Congratulations on your new fur baby!
This is an exciting time for both you and your canine companion. Embarking on pet parenting for the first time can be both fun and a bit daunting. But don’t despair. In this post, we are going to list the 7 top tips for a new dog owner.
Tip # 1 – Have Realistic Expectations
All dogs are different so have realistic expectations about your pooch’s behaviour – your new pal may not act the same as your friend’s or neighbours. This is especially true if you have adopted an adult canine from a shelter. Every rescue dog has a past so be sure to get as much information as you can about your furry adoptee. Was your dog abandoned, mistreated, or abused? These situations can cause your dog to react, (sometimes negatively) so be prepared to respond with love, kindness, and a lot of patience.
Tip # 2 – Learn About Puppies
Did you adopt a puppy! They are fun, but they’re also a lot of work. Before you bring home your new furry baby, read up on all that puppies entail to help prepare yourself with what can be expected. This includes socialization, training, vaccinations, and general care.
Is your pup a purebred? Then you can also familiarize yourself with the particulars of that breed so you can be better prepared for what lies ahead.
Tip # 3 – Meet Your Dog’s Needs
Now that you’re a proud doggy pet parent, you will have to master the skills of basic canine care. At the very least, every dog needs proper nutrition, social interaction, shelter, and physical care. However, we know once that little fur ball steals your heart, you will want to strive above and beyond the basics.
Tip # 4 – Find an Awesome Veterinarian
Finding an awesome veterinarian is an important task. You will want a person that takes an interest in all aspects of your pet’s life. He or she should be kind, caring, and invested in helping you become the best pet parent you can be. Your vet will be your link to keeping your dog healthy and should be a source of answers for any concerns you may have along the way. If you aren’t comfortable with the first veterinarian you visit, feel free to keep searching until you find one that suits both you and your dog’s needs.
Tip # 5 – Choose the Right Diet
With so many choices on the market today, pet parents may find it difficult to choose the right diet for their new dog. To narrow your options down know what your pup needs to be healthy. This includes a good quality kibble with an identified protein source as the first ingredient (i.e., chicken, duck, beef, salmon, etc.). Avoid foods that include cheap fillers. These are usually labeled as “meat by-products.” You will also want to pick a brand that has added fruit, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals.
Remember, just like us, your dog is what he eats.
Tip # 6 – Keep ‘Em Safe
Keeping our pets safe is part of being a good pet parent. Whether that be using a leash when walking your dog, getting him his annual vaccinations and vet check-ups or installing an underground fence for your yard to prevent your pooch from escaping, a safe dog is a happy dog.
Tip # 7 – Obedience Training is Key
Every dog (young or mature) should be trained. Working with your dog in obedience, not only creates a stronger bond between the two of you, but it helps you control his behaviour. Obedience trained dogs learn commands that could save their lives one day (stop, drop, and stay). A well-behaved pooch is also more pleasing to others when out in public – no one wants a large dog bowling them over.
If you don’t feel you have the time or patience to train your dog, there are professionals that will do the task for you. Look through your local classifieds or at your nearest pet retailer for help in this area.
You’ll Have a Friend for Life
Being a first-time pet parent doesn’t have to be daunting. Follow these tips, ask for advice when needed, and most of all, love your new canine companion with all your heart. In doing so, you will have a friend for life.