Dogs are one of life’s greatest joys. Most people find that adopting four-legged furry friends adds value to their lives. Study results indicate that dog adoptions have reached a record high in the past year as people seek companionship and love at home. Dog ownership is an enriching experience. But unfortunately, most people who have never had a dog are hesitant to get one because they don’t know how to take care of it.
As a first-time dog owner, you probably have many questions. Perhaps you are wondering, “what do I need for my new dog?” and “what should I know before getting a dog?” To care for a dog properly, the owner must exert effort, have a sense of responsibility, and be understanding. While it may seem difficult to care for a dog, it’s not that difficult.
Here are some essential tips you should consider before you own a dog.
You need basic knowledge.
Take the time to learn about puppy behavior, training, interaction, and care – you’ll be much better prepared to manage puppy ownership’s unexpected curveballs.
Getting some puppy-related tips and hints online can help new puppy owners at any stage of the decision-making process. In addition, researching breed-specific needs is worth it since breeds have different nutritional, exercise, care requirements, temperaments, and behaviors.
As dogs aren’t right for every home, prospective owners can thoroughly save themselves much frustration by researching their options.
There are breeds of dogs that live as long as 15 years and will be your devoted companion for a long time. Thus, providing your dog with good nutrition, exercise, social interaction, and veterinary care will ensure they live a long and healthy life.
Also, dog owners are responsible for what their pets do in the community, including cleaning up after them. You’ll want to ensure you follow the laws and regulations regarding dog ownership, like getting your dog a license and vaccinating him if necessary, especially for rabies.
Ensure you’ve got the essentials
A new dog owner will likely have to purchase several items, some of which are necessary and others merely “optional.” Thus, only buying what you need is helpful.
- Dog beds: Make sure you get a bed big enough for your puppy to grow in and one that is warm enough for them in the winter. If they’re small, a full-size bed won’t fit them. On the other hand, if your puppy or dog came home with a travel crate, they’d likely use it. Make sure your puppy can turn around comfortably in the crate, inside and out. The crate is helpful for training puppies to go poop in their beds when adjusting to their new routine.
- Dog collars and harnesses: No matter your dog’s breed, they require a regular walk to stay fit and active. So if you are taking them for a walk, ensure you have a dog harness or collar, as it is mandatory to keep your dog on a leash as you walk them. Put your puppy in adjustable nylon or soft leather collar so they can feel comfortable. However, a dog harness Australia is recommended for all dogs to protect their delicate necks.
- Bowls for food and water: You should get ceramic or stainless steel bowls with a heavy bottom for your four-legged friend. If they chew plastic bowls, bacteria might grow on them. Here’s where heavy bowls help, and your dog can’t knock them over.
- Identifying tag: Dogs’ best defense is to teach them to stay close to you when they are young. Be sure that your property is escape-proof as a precaution. Moreover, you should attach an ID tag with your name, address, and telephone number to their collar so that you can find them immediately if they escape.
- Gear for safety: Get your pet a warm dog jacket, a pet-resistant door stop, and an indoor safety gate to keep them safe.
Don’t forget to train your dog.
You’ll need to train your new pet differently based on age and background. But it’s never too late to start training! You need consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement to train well.
- Make sure your dog knows who’s boss. Whenever they misbehave, correct them calmly, firmly, and disapprovingly.
- When your dog behaves well, praise and treat him.
- Enroll in a local dog obedience class if you live in a busy household and don’t have much spare time.
- Observe your dog’s behavior. Keep an eye on your new pet in one particular room or area, such as the litter box or trash can. Sometimes, it is necessary to deal with bad behavior and remove temptations.
Hopefully, there won’t be any hiccups. After that, you’ll have to learn everything about your new pet. Keep trying!
Maintain your dog’s health
If you’re a first-time dog owner, you should consider health care. Keeping your dog healthy, safe, and comfortable is your responsibility. To start, schedule your dog’s immunizations and vaccinations if they don’t already have them.
A pet insurance policy can help you minimize the cost of your veterinarian’s bills if they exceed several hundred dollars. But unfortunately, your insurance won’t cover the cost of sterilizing your pets, so you’ll have to pay out of pocket.
Trust a local vet you can rely on. Unfortunately, nearly every dog will suffer an injury or health issue. If this happens, you’ll want to be able to take your four-legged friend to the vet.
The first time you acquire a dog may make you both excited and overwhelmed. Make sure your new puppy is prepared for a long-term relationship by preparing your home and family and assisting him in adjusting to your household.