Do you know enough first-time dog owner tips to be a good pet parent?
Dogs are some of the best friends you could ever have in life. They are cute and cuddly, and so many of them are in need of homes. As much as we want to see every orphaned dog get adopted, we also want to make sure they go to the right homes.
Bringing a new dog into your family is a fun and exciting experience, but also one that carries a lot of responsibility. Once you adopt, you should plan on making the dog part of your family. Dogs aren’t toys, and bouncing them around from home to shelters is traumatic and can cause anxiety issues.
If you have never taken care of a dog before, you want to do your research and make sure you are truly ready for the commitment. These first-time dog owner tips will surely help you come to the right decision to find your new family member.
First-time dog owner tip #1 – Is your home dog friendly?
The best first step you can take to adoption is assessing your current living situation to make sure you are ready to give your dog the home it needs.
Here are the questions you’ll want to ask yourself:
- Can I afford to take care of a dog?
- If I rent, am I allowed to have dogs?
- Is there enough space for the dog to get the exercise it needs?
- Are there small children or other animals in your home already? If so, how would they react to a new dog?
- Where will the dog eat, sleep, poop, and get groomed?
- Is anyone in your home allergic?
First-time dog owner tip #2 – Do you have an open mind?
You should never pick a dog’s breed over their personality. In fact, if you’re going after a particular kind of dog just because they’re cute, you might find yourself disappointed. There is more to dogs than how attractive they are. You could be missing out on one of the sweetest friends if you don’t go in with an open mind.
First-time dog owner tip #3 – Can you afford it?
I know it’s easy to fall in love, but dogs of any age require a lot of care. It can be more expensive than you think, so you’ll want to be sure you are financially stable enough to care for your new friend.
Here’s a list of things you will need to prepare for before you bring your dog home:
- Food and clean water
- Dishes for food and water
- Flea and heartworm protection
- Dog bed
- Dog collar and leash
- ID tag with all essential information to identify your dog
- Dog license from your town
- Safe dog toys
- Grooming supplies such as a brush, nail clippers, and toothbrush
- Yearly vet visits
- Unexpected health issues that may require medical attention
First-time dog owner tip #4: Do you have enough time?
Feeding, cleaning, healthcare, exercise, and training are all things that dogs need to live a happy, healthy lifestyle. It’s the responsible thing to do to make sure you have enough time to dedicate to your new family member. It’s not fair to any dog to have an owner that is too busy for them. If you work long hours or are always traveling, then a dog might not be the right pet for you.
First-time dog owner tip#5: Are you ready for the adjustment period?
You’ve done all your research, and have finally found the perfect dog. Now you get to go home, but keep in mind, it’s not always an easy adjustment for the dog, or for you.
Patience is a massive part of the adoption process. Your new friend might have a past that caused them to be anxious, but even the best dogs need time to adjust to a new home. Some pups take over a month to get used to their new routine. You will need to be tolerant while they adjust to their new bathroom habits, possible barking issues, and lack of sleep.
Until the dog feels safe in your home, you should do everything you can to try to make them feel comfortable. They don’t always understand all the changes around them, which can cause them to be very scared. You will want to introduce family members and other pets very slowly, and you should never leave a child unattended with a newly adopted dog. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
These first-time dog owner tips may sound like a lot, but doing your research is the best thing you can do to make sure you are giving a dog the home it truly deserves. If you are ever unsure about something it’s best to call your trusted veterinarian or local shelter. They have a wealth of knowledge, and want to see their adopted pets thrive with their new families.
What first-time dog owner tips did we miss? Share them with us in the comments.
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