You have finally decided to take the plunge. You have enough money, your job is secure and your life finally feels on track, and now there is only one thing that can make it feel complete – man’s best friend.

Getting a dog is one of those decisions that shouldn’t be made on the spur of the moment, as there are many different requirements that need to be taken into account before bringing a furry friend into your home.

“A dog is not just a pet, it’s a new addition to the family, and he needs to be treated as such. You need to be prepared to give him the best possible care and make sure that you know what you are in for,” says Pedigree® Senior Brand Manager Ashleigh Sanderson. “A puppy demands constant love and care, and even when he grows-up he will still need attention, love and care on many different levels.”

Sanderson gives the following 5 tips on what should be done to make sure that your furry friend stays in a good, loving condition:

  1. What type of dog breed do I want? The breed of your dog needs to suit not only you, but your family, the size of your home and even your patience. If you live in a townhouse complex with a 3×3 garden, then a Great Dane is not for you. Also, be sure to look at your local shelters – this way not only will you be getting a new family member, but he will be getting a family. Adopt, don’t shop!
  2. Be sure to puppy proof your home. If there are certain areas that you don’t want your new best friend to get to, cordon them off. Make sure you have a bed for them to sleep in, water and food bowls, and toys to keep them occupied. Since a puppy is just as curious as a toddler, place all small items that can be chewed and swallowed on a high shelf.
  3. Know what you are feeding your dog. Pedigree’s® best recipe is the best quality dog food for your furry family member. Rich in Antioxidants, Vitamin E, linoleic acid Pedigree® dog food was developed by vets and nutritionists at Waltham (a world leading authority on pet care and nutrition) to give your dog the best – no matter their size. The better the food, the better your dog’s immune system and digestion will be, resulting in a healthy skin and coat, and providing good teeth care….. and less mess for you to clean up
  4. Take the time to train your dog. Dogs, just like children, need boundaries; otherwise you will spend most of your time trying to correct his bad behaviour, and he won’t have any idea what he has done wrong. This is most important when it comes to house training your dog – he needs to know from entering your home where he can make his mess.
  5. Ask your vet to microchip your dog, so that should he accidentally get out he can be returned to you. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin of your puppy, usually at the back of their necks. It has a unique code that when scanned by a vet will provide them with your contact details.