventurous puppy. Dogs love to chew on stuff, especially in their early teething stages, and will find any loose wire hanging around to munch on the second you turn your back. Even with all the toys in the world, your dog will still chew on these cables just because they see them hanging. For console owners, this can be an issue as charging your controllers becomes somewhat tricky at times, but docking stations can be a huge help and wiring can be hidden behind furniture.

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Baby gates can be a temporary solution, but with proper training, your dog should be able to handle full reign of your shared living space. Crate training can also save you a ton of headaches when it comes to potty training, so make sure to associate it with positive behavior and make it their own safe space.

4. Food, Treats, and Hygiene

Potty training is the most frustrating yet strangely satisfying experiences of raising a puppy.

Personally, after tons of research, I’ve chosen to go with the most recommended and highest rated dog food on the market, Blue Buffalo. This doesn’t mean that all other kibble brands will be inferior for your breed. A good amount of googling, asking around, and some professional opinions can all benefit the choices you make in your canine’s nutrition. Treats should be treated similarly, as they’ll be the driving force behind your pet’s training and obedience.

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A good water bowl
can also save you the trouble of having to replace it multiple times per day. It’s still recommended that you clean our your dog’s bowl in the mornings as there could be dead insects and other stuff floating around in there. Place a towel underneath in case of spillage and improvised pool parties. All that food and water needs to go somewhere right? Wee Wee Pads are what you’ll be investing a lot of money into the first few months of ownership before your pup is trained for potty on your neighbor’s lawn. Buy in bulk, thank me later. You’ll go through 4-10 of these PER DAY.

Cleaning products such as Nature’s Miracle will save your carpets and hardwood floors from bacteria developing that even products such as Lysol and Pledge can miss. My advice is to load up on paper towels, get yourself a good mop, and tons of this stuff in addition to actual cleaning products. From there, you’ll want to first absorb the urine into paper towels, then clean once with Nature’s Miracle, then again with your cleaning product of choice. While tedious, it’ll absolutely save your floors. Be ready to do tons of cleaning and don’t worry, you’ll get used to poop, even applaud it at times.

5. Toys, Time, and Persistence

Here’s where the hard work both begins and pays off.

Playtime with your pup is the perfect break from gaming. While some breeds such as my Husky will need much more playtime and attention, your dog will become a part of YOUR lifestyle. Thus, it’s only fair that you alter your own schedule to make their day more entertaining than watching you play games all day. Toys that are fun for both of can mean the difference between your dog living a healthy, active, life or becoming a sedentary fatty. Remember, simple is always best in this case. Dogs can’t appreciate build quality or care if it’s the latest. Pulling rope, balls, bully sticks, and chew toys are all you’ll really need.

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Make sure you have enough time to dedicate around 4-5 hours PER DAY to your dog’s care, training, and anything else that may arise. This doesn’t mean that you can ignore them and stuff them in a crate for the rest of the day either. You’ll want to spread out this playtime between walks, training, grooming, feeding, and whatever else may arise. If you don’t think you have this time and can’t ask a significant other to take care of them, then you may want a different animal companion. A good leash/collar is another must have for any aspiring dog owner. While a seemingly no-brainer, you would be surprised as how many owners will purchase collars that are too small or tangle with your pet’s fur. Leather is recommended for dogs such as my own Husky, with a thick braided leash as they will pull and chew on it quite hard at first.

Lastly, the one thing every dog really needs is your love. While cliche, I’ve quickly learned that no toy, treat, food, or anything else will make your canine happier than seeing you come home. Your dog will give you every possible bit of unconditional love that you could ever ask for while asking for little to nothing in return. Since dogs live shorter lives, they’re born with love, so treat them equally.

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Even when they piss on your PS4 and chew up your headset. It’s because he loves and misses you.

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Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian
Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian 397 posts

Adam "kharakov" Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.