Beginners Guide For First Time Dog Owners

Written By: Jason Gest

Want to Get a Dog? Read This before You Make a HUGE Mistake

Dogs are unmatched in their loyalty, friendship, and devotion to their human companions. The love and care you put into your pet will return to you many times over whether it is the delight in the tossing of a tennis ball, the excitement your dog shows when you come home, his head nestled in your lap, or the wagging tail as you take his leash from its hook.

Pomksky Puppy

Photo Credit: Foxtrottin’ Northerns – Website

However, being a dog owner is not only a privilege but also a responsibility. At a minimum, these animals depend on us for shelter and food, yet they deserve much more. You need to think seriously about the commitment that owning a dog entails if you are considering taking a dog into your life. This guide should help you decide if you are ready and give you an idea of what you need to do to care for your new four-legged friend.

Are You Ready for the Commitment?

Owning a dog is a long-term financial and emotional commitment. You must first make an honest assessment of whether your home is right for any dog before deciding that a specific dog is right for you. A dog will become part of your life. Is your lifestyle ready for dog ownership? For instance, a dog with a low energy level will not be ideal for athletic owners.

Determine what qualities you want in a dog based on your evaluation of all aspects of your family’s life. This includes your prospective pet’s trainability, size, temperament, grooming needs, and energy level. This list of ideal characteristics should lead you to a specific breed that fits your profile. You can learn more about this by attending a dog show, going to your local library, or visiting an animal shelter.

Prepare for Your New Arrival

Before you bring your new friend home, prepare your home to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. So your puppy or dog will have everything he needs, at a bare minimum, buy

  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Grooming tools
  • A leash
  • A collar
  • Food

Your family should figure out who will be responsible for clean-up, walking, food, grooming, exercise, and water. To remind everyone of their responsibilities, post a schedule of tasks in a visible area of your house.

Before your new pup arrives, you need to move chewable items or breakables to higher ground. Make electrical cords inaccessible to curious noses and paws. If there are areas of the house that you want off limits to your dog, block off these spots. Put your shoes in your closet and the lid down on your toilet, and block access to any plants that could be toxic to dogs.

A quiet place that your dog can call his own is a must. Whether you use a mat, a pile of blankets, or a crate, create a comfortable area for your dog to go to when he wants to be alone.

As soon as you know you are going to be a dog owner, you should pick a veterinarian. Within a few day of your dog’s arrival, have him examined by the vet. Set up a check-up and vaccination schedule, and give copies of your dog’s health records to your vet.

Once Your Dog Is Home

You will want to give your new friend the best welcome possible. He will need time to adjust to his new home. The change in atmosphere is bound to make your furry companion feel frightened and insecure. Show him where to find water and food and where his bed is. Let him explore his new surroundings.

You should introduce your new pet to your household slowly. He will get frightened by too many pairs of hands petting him at once. After some time, introduce him to regular visitors, other family members, and neighbors. Part of this is also introducing your dog to other pets. Do not try to force them to play together or to get along right away. They will need time to adjust to one another.

With these tips, you will be well on your way to making sure your new dog is a blessing on your home and not a mistake. Enjoy your new life together!





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