Decided to join the ranks of first-time puppy owners? Adding a dog to your family is definitely a good choice.
Dogs just happen to be one of the most loving creatures in the world. As long as you love them and care for them properly, your dog will remain loyal to you for the rest of its life.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for first-time puppy owners to know exactly how to care for their new dog.
The good news is that it isn’t that difficult. Use these tips to help ease the transition from first-time puppy owner to successful dog parent.
Create a calm environment
First and foremost, give your puppy time to get used to its new home.
During this period of time, you should do everything possible to make the environment calm and relaxing for the dog.
Eliminate loud noises and allow your puppy the opportunity to explore their new surroundings — with you to provide close supervision to prevent any unwanted chewing or other naughty puppy behaviors.
Be sure to give the puppy plenty of time to bond with you before you introduce the dog to other people. Some first-time puppy owners rush to socialize their dogs, which can actually create a nervous puppy or dog.
Take care especially with having children handle your puppy. They can be rougher than they realize and you don’t want to inadvertently create a bad situation where your puppy fears them. Fearful puppies are more likely to become aggressive.
This is also an excellent time to use crate training for your puppy. Not only will the crate be a calm, safe space for your puppy, using it can help speed the puppy potty-training process.
Choosing a vet
As a pet parent, you will visit your vet frequently.
Puppies require routine vaccinations and other treatment during the first few months.
Most vets also recommend coming in twice a year for checkups to make sure your dog stays healthy.
You’ll also need to see your vet for prescribed treatments such as Heartgard Plus for dogs up to 25 pounds to protect your dog from fleas and ticks.
This can be daunting for first-time puppy owners as they to try to figure out who they should choose.
Start by asking friends, relatives or co-workers who have pets for recommendations.
Choosing a vet is an important decision because dogs routinely live 10-15 years so this will be a long-term relationship.
Feeding your dog
It will be impossible for your dog to thrive without a good diet.
This also can be a confusing topic for first-time puppy owners because there are so many options for sale.
To ensure that your dog is able to live a long, healthy life, you need to provide him or her with high-quality food. Never give your dog table scraps. This will create serious problems in the long run.
Talk to your vet to determine the best age to switch from puppy kibble to adult dog foods. Some larger breeds need to stay on puppy food until they are at least 2 years old.
It’s also important to remember to provide plenty of fresh water for your dog.