14 Tips for Dog Owners First Time Adopting a Dog
Owning a dog is one of the greatest joys in life. If you have never owned a dog before, it can seem daunting. Don’t worry: We have comprehensive tips for dog owners who are new to the breed. These tips will help you feel comfortable with your First Time Adopting new companion.
You’re doing #1 already, so give yourself a big pat on the back. You’re on your way to becoming a top-notch dog-owner already!
Best Tips for First-Time Dog Owners
Before you bring your four-legged friend home, there are many things to think about. Before you say “I do”, make sure you are ready. Understanding what a dog needs physically and mentally is part of being prepared. Also, ask yourself if you are ready to make the commitment for the rest your life. Alex Miller, a veterinarian technician at Ames Animal Shelter and Animal Control, Ames, Iowa, says that your new dog is totally dependent on you. You may have friends, family, and a busy life but your dog is dependent on you.
1. Do Your Research
Mick McAuliffe is the director of behavior enhancement at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa. He advises that you “look at the bigger picture for the pet, your family, and where you live – some cities and neighborhoods have restrictions.” While researching breeds can be helpful, it is better to speak to shelter staff to discuss the lifestyle you desire for your pet. He says, “They really know the dogs.” They can help you find the right match.
You should also consider how you want to spend your time, Angela Mincolla, founder Angela’s Ark in Charlotte, North Carolina, says.
Do you enjoy hiking on weekends? Mincolla states that if you aren’t interested in a French bulldog or pug, it’s best to avoid them. Flat nosed dogs won’t be able to handle long hikes in hot conditions. Based on your level of activity, I would recommend working or sport breeds like the [Australian] shepherds or some of these pointers to a family with a more sedentary lifestyle.
Mincolla says that you should also consider the size of your dog. Mincolla notes that larger breeds are more likely to accidentally knock over small children.
2. Take responsibility
The longest-lived dog breeds can be your best friend for as long as 15 years. You must make a commitment to your dog’s well-being by providing adequate nutrition, exercise, socialization, veterinary care, and training. You also commit to your community by owning a dog. This means you will take full responsibility for the actions of your dog, including picking up after him when he goes on walks.
You should also research the laws and regulations in your area regarding dog ownership. Make sure you follow all rules, such as licensing your dog or ensuring he is up-to-date with any mandatory vaccinations like rabies. This is required by law for most states.
3. Take the time to assess your puppy’s temperament
Although puppies can be hard to resist, it is worth taking the time to consider what living with a puppy in your house would be like, suggests Emily Cook, Humane Society of Charlotte.
You can mold a puppy’s personality traits because there is a certain element between nature and nurture. It’s also a chance to see them learn everything for the first-time. They are able to experience everything for the first time. Your house. Your family. Cook: “All of it.”
There is a side to all that puppy enthusiasm and adorable puppy energy. You also have to ask yourself, “Am I OK with this puppy learning everything at once?” Potty training. Crate training. Cook suggests being gentle with your baby.
4. Know your budget
The cost of dog ownership is one of the largest commitments. About $4,800 is the average cost of puppydom in the first year. Expect to pay monthly, annual and more frequent expenses for quality food, treats, preventative care and grooming. It’s also important to assess all items you will need before you bring your pet home.
5. Locate a Veterinarian
McAuliffe recommends that first-time dog owners establish a trusting and respectful relationship with their vet. Miller agrees that it is crucial to find a vet. Miller agrees that it is important to visit a vet as soon as you adopt a dog. The vet can help you determine the right vaccinations for your dog, as well as the best heartworm, flea and tick preventatives.
6. Prepare Your House
To ensure your dog’s safety, you will first need to dog-proof your house and yard. If you are adopting a puppy, make sure to stock up on basic items such as bowls and toys. Even though a senior dog may need the same gear, it is unlikely that he will outgrow it or damage it while teething.
7. Be consistent
Your pet will experience some difficulties the first few days or even months they live in your home. Miller states that shelters are stressful for dogs. He also says that it takes time for a pet to adjust to his new surroundings and to feel comfortable with you as his caregiver. Your new pet may try to hide, refuse to eat or be socialized after arriving at your house. Give him time, space, empathy, and patience. Cook states that the adjustment period may take anywhere from two to four weeks depending on how the dog is adjusted.
To help your dog become a good boy, be patient and use positive reinforcement. To make your dog feel more at ease, establish a routine each day. Predictability, consistency, and stability are key to keeping anxiety at bay in the beginning.
8. Select the right food
It’s not cheap to buy high-quality food, but it is important that your dog has access to the right food for his health and enjoyment of the park. Certain foods can lead to systemic allergies or other health problems. Others may be suitable for dogs with different activity levels and sizes. Your veterinarian can help you decide which dog food is best for your dog based on your pet’s age, size and lifestyle.
Abbey Weimann is the foster coordinator for Ames Animal Shelter and Animal Control. She also suggests shopping at a local specialty shop where staff can help you find a nutrition solution to suit your dog’s needs, if necessary, if your pet has allergies or any other problems.
9. Take a look at a microchip
A microchip is a small device that is placed between the shoulder blades of your dog under the skin folds. When scanned by shelters or vets, it will hold your pet’s unique ID. Ask the vet about microchipping your pet to provide protection in case he goes missing. You may have adopted your dog from a shelter. However, you should still ask about microchipping before you bring him home. Miller states that although it is easy to lose your pet, the chances of reuniting them are significantly higher with a microchip.
10. Learn how to communicate
McAuliffe explains that there are three secrets to dog training. McAuliffe says patience, patience and patience are the keys to dog training success. He also said that your dog’s body language is what communicates with you. He says, “The dog will tell the story if they are willing to listen.” Positive reinforcement and socialization are two ways to ensure your dog and you listen to one another.
11. Know your dog’s needs
McAuliffe says that owners of their first dog should take into consideration the mental and physical health of their canine companions. Dogs need to be active and engaged in daily activities. They also need social interaction with other animals and humans. McAuliffe recommends enrichment toys like Kongs and puzzle toys for dogs to keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.
12. Get backup support
As a new dog owner, you will need support. If you are away from your home for long periods of time, doggy daycare or a dog walker might be a good option. If you are traveling and your dog is not able to go, you will need a pet sitter or a boarding solution. McAuliffe emphasizes the importance of having a plan in place for what might happen. McAuliffe asks, “If you experience a sudden change in your life, are there any resources that can help you and your pet?” He asks. He asks, “If you have a broken leg, who will take the dog?”
13. Be ready for setbacks
Let’s face facts: There are always things that go wrong. Miller says that a pet will eventually have an accident, chew your shoes, headphones or go in the trash. This is part of being a pet owner. McAuliffe states that it is a learning process for you both. McAuliffe recommends The Association of Professional Dog Trainers as a resource for behavior support. Many shelters offer free helplines, and many vets are well-versed on behavior if you have any questions.
People go online and find lots of checklists that tell dogs to meet 25 people every day. These checklists are frightening and unrealistic. McAuliffe agrees. McAuliffe advises that you do your best. Your dog will sense stress if you are stressed. Take a deep breath, and remember that your dog will love you unconditionally if you show him love and care.