Having a dog makes you really happy. However, the thought could be frightening if you've never owned a dog. Never fear; we have a thorough list of advice for new dog owners that will give you the knowledge you require to feel secure dealing with your new furry friend at every turn.
14 tips for first-time dog owners:
- Do your research
Mick McAuliffe, director of behavior and enhancement for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, advises adopters to "look at the big picture for the dog and for your family as well as for where you live—some cities or neighbourhoods have restrictions" to ensure that the dog they choose will fit into their lives. He notes that while researching breeds is a wonderful place to start, it is preferable to speak with staff members at animal shelters and discuss the kind of lifestyle you are looking for in a pet. He continues, "They really know the dogs." They could aid in locating a compatible partner.
- Be responsible:
Some of the breeds of dogs that live the longest might be your best friend for up to 15 years. Therefore, committing to taking care of your dog for the rest of his life entails giving him proper nourishment, exercise, socialization, and veterinary care and training. When you acquire a dog, you also promise your neighborhood that you'll be accountable for his activities, including trying to pick up after him when he goes for walks.
Research your local dog ownership laws and regulations, and abide by them by licensing your dog and ensuring that he has received all necessary vaccines, including the rabies shot, which is mandated by law in most states.
- Assess your time with the puppy
Puppy love is hard to resist, but before making a commitment, consider what living in your household might be like with a puppy.
- Know your budget
The expense of owning a dog is one of the biggest responsibilities. On average, the initial year of puppy ownership costs up to 15,000. From there, budget for regular expenses like premium food and treats, preventive medicine, grooming, checkups, and immunizations, as well as monthly, yearly, and less frequent ones. Before bringing your new dog home, it's also crucial to consider everything you need to buy.
- Find a veterinarian
Soon after getting your canine friend, find a good veterinarian whom you can trust and whom your friend is comfortable with. He will walk you through vaccinations.
- Prepare your home
To ensure his safety, you must first dog-proof your house and yard. Then, if you're adopting a puppy, stock up on essentials like bowls, a collar, a leash, toys, and a crate for potty training. Even while a mature dog will still need the same supplies, he won't likely outgrow them or destroy them during teething.
- Train consistently
Be patient and use positive encouragement to teach your dog appropriate behavior so that he learns how to behave well. Create a daily schedule to help your dog feel more comfortable while he settles in. The best ways to reduce worry early on are consistency, stability, and predictability.
- Choose the right food.
Finding a diet that suits your pup's demands is essential if you want to ensure he obtains the greatest ingredients to support his healthy frolics in the park. High-quality food isn't inexpensive. While some foods may be intended for dogs of a certain size or activity level, others may induce systemic allergy and other health issues. Your veterinarian may help you with useful advice depending on your dog's age, size, and lifestyle if you're unsure of what kind of dog food is best for him.
- Microchip works better
A microchip is a kind of tiny device that is gently inserted under the folds of loose skin between your dog's shoulder blades. When scanned by a vet or shelter, it contains the specific ID number for your pet. As insurance, in case your pet goes missing, ask the veterinarian about microchipping him while you're there. The dog was probably chipped at the shelter if you adopted him, but make sure to find out before taking him home.
- Learn how to communicate:
Body language is how your dog communicates with you, so learn how your dog reacts. It will take some time, be patient and learn the essentials.
- Know your dog's needs
Dog owners must be conscious of their pet's physical and psychological well-being. Dogs require social connection with people and other animals in addition to daily fun and exercise.
- Get backup support.
As a new dog owner, you will require help. For instance, you might think about dog daycare or, at the very least, a dog walker if you frequently travel for long periods away from home. You'll need a boarding facility or a pet sitter if you travel and your dog cannot accompany you.
- Be ready for setbacks.
Make yourself ready for the loss. It happens, and that's nature; you can't change it. Just face it. Take it as a learning experience.
Don't complicate things. It is the best way to raise a dog. Your dog can sense your level of stress. Take a deep breath and remember that your dog will give you ten times as much love and care as you offer him.