Being a new dog owner can be an exciting, yet overwhelming experience; you finally have a new family member to accompany you wherever you go in life. Dogs are one of the greatest choices of pets you can have, they are known for being unconditionally loyal and caring toward their owners, without expecting anything in return. Despite this joy, it can feel overwhelming and daunting to own a dog for the first time, because maybe you don’t know the basics yet about taking care of your dog.
If you’re new to dog ownership, fear not, below are five tips for new dog owners, which will help you get started with the basics and introduce you to your responsibilities for being a new dog parent.
Make your first trip together be to the vet
Finally, you’ve got yourself your own dog! While it’s common for most dog parents to go straight home after getting their new addition, why not make your first trip together be to the vet clinic? If you’re planning to do some research about your new dog, one of the best sources you can have is the vet. Once you’re in the clinic, make use of this time to ask all the questions you might need to know about your dog such as:
- Your dog’s breed and its common behaviors
- Their expected average weight and height once they’re full grown
- The type of dog food they should eat
- Whether they have any existing lice or other skin and hair issues
Don’t forget to ask your vet about the vaccines that your dog needs to get, and how often they should see the vet each year. Regular vet visits are a critical part of owning a dog.
Get the proper dog supplies
Now that you know a lot about the dog breed you have, it’s time to purchase the supplies that your dog may need for his daily life, such as dog toys, comfortable bedding, a grooming kit, and dog food. In order to choose the best dog food for your pet, make sure to consult with the vet first for recommendations; some dogs may differ in their food requirements and nutritional needs as these can be affected by their age, breed, or stage of development.
Keep in mind that high-quality dog food comes with a hefty price tag; choosing to buy low-quality dog food may be easier for your pocket, but it could put your dog’s health at risk. Some food can cause allergic reactions and other health problems, especially if it isn’t suitable for the dog breed or size. It’s best to invest in good quality dog food to ensure that your best friend is getting the proper nutrition they need.
Prepare a space for the dog
Preparing your house for a new dog is not as intense as organizing your house for a new baby, although there are still a few preparations you need to make so that by the time you and your dog get home from the vet visit, it’s ready.
Consider choosing a particular space in your house for your dog. You can choose to set up a dog crate or make it even cozier with his own dog bed, dog toys, and blankets. If you own other pets, make sure this space is exclusively for your dog, so they feel at home.
Keep up with your dog’s grooming
You need to keep up with your dog’s grooming to keep him clean and healthy. This includes brushing your dog’s teeth, taking him for a bath, brushing or trimming his hair, and clipping their nails. If you don’t know how to handle your dog’s grooming, you can refer to a dog grooming guide or ask for your vet’s help in getting things started. You may also have to ask your vet for any specific recommendation for grooming tools, in order to make sure you’re using the right equipment.
Dog training is essential
Be prepared to have your dog trained; training your dog during its early months is essential. As you both progress with the training, it will deepen the bond that you two have, and you’ll learn how to keep yourselves safe at home and in public. Along with the basic commands, don’t forget to include toilet training your dog, to ensure a clean home.
Now that you have these tips in mind, it’s time for you to relax and enjoy the perks of owning a dog. As long as you’ve covered all the basic needs of your dog, such as food, water, shelter, and toys, then you’re probably good to go. As a new dog owner, the most important step of all is cultivating a good relationship with your dog, don’t forget to show your care and affection to your dog, and you can guarantee that he’ll be the most loyal friend and companion you could ever have.