Pet Adoption

14 Tips for Dog Owners Considering Adopting a First Dog

14 Tips for Dog Owners Considering Adopting a First Dog

One of life’s greatest joys is dog ownership. The idea of owning a dog can seem intimidating to some people. Fear not: We offer a complete list of tips to help first-time dog owners. This will give you the information you need to be confident with your new pet.

Give yourself a pat on your back, you are already a great dog owner!

Best Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

There are many things you should consider before you bring a four legged member of your family home. Make sure you are prepared before you say “I do.” Knowing what a dog requires mentally and physically is part of being ready. Ask yourself if your willingness to commit for the rest of your life. Alex Miller, a veterinary technician with Ames Animal Shelter and Animal Control Ames, Iowa says, “Your new dog depends entirely on you.” “Your dog needs you more than your life, work, or friends.

1. Do Your Research

Mick McAuliffe from the Animal Rescue League of Iowa is director of behavior and enhancement. To ensure that you adopt a dog that will fit your lifestyle, he advises you to look at “the big picture” for your pet, for your family, and for your location. Some cities and neighborhoods may have restrictions. Although researching breeds is an excellent way to start, it’s better to speak with shelter staff about the type of lifestyle you would like for the pet. He adds that shelter staff “know the dogs well.” “They can help find you a good match.”

Angela Mincolla is the founder of Angela’s Ark (Charlotte-based 501(c), a North Carolina rescue organization).

“Do you love to hike on weekends?” Mincolla warns that you should not adopt a French bulldog, pug or any other breed with a flat nose. These dogs aren’t suited for long hikes in warm weather and don’t thrive on them.” According to your activity level, a working or sport dog, such as an Australian or German shepherd, or some of the pointers might not be a good fit for you.

Mincolla also suggests that you consider what size dog is best for your family. Larger breeds, for example, are more at risk of inadvertently knocking over children.

2. Be responsible

You can count on some of the most durable dog breeds to be your best friend for at least 15 years. Your dog deserves a lifetime commitment. This means that you must provide him with proper nutrition, exercise, interaction, as well veterinary care and training. Dog ownership also means that you are committing to your community that your dog will be responsible for his actions, even walking with you!

Research your local laws regarding dog ownership. Be sure to comply with rules such as licensing your dog and ensuring that he has all required vaccinations.

3. Consider Your Time to Get a Puppy

As puppies are difficult to resist, you should take the time to imagine your life with a puppy in it before making a commitment to a dog, says Emily Cook from the Humane Society of Charlotte.

Because there is an element of nurture and nature in a puppy, it’s possible to shape their personalities. They also learn everything the first time. It’s all new to them. The house. Your family. Cook:

However, with all the puppy energy and enthusiasm comes a downside worth considering. “Is it okay to teach this puppy everything at once?” Potty training. Crate training. Cook recommends being gentle with your baby.

4. Know Your Budget

Dog ownership comes with a significant financial commitment. In the first year alone, puppydom costs approximately $4,800. You can expect to spend monthly, annually, and sometimes less frequently on quality food and treats, preventative and general care, grooming, checksups, and vaccines. Before you bring your dog home, you should evaluate everything you need.

5. Find a Veterinarian

McAuliffe offers top tips to first-time dog owners: Establish a trusting relationship with your vet. Miller agrees that finding a veterinarian is essential. You should visit the vet immediately after you have adopted a new dog. The vet will be able to help you decide what vaccinations your dog needs and which heartworm preventatives are best for him.

6. Prep your House

For your dog’s safety, first you need to dogproof your yard and home. You should then stock up on basics like bowls, toys, leashes, collars, collars, leashes, and a crate to help with potty training, if you are adopting a puppy. Adopting a senior dog is not as easy, but he won’t outgrow or break it.

7. Training Consistently

It will be difficult for your pet to adjust the first few days, or even months, in your home. Miller said that shelters can be stressful for dogs. Miller also stated that it takes time to help your pet adjust to their new surroundings and trust you as his caregiver. You should give your pet space, time and empathy if your new addition is trying to hide, refusing to eat, or being socially awkward after arriving at home. Cook estimates that an adjustment period of two to four week can be required depending on the dog’s previous experience.

Positive reinforcement and patience are key to teaching your dog good behavior. As your pup settles in, you can help him feel more comfortable by creating a daily routine. In the beginning, anxiety can be reduced by consistency, stability, predictability, and predictability.

8. Choose the Best Food

While high-quality food can be expensive, it’s worth making sure your pup has healthy outings in the park. Some foods can cause allergies and other health problems. Other foods might be appropriate for dogs with different sizes or activities. Your vet may be able to help you determine the right dog food for your hound based upon his age, weight, and lifestyle.

Abbey Weimann, Ames Animal Shelter and Animal Control’s foster coordinator, recommends that you shop at a specialty store to find the right nutrition solution for your dog, especially if there are allergies or other health issues.

9. A Microchip is a great option

A microchip, which is a tiny device that is placed under the folds in your dog’s skin, is painlessly attached between your dog and his shoulder blades. The microchip will contain your pet’s unique ID code when it is scanned by a shelter or vet. As an extra layer of protection, microchipping is something you can ask about while at the vet. If your pet was adopted from a shelter, he will likely have been microchipped there. But make sure you ask before you bring him home. Miller says that while it only takes one second to lose your pet forever, chances of being reunited are much greater with a microchip.

10. Learn How To Communicate

McAuliffe states that there are three secrets of dog training. McAuliffe states, “Patience and patience are key to training dogs.” He says that body language is the way your dog communicates with you. “The dog can tell you the story if it’s willing to listen,” he said. Socialization and puppy training classes that emphasize positive reinforcement are two great ways to make sure your pup is listening.

11. Know your dog’s needs

McAuliffe also suggests that dog owners who are new to the breed should pay attention to their pet’s mental and physical well-being. Dogs require daily exercise, active playtime, and social interaction with other dogs. McAuliffe suggests enrichment toys, such as Kongs or puzzle toys, to keep your dog’s brain sharp and avoid boredom.

12. Get backup support

A support system is essential for a first dog owner. Doggy daycare, or at the very least dog walking, may be an option if you are often away from your home. You will need to find a pet sitter or boarding solution for your dog when you travel. McAuliffe stresses the importance of making a plan for anything that might go wrong. McAuliffe also asks: “If your life suddenly changes, can you provide support for your pet?” He continues to ask. “If you fall on your leg, who will be there to walk the dog?”

13. Be prepared for setbacks

Let’s face the facts, life happens. Miller said that your pet may have an accident in your home, or chew through your headphones or shoes. It is all part and parcel of owning a pet. McAuliffe agrees that there is a learning curve for both of them. McAuliffe suggests The Association of Professional Dog Trainers to provide behavior support. If you have questions, there are many helplines available at shelters.

14. Relax!

“People look online for checklists and lists of puppy requirements. Some say your dog must meet 25 new people each day, but these are unrealistic and scary. McAuliffe said. McAuliffe recommends doing the best you can. Dogs will pick up on stress and know when you are stressed. You can take a deep breathe and trust that your dog will return the love and affection you show him.