There is a reason why they say dogs are man’s best friend; nothing beats coming home to a wagging tail and friendly face. Prior to dog ownership, however, it is important to understand the responsibilities that coincide with being a canine owner. Before choosing a breed of dog, it is important to recognize: the affect a dog’s size will have on your personal space; how much attention a dog requires; costs associated with owning a dog, including veterinarian expenses and food; and the potential that residents within the home may be allergic to dogs. You will also want to decide whether you want an indoor or outdoor dog, and contemplate the supplies necessary for each. An indoor dog may need a bed located in a warmer, quiet place as well as a doggy-door to access the outside. An outside dog will need a house that protects them from bad weather, keeping them dry, as well as a shaded area to keep cool on hot days.

The average lifespan for dogs is between 8 and 16 years. During their lifetimes, dogs will require breed-specific grooming, including nail-trimming and bathing, which should be routinely performed multiple times throughout the year. Also, in most cities, pets are required to be licensed and can only receive a license after meeting certain health requirements, typically regarding vaccination. Be sure to check with local government agencies about their particular requirements, prior to getting your dog.

Supplies a new dog owner will need 

  • Collar with ID tags. 
  • Dog bed. 
  • Dog brush. 
  • Food bowl. 
  • Leash. 
  • Pet urine cleaner. 
  • Sturdy and safe toys. 
  • Training crate. 
  • Water bowl.

Selecting the right breed

When selecting your new dog, its breed will play a large role in the dog’s temperament and needs. The following AKC groups give information about each classification:

  • Herding Group – possess the ability to control other animals and are often used on farms. For pet owners not needing other animals herded, these dogs are very easy to train and will often herd people or children if other animals are not present. They make great family dogs.
  • Hound Group –skilled at hunting because of their remarkable scenting ability. Have great stamina and can run long distances. Some breeds “bay” and potential owners should consider the baying noise prior to purchasing one of these dogs.
  • Miscellaneous Group – various other breeds that the AKC recognizes but does not classify further. Temperaments vary.
  • Non-sporting Group – varied personalities but are generally strong dogs. Not as active as the sporting group.
  • Sporting Group – instinctively active and highly alert. Skilled at finding game in water, woods, or brush. Ideal for hunting. Require regular, high-energy exercise.
  • Terrier Group – have a large amount of energy and are quite aggressive. Were originally bred to hunt and kill rodents. Require a strong-willed owner to properly train them and keep them in line.
  • Toy Group – small and are perfect for families living in tight spaces. Some breeds can be aggressive and intimidating towards a potential threat. Much easier to control than large dogs.
  • Working Group – generally used for pulling sleds, executing water rescue, or guarding an owner’s property. Highly intelligent and are fast-learners. Most are large to very large in size which should be taken into consideration by potential owners.

What do dogs eat? 

  • Berries. 
  • Canned pumpkin. 
  • Commercial, dog-specific treats. 
  • Melon. 
  • Peanut Butter.
  • Quality dog food (wet or dry).

Common dog behaviors

A dog’s temperament is genetic; dogs have a fixed personality based on their breeding. Because of this, it is very important to fully understand a breed before purchasing a particular puppy. With training, a dog’s temperament can be altered, but they will still be inclined to revert back to their innate disposition. When purchasing an older dog or adopting one from a shelter, consider the dog’s behavioral characteristics and be sure they coincide with what you can handle.

Dogs communicate similarly and have several gestures that have very specific meaning:

  • Barking – dogs bark to alarm an owner of a present threat or to scare away the menace. A dog may also bark when they are scared or angry. Anxious or excited barking is not uncommon as well.
  • Biting – biting, like barking, is a form of communicating with a human. Dogs bite when they are nervous, scared, or angry.
  • Chewing – it is normal for puppies to chew through anything and everything. Puppies chew to relieve the pain of incoming adult teeth. Chewing beyond the puppy phase can indicate separation anxiety.
  • Digging – most dogs dig to hide food. On occasion, they will be uncovering hidden food, usually small game such as rodents or rabbits. A dog may also dig to uncover a cool surface of dirt on which they want to lay.
  • Jumping – when a dog jumps up on a human, it’s an attempt to proclaim their dominance. Discouraging this behavior affirms a pet owner as the boss.
  • Panting – dogs sweat very differently than humans. Heat is released through their feet and by panting; panting also helps a hot dog regulate their body temperature.

As with any pet, prior research and understanding of a pet’s needs ensures a happy life together.


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Here's a vet that still cares.
Just wanted to say I love Dr. Petcu's staff and his compassionate , caring way of taking care of my dogs.The staff is not only friendly and professional ,they know who you are when you arrive ,and they actually love animals. Is the first Animal Hospital that my dogs are at ease and feel comfortable.The place is very clean and the reception area very elegant and inviting. Exquisite services and Dr. Petcu always take his time to explain the disease and options and still finds time to play with my dogs. He's always treated both his animal and human patients with compassion and dignity,and would never recommend procedures unless he truly feels your pet will benefit from it. One of the vets that cares for your pet. The prices are reasonable and the services exceed all expectations. I Highly recommend Dr.Petcu and his hospital.

Reba S

Western Animal Hospital AMAZING! Western Animal Hospital is the best place in the valley .The staff is professional, friendly, caring and accommodating. The hospital is very clean and upscale. The customer service and the provided services are outstanding.Dr. Petcu is one of the most professional veterinarians that i have ever met in my 25 years of pet parenting. I drive across the valley just to see him( i live in Anthem) .He really cares about his animal patients and it shows in every visits . He is very knowledgeable , compassionate, friendly and always takes the time to answer any question i have and explaining in detail any situation we are dealing with. I had my share of visits to many animal hospitals in the valley but none of them had the last technology as Western - digital X-ray ( they send you home with a cd for you x-ray records ) every room has a computer monitor where the x-ray shows and Dr. Petcu can review with me every detail of it. Also they have the laser surgery and digital dental x-ray. Dr. petcu is one of the most
courteous and pleasant Vets I have ever met. The prices are more than reasonable and also they try to accommodate everybody. I cannot recommend them enough. You can rest easy knowing your pets are in their care.I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THIS HOSPITAL - THEY HAVE A CUSTOMER FOR LIFE IN ME! very good !

Betty K

Western Animal Hospital this doctor is making a lot of sense and will explain everything in details..
prices are great ....

.the best vet I met !! Pam M. 5 Western Animal Hospital - we are bringing our pets to Dr Petcu for 8 years. He was always helpful, many times we did not have the funds to treat our pets but he was fine with us paying when we had the money. He saved our cats in many instances and all I have to say is that I greatly reccomend Western Animal Hospital for any responsable pet owner .

Yolanda M

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