How To be a Good First-Time Dog Owner

How To be a Good First-Time Dog Owner

Bringing home a new dog can be a daunting task, especially if it’s your first time. Before you bring home the new member to your family, make sure that you know exactly what you are getting into! Here are some great tips on how to be a good first-time pet owner:

Do Your Research

Before you bring home your new dog, make sure that you do plenty of research. Research the breed and age of your dog and how to best take care of them and then create an action plan. Write down all of your questions and find a solution to each one. If you have kids, how will you introduce the new dog to them? If you’re getting a puppy, do you have everything that you need for it? Are you ready to put in a lot of work? No matter what your questions are and how silly they may seem, make sure to figure out an answer so you will feel prepared and have peace of mind. You can also check to get answers to your many questions.

Give Them Space

One of the best things that you can do after bringing home your new pup is to give them time to acclimate to their new surroundings. As tempting as non-stop play may be, your pup will get incredibly overwhelmed and might struggle to form a connection with you. Be sure to give them their space and create a “home” for them– a place where they can get away from everyone. If you are choosing to crate train, this is the perfect place to create your dog’s “home”. If you don’t have a crate, consider using a small portion of a quieter room, like a laundry room, bathroom, or bedroom. Wherever you choose to create your dog’s “home”, be sure to put their food and water bowls and any toys near it. This way, your dog associates all of its items with one spot in the room. They will now feel more comfortable in that space and will have a place to go when they are overwhelmed.

Form A Bond

A great way to form a bond with your pet is to play with them. Find an activity that they love most like fetch, frisbee, or tug-of-war,  and spend twenty minutes playing with them. Do this periodically throughout the day, and eventually, they will start coming up to you with their toy, basically asking you to play with them! This will help associate you with the fun of the activity, and your pup will feel more comfortable around you.

Training is also another great way to form a bond with your new dog. As you train basic obedience skills like sit or staying, your dog will feel confident around you and like to be praised by you. This is also a great way to tire out your dog and get some much-needed rest!

Play Time and Socialization

Letting your dog create new dog friends is a great way to get a break from one-on-one training and let your dog have fun. In addition to this, puppy play time is essential when socializing your new dog, and is a great way to watch how your dog interacts with other animals. Be sure to keep an eye out for any signs of aggression or social regression, as these are signs of bad behavior. If your dog starts to show either of these signs, remove them from the situation immediately and have some one-on-one playtime to allow them to reset their behavior. Be sure to make the dog park a regular to keep your dog social!

Stay Calm

Worrying is one of the worst things that you can do as a dog owner. If your pet is acting funny on his first few days home, try not to freak out. It can take upwards of a month to get your new dog truly comfortable, especially if they are older. Your dog might not eat much or might be very skittish, but this is not something to worry about. However, if this activity is still continuing and you feel like there is really something wrong, be sure to get some advice and talk to a vet online. You can help avoid a pricey trip to your local vet and still get the same professional advice on what to do with your pet.

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