Living with a dog is one of life’s greatest pleasures. But the experience becomes a lot more troublesome when you are a first-time pet owner. However, put all your worries aside: Here are n essential tips for a first-time dog owner to feel capable and confident every step of the way with your four-legged friend. And since you are here and reading this article, pat yourself on the back, as you are already on your way to becoming a loving and caring dog owner!
1. Prep Your Home
Sharing your home with a dog may not be as intense as prepping it for a baby. However, you’ll still need to make some adjustments to make sure that your canine feels comfortable in the home. You’ll need to buy some essential items such as bowls, leash, collar, toys, and a crate for potty training (if you adopt a pup). Even though you own an older hound, you’ll need all the things mentioned above. So, make sure you give your furry friend all the comforts it needs to love in your home happily.
2. Train Often
The initial days (or even weeks) at your home can be challenging for your hound. “A shelter setting is one of the most stressful things for a canine,” Miller adds. He further explains it can take some time for your puppy to adjust to new surroundings. Additionally, give your furry friend some time to relax so they can trust you as his new caretaker.
Treat them patiently and practice positive reinforcement to help your canine learn the house rules and how you want him to behave inside or outside the house. Cultivate an everyday routine that will make your pup feel more comfortable as he settles in. Stability, consistency, and predictability are the keys to make your pet trust you in the early days in his new home.
3. Find the Right Food
Choosing the right food for your furry friend will never be a cheap task to accomplish, but knowing about the most nutritious ingredients to give your furry friend all the nourishment it needs is a sign of excellent pet parenting. Depending on the breed and size of your canine, some foods can cause allergies and other health problems, while other foods are intended to provide the necessary nutrition based on their size and activity level. If you doubt what kind of dog food is right for your pet, your veterinarian may have some valuable recommendations based on their size, age, and lifestyle.
Abbey Weimann, an animal control clerk at the Ames Animal Shelter, recommends shopping for foods with a complete nutritional solution that meets your pup’s dietary needs. For all these reasons, it becomes crucial to find the right Dog Food for your puppy. It’ll help them grow into active and healthy bodies. Moreover, the healthier your pets are, the fewer probability of them getting any diseases or allergies. Hence, make sure you give your pet the foods that fulfill their every nutritional requirement and don’t cause them any allergies.
4. Learn to Communicate
“There are three secrets to puppy training,” Mick McAuliffe says. “Patience, patience, and patience.” He further adds that body language is how your pup communicates with you. Your hound is always telling you a story if you are willing to listen, he says.
One way to make sure you and your puppy are and have meaningful communication is training classes founded on positive reinforcement.
5. Know What Your Dog Wants
McAuliffe tells new pup owners to take care of both the physical and mental health of their furry friends. Your canine wants not only everyday walks but also social interactions with people and other animals. He further recommends that enrichment toys such as puzzles and kongs can keep a pup’s mind sharp and active, eliminating everyday boredom in their lives.
6. Get Some Extra Support
There will be more times when you’ll need a support system for often than you might think at first. For instance, if you are a working individual who stays at their office during the day, hiring a dog walker or considering doggy daycare can prove beneficial for you in many ways. Since you won’t be available at home to take care of your hound, you’ll need someone or something that can give your pooch the respect it deserves.
Another reason can be that you are planning a trip and your hound can’t go with you, and you’ll need a sitter who can feed, walk and take care of all the essentials activities your pup every day needs in your absence. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have extra support when you are a working puppy owner who stays out of the home for most of the day.
7. Be Responsible
When you become a puppy owner, you have to provide your puppy with essential nutrition, veterinary care, exercise, interaction, and training. With puppy ownership, you also have to make sure that you are not upsetting the community regulations while taking responsibility for your pet’s actions.
Make sure you have complete knowledge of local laws and regulations around canine ownership. And don’t forget to follow the rules, such as licensing your pet and ensuring it’s up-to-date on all the mandatory vaccinations.
8. Relax and Enjoy the Company of Your Dog
People search on the internet and find countless checklists for pup owners that are entirely unrealistic and become a source of worry for first-time owners. In that case, the best advice for you would be to do your best! If you are nervous or stressed, your furry friend will sense it. So take a deep breath and enjoy the company of your furry friend.
To Sum it Up
Living with a canine is one of the best experiences of life. To enhance this experience, even more, follow the simple tips mentioned above, and make your pet’s life even better. Moreover, this list includes all the necessary aspects of dog-owning, helpful for the first time, and experienced canine owners. Practice the information to your advantage and give your hound the care it deserves.