Tips for New Dog Owners

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 at 12:00 AM | Posted By: Mira Roberts
Tips for New Dog Owners

Bringing home a new four-legged best friend is an exciting time that you may have been dreaming about for months or even years. Pet ownership is a rewarding experience, and caring for an animal comes with so many positive benefits for both you and your pet. Taking care of a new dog also comes with a lot of responsibility, and it is important to be aware of these responsibilities before bringing your new pup home.

If you’re a new dog owner, or about to bring home a new fur-baby friend, you’ll want to take time to prepare both mentally and physically, by stocking up on supplies, searching out a veterinarian and adjusting your expectations around your pet’s behavior and lifestyle change. Taking steps to ensure that your pet has excellent health care support, as well as a comfortable home environment and appropriate training can go a long way to give you both happiness and peace of mind.

Here are a few tips to help new dog owners get ready for the exciting changes that a new dog brings!

Adjust Your Expectations
Whether you’re bringing home an adult dog, a new puppy, a rescue or a purebred pup, prepare yourself for an adjustment period for both you and your new four-legged friend. Adult dogs and rescues may take more time to adjust, and it’s important to be patient and flexible to their needs as they settle in. Make sure you’ve prepared your home and adjusted your lifestyle accordingly so that you can be present to care for your new pup as they find their new normal.

Puppy Prep
Bringing home a puppy is far different from bringing home an adult dog. You’ll need to be ready to crate train, get vaccinations, begin socialization and prepare for behavior training, on top of making sure that you stay on top of their changing dietary needs and giving them enough play, exercise and, of course, love!

Your Dog Depends on You
Remember that your dog depends on you to provide for his or her basic needs, and it’s up to you to make sure that your pup is getting proper nutrition, exercise and rest. Your dog may also need you to take extra special care of his coat, and he’s likely going to rely on you to get him out socializing with other dogs.

Find a Good Veterinarian
Finding a good veterinarian is so important to keeping your pup healthy and living a long, active life. Make sure you visit a few nearby veterinarians to find the right personality and style that fits both you and your pet. You’ll want to choose a veterinarian that is somewhat close, as you may be scooting off for regular visits during vaccinations or during health issues.

Stock Up on Supplies
Your pup will likely need a long list of supplies, including a bed, leash and collar, coats to stay warm in winter (depending on their coat), toys, treats, food, dog bowls and crates. Talk to your vet, do your research and choose supplies that will be most helpful for your particular breed of pup.

Choose Food Carefully
Choosing your pup’s food can be an overwhelming process, with so many products to choose from and conflicting nutritional information. It’s important to talk to your veterinarian and research the needs of your particular pup’s breed before choosing your puppy or dog food. Finding the right food will set your dog up for a lifetime of good health, so choose carefully.

Dog Training and Behavior
Dog training is important for every dog, giving you a sense of control and giving your dog structure and boundaries that they need. Not only will good dog training help strengthen your bond, it will also make both you and your dog happier and healthier in the long run.

Ready Your Finances
At some point, your pup will have unexpected health or behavioral needs that will require your financial investment. Veterinary care, training, supplies, medication and food can be more costly than you think, and it’s important to feel financially ready to take on your pet’s needs and future.

Be Responsible
Bringing home a new pet is a huge responsibility, and it requires commitment, financial stability and a willingness to provide proper care for your pet. Being a pet owner can be more difficult than it sounds, and when times are hard, a responsible pet owner does what is right for their pet and community.


About the Author

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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