Advice for First-time Dog Owners
Considering becoming a pet parent? Congrats! Adding a four-legged member to the family is a momentous and exciting experience.
It’s also a big responsibility with lots to consider. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of tips for first time pet-owners so you can feel equipped every step of the way.
1) Do your research.
Take the time to consider your lifestyle before adopting.
How do you like to spend your free time? Are you busy exploring the outdoors or chilling in front of the TV? This could impact what kind of breed will match your life best.
Where do you live? Some apartments have pet weight limits and breed restrictions.
While puppies are hard to resist, they are energetic and require patience. When adopting, remember that there are lots of adult and senior dogs in need of loving homes, too.
Getting a pet is a lifelong commitment. Be ready to provide him/her with adequate nutrition, exercise and interaction, in addition to veterinary care and training.
2) Know your budget.
Pet ownership can be costly. In addition to purchasing all the things you need before bringing your new best friend home, you can expect other expenses such as quality food and treats, preventive care, routine checkups and vaccinations, and grooming.
3) Prep your house.
Before bringing your pooch home, it’s important to pet-proof its new environment. Evaluate wires, poisonous plants, and other household items that can cause potential threats to your pet’s health.
For a thorough guide to dog-proofing your home and yard, click here.
You’ll also need to stock up on the basics such as food bowls, toys, crate, and a leash and collar. If getting a puppy, keep in mind that he/she will more than likely outgrow their gear (or be liable to tear it up while teething).
4) Be prepared to train consistently.
When teaching your doggo proper behavior techniques, be patient and practice positive reinforcement.
Try to develop a daily routine to make your dog comfortable as he/she settles into their new home. Remember that consistency and stability is key when helping your pet transition into their new environment.
Using voice commands, visual cues, and positive rewards will allow you to train your pet more quickly and easily. It’s never too late or too early to start training your dog.
While it may seem overwhelming at first to learn how to care for your new member of the pack, owning a dog can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of your life. Soon enough, you won’t be able to remember what life was like before having your furry member of the family.