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First-Time Dog Parent: The New Dog Owner Guide for Beginners

First-Time Dog Parent: The New Dog Owner Guide for Beginners

Are you preparing to welcome a dog into your home for the very first time?

You’re in for a real treat. There are so many benefits that come along with owning a dog. You can reduce your stress levels, get more exercise, and even turn yourself into a more social person by merely getting a dog.

Being a dog owner can also be a lot of work, though. It’s why you’re going to need to make sure you’re 100% ready for it before getting a new puppy.

There are all kinds of new puppy guides out there to help you adjust to caring for a puppy. But in the end, there are only a few puppy things that you should keep in mind at all times when you first bring a dog into your home.

Here are some dog caring tips for beginners that will make the adjustment period more manageable, both for you and for your new dog.

Begin by Picking Out the Right Dog Breed

More than 60% of American households have at least one dog living in them. People have fallen in love with dogs in a big way.

But not everyone owns the same type of dog. There is a wide range of options for you to choose from when it comes to picking out a dog breed.

You should try to track down the right type of dog for your specific household. For example, if you’re looking for a great family dog, beagles, poodles, pugs, labrador retrievers, and golden retrievers would all be excellent options.

You should consider your situation and find a dog that fits into it. Whether it is a big dog that loves to run around outside or a small dog that doesn’t need much exercise at all, your dog should go with your lifestyle.

Find the Right Place to Get Your Dog From

Once you’re committed to becoming a dog owner and know what kind of dog you want, the next order of business will be finding the right place to get your dog from.

Interested in rescuing a dog? This isn’t always an ideal solution for those searching for puppies. But if you don’t mind a dog that’s a few years old, you can find great dogs at local shelters.

If you have your heart set on buying a puppy, though, you’ll want to be careful about where you get it from. You should steer clear of purchasing puppies through shops that rely on puppy mills to supply them with dogs and go through a reputable breeder instead.

Invest in Everything You’ll Need to Care for Your New Dog

There is a long list of things that you’re going to need for your new dog once you introduce them to your home. You should make sure that you purchase them before bringing your dog home for the first time.

Some of the things that you’re going to need for your new dog include:

  • Dog bed
  • Dog crate
  • Dog bowls
  • Dog collar and leash
  • Dog toys

You’ll also obviously need to pick up food for your dog, and you may want to invest in supplements to help your dog grow to be strong and healthy as well. Studies have shown a positive connection between CBD and pets and their health. You may want to think about giving your dog CBD from the start.

Start Potty-Training Your New Dog Right Away

If you rescue a dog that is already potty-trained, you won’t need to spend much time potty-training it in your home. All you’ll need to do is learn how to pick up on the signs that your dog needs to go out.

But if you’re bringing a puppy into your home, potty-training them is going to be of the utmost importance. You’ll need to be diligent about potty-training your puppy right from the beginning so that they don’t develop bad habits.

It can take weeks, if not months, to fully potty-train a puppy. But you can do it by following these steps:

  • Start by putting your dog on a regular eating schedule
  • Take your puppy outside to go potty about every 30 to 60 minutes throughout the course of the day
  • Put your puppy in the same spot every time you go outside
  • Praise your puppy each and every time they use the potty outside
  • Rush to take your puppy outside if you notice them getting rid to use the potty inside
  • Avoid punishing your puppy if they happen to have an accident inside
  • Clean up any accidents that occur inside to stop your dog from having more accidents there in the future

A word of advice: Potty-training a puppy can be a long, frustrating process in some cases. Try to be as patient as you can be and understand that accidents are going to happen along the way.

Teach Your New Dog to Respond to Basic Commands

In addition to training your dog to use the bathroom outside, you should also attempt to teach them a series of basic commands. They should know what to do when you say things like:

  • “Sit!”
  • “Stay!”
  • “Come!”
  • “Down!”
  • “No!”

You should start using these commands as soon as you bring your new dog home and work to reinforce them over time. Most dogs will begin to respond positively to commands when you reward them with treats.

Consider Calling on a Trainer to Help You With Your New Dog

Some dogs don’t respond to commands well at all, no matter how hard you work at it. Some dogs have behavioral issues that hold them back and make them a nightmare for dog owners.

If your dog is having a hard time picking up on commands, you might want to work a dog trainer into the mix. A trainer can work with your dog and get them to respond to the commands that you want them to know. They can also help hash out any behavioral problems they might be having.

Introduce Your New Dog to Other People and Pets When They’re Still Young

When your new puppy first comes home, you probably want to keep them away from other people and pets. It’s a good idea not to overwhelm a new puppy. It’s also a good idea to put off having your puppy interact with other dogs and pets until they have all the necessary shots.

But over time, you should work to introduce your dog to other people and pets. It’ll make them a whole lot more social than they would be otherwise in the long run.

Establish a Good Relationship With a Local Veterinarian

During the first few years of your dog’s life, they’re going to have to take trips to the veterinarian’s office pretty routinely. From getting their initial shots to getting spayed or neutered to getting treatment for injuries and illnesses, your dog is going to become a regular at the vet’s office in no time.

Make it your mission to find the best vet for your dog. You want someone who is very experienced on your side. You also want someone who has taken care of your specific dog breed in the past.

Additionally, you should try to locate a vet that’s not too, too far from your home. It’ll help you hustle over to their office in the event that your dog ever experiences an emergency medical issue.

Soak Up Every Second That You Get to Spend With Your New Dog

Puppies don’t stay puppies for very long!

When you first bring them home, they’ll be very small and innocent looking. But within just a few months, your tiny dog will be almost all grown up and will be wreaking havoc on your home. It’s why you should soak up every second that you get with them as a puppy.

You should also continue to soak up the seconds that you have with them once they’re grown. You’ll be amazed by how quickly time passes for both you and your dog. You want to make the most of all the time that you have together.

Becoming a Dog Owner Will Be One of the Best Decisions You Ever Make

Caring for a puppy isn’t always easy to do. But it’s one of the most rewarding things that you’ll ever do in your life.

You’ll love watching your new puppy grow once they come home with you. You’ll enjoy seeing them learn new commands and developing their very own personality.

In the end, you’ll find that becoming a dog owner will be one of the best decisions you could ever make. You’ll love all the benefits that come with owning a dog, and you’ll wonder what in the world you ever did without a dog before.

Keep browsing through the educational articles on our blog to find tips and tricks that will turn you into a happier, more productive dog owner.

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