6 Tips for First-Time Dog Owners
Dog ownership is among life’s great joys. But for first-time to be dog parents, the idea can be slightly intimidating. From regular vet trips and feedings to socialization and obedience training – it’s a lot to keep track of. So initially, you may not know where to start or what to expect. But, as you progress, you’ll quickly realize that the effort is well worth it. The key is experimenting with what works best for you and your new canine friend. Of course, part of it depends on the breed, but here are some general tips to get you started on the right paw.
1. Adjusting to a New Lifestyle:
Welcoming a new member to the family begins with a crucial adjustment period for them and you both. You may expect more soppy kisses and cuddles than you will get in the first few weeks. Dogs are creatures of habit and need time to settle into their new surroundings. It can be helpful to set up a specific routine from the start, including regular mealtimes and designated potty breaks. It can be taxing, undoubtedly. But if you set some ground rules, like where your pet is allowed and what they can and cannot chew on, the house-training process will go much smoother.
2. Learn to Deal with the Only Downside:
Picking up after your pet is non-negotiable, but you can make it less chore by being prepared.
If you can’t stomach cleaning the lawn weekly, have a Dog Poop Scooping Company on speed dial.
You can also do little things to make the process more pleasant, like keeping a stash of plastic bags, a good-quality poop scoop, and some hand sanitizer in a little pouch by the door.
Most importantly, get into walking your dog regularly, at least once daily. Not only is this great exercise for both of you, but it also allows them to relieve themselves before coming back inside.
3. Get Your Pet-Friendly Supplies:
Any new dog owner will agree that supplies are key, especially in those first few weeks. Your pup will not appreciate it if they have to sleep on the floor, so get a comfortable bed to rest their weary head or a home with no toys.
It’s best to be prepared with a doggy-proofed home and the right supplies from the get-go. It includes food and water bowls, a leash and collar, waste bags, and their favorite toys.
Besides that, you’ll also need some essentials to ease your transition from a pet-free home to a pet-full one. Things like lint rollers, a good vacuum, and stain remover will become your new best friends.
4. Vet Check:
Your first stop after bringing your new furry friend home should be the vet. They’ll need a check-up to ensure they’re healthy and up-to-date on all their vaccinations. It is also a great time to ask the vet questions about your new pet. They can give you expert advice on everything from what to feed your dog to how to train them. Finally, confirm with your vet the booster shots and check-up schedule to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy for years to come.
You must also decide whether you want to spay or neuter your pet. Again, it is a personal decision, but most vets recommend it.
5.Bonding with Your Dog:
Spending quality time together is vital to a lasting bond with your dog. But what is quality time for a dog? It is simply time spent together without distractions like the television or your phone. It is the time to focus on them and get to know them. Try taking them for walks, playing fetch, or teaching them new tricks.
The most important thing is to be patient and consistent. Dogs are not mind-readers, so it will take time for them to understand what you want from them. But if you’re patient and loving, you will find that your bond with your furry friend will only grow stronger with time.
6. Keep Your Dog Entertained:
For the first few weeks, you’d want to be around your new-found friend as much as possible. But there will be times when you have to leave them alone, whether for work or errands.
And when that happens, you need to make sure they’re entertained.
The best way to do this is to provide them with plenty of toys, including chew toys, balls, and anything that squeaks. You can also get them a dog puzzle toy to keep their minds challenged.
Breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are known for being particularly active, so you might want to invest in dog-proofed toys that will keep them busy, like a Kong.
Whatever you do, make sure there are no toys that can be easily swallowed or chewed.
Anyone who believes that having a dog is any less than a privilege has never owned one. They quickly become a part of the family and bring so much joy into our lives. But their companionship doesn’t come without responsibility.
As a first-time dog owner, it is important to do your research and be prepared for everything that comes with this new experience. You’ll learn what you can feed them, but be very specific about what you can’t. Depending on their energy levels and breed, you’ll have to look for ways to train them best. But most importantly, you’ll have to ensure they feel just as loved as you.