5 Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

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A dog with his mouth open.

No animal comes close to dogs when it comes to unconditional love and loyalty. These adorable creatures make the ideal companion for life. But, before you can lather in their affection and enjoy their company, you must prepare yourself for the responsibilities ahead. Dogs are hard work. They need your attention, time, and care to adjust to their new surroundings. 

Likewise, you will also need to take up a new routine to cater to your new family member and ensure they are comfortable living with you. If you have no experience adopting and raising a dog, you have much to learn. These animals are incredibly energetic, can get into trouble, and mess up your house, if you don’t establish boundaries early. So how do you welcome your new furry friend into your home? Here’s what you need to know:

Research on Dogs

Educating yourself on canines helps you gather relevant information on what to expect. Start by determining whether you want to adopt a dog from a shelter or prefer pedigree breeding. Think about what traits you want your dog to have and what species is suitable for your house. If you have children, look into dogs that are great with families and don’t feel intimidated by their presence. Once you can answer these questions, figure out what it takes to look after your dog. 

For instance, your furry friend will need space to relieve themselves every day, which you will have to clean up. Hence, dedicate space in your house where they can go or choose a outdoor spot. If you are reluctant to clean up after your pet, contact a Dog Poop Cleanup service to keep your area sanitary. Dog cleaning services operate in a specific manner. You will need to pay a certain fee, follow their guidelines and train your dog to relieve itself in designated spaces to guarantee it gets cleaned. Consequently, learn everything you can about dogs, from their preferences, breed, and temperament. This will help you select a pet that can adjust to your house quickly.

Modify Your House

Dogs are naturally curious creatures. When you bring them home, expect them to explore their new environment to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. As a result, your dog may jump up on your sofa, scratch the floorboard and even tear through furniture. Your canine needs space to move around, so invest in dog gates and install them in areas where you don’t want your furry companion to barrel through and enter. This can be on top of the staircase, in front of your room, and around the kitchen. 

Dog gates are great tools for disciplining your dog and informing them where they can roam liberally. This helps you minimize damage and prevent your pet from going everywhere. You must apply floor guards and cover your furniture with a safety cloth. Dogs tend to scratch the furnishing, so you want to ensure they don’t damage your upholstery. If you have the budget to replace your cushions with a material that is easy to repair and mend, make sure you get those. 

Until your dog is trained, you may need to put away the decor, ensure no toys or figurines are lying around and your pet has enough space to move around. The last thing you want is for your dog to injure itself by breaking fragile items, choking on small objects, and costing a fortune in repairs.

Have a Training Schedule

Training your dog requires a consistent routine. This helps in establishing a pattern that is vital in regulating their behavior. It can make your dog anxious if you miss a day or don’t train them at the prescribed time. Hence, choose a feasible schedule that you can carry out without hassle. Use online resources to learn the ideal techniques to train your canine. If they aren’t responding immediately, don’t punish them or use cruel methods like locking them in the crate to enforce your authority. This can scare your pet and make them afraid of you. 

An animal may act out and seek ways to escape if upset. The key is to be patient, understand they will need time to learn and keep trying until your dog become perfect. It would help if you always started with commands first. Make sure your dog eats on time and has a schedule for going to the bathroom. Take them out for a walk at least twice a day.

Purchase the Right Products

You must avoid buying the most generic items from the grocery store and using them on your pet. Every dog has specific needs regarding nutrition, fur quality, and the length of its leash. Regarding shampoo, go for natural ingredients like oatmeal, honey, and vitamin E. If they have dry, itchy, or flaky skin, you need a moisturizing shampoo. If your pet has fleas, you must use a flea or tick shampoo. An undercoat brush helps you take care of the thick layer underneath, while a regular comb can help take care of knots and loose fur on the top. 

Regarding their food, dogs are not strict carnivores like cats. While they mostly eat meat, add grains, fruits, and vegetables to their diet as well. Therefore, get dog food that has all these essential ingredients and is appropriately preserved. Ensure that you give your dog a blend of wet and dry food with all the necessary nutrients and vitamins. As your dog ages, you may need to provide fish oil, vitamin pills, and treats with mineral essentials for their joints and muscles.

Lastly, when purchasing a crate, ensure you account for your animal’s size and mass. Crate training is vital in de-stressing your animals and makes potty training more accessible. It gives your animal comfort and makes them feel secure in your home. Your dog should be able to sit, stand, and lie around its crate with minimal injuries. Try to line it with their favorite blanket, toys, and pillow for relaxation.

Have an Experienced Vet on Speed Dial

A great vet can provide you with all the guidelines to look after your dog. You must acknowledge that your pet can get injured or sick anytime, so you should look into vets early. Make sure the expert you pick has experience working with dogs similar to yours, knows the kind of illnesses your pet can develop, and inform you when you should feel alarmed. Likewise, listen to the vet attentively, always take your dog in for their mandatory vaccines and ensure your pet gets routine exams.

Final Thoughts

Bringing a dog home is a momentous occasion in your life. This furry companion can fill your life with joy and love. However, introducing a dog into your lifestyle is an elaborate process. You must prepare yourself for the efforts you will need to make and ensure you are not neglecting your animal. This is why you need to study the type of dog you want and their needs and make all the necessary arrangements. 

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