Bringing a new dog home is always an exciting occasion. But, if you are new to pet parenthood, you might start off feeling pretty clueless—parenting a dog is not as easy as it looks.
It will take a lot of time and patience on your part when you bring a new dog home for the first time. Dogs can be a lot of work but, once you have developed a good relationship and a healthy routine with them, you will have a loyal companion and a friend for years. Below are some useful tips in taking care of your new dog:
1. Find a Good Vet
One of your first stops after adopting your new dog is the vet. You have to make sure that your pet is free of any health issues that you may want to know first-hand from the veterinarian. If you are not familiar with the vets in your area, ask any local friends and family who are also pet parents for recommendations, or you can ask the shelter where you got your dog.
Most importantly, you must set up a vaccination plan. This way, your dog will have protection from viruses, parasites, and other ailments. You must also ask about signs should you look out for that could mean your best friend is having health problems. Being knowledgeable could save your dog’s life in case of an emergency.
2. Choose the Right Dog Food
Next is choosing the right food for your pet. Consult your vet to make sure that the dog food you choose is proper for your dog’s nutritional requirements. Refrain from feeding your dog with low-quality, highly processed food with chemicals as these can be unhealthy or might even upset your dog’s tummy.
When you’ve chosen a brand of food for your pet, make sure to stick with it as switching brand all the time may affect your dog’s appetite. If your dog is doing well on a certain type of dog food, then they’re fine as long as it’s nutritious and balanced.
The same goes for treats as well. You should look for treats that are nutritious and easy to digest so as not to upset your dog’s stomach or their nutritional balance. Look for options from reputable vendors like Good Doggy Treats that provide treats that are free of any harmful chemicals or unhealthy components, especially when you’re looking for training treats as your dog will likely be receiving a lot of those during the first few months.
3. Create an Area for the Dog
Just like a person needs their bedroom for privacy and peace, dogs need to have their own area in the house too. Your pet needs to feel safe and loved, and not just an animal that’s left outside of your fence to sleep. If you want to create a healthy relationship with your dog, then make them feel at home. Crate training your dog can allow them to have their own area where they can retreat to when they need a break, or even just want to nap in peace.
4. Shop for Other Dog Supplies
You will need supplies such as toys, food bowls, leashes, collars, beds, and more. When you use these, you are not just providing for your dog’s needs, but you’re making them feel at home and loved. If you are not sure yet what other supplies your dog may be missing, you can browse some pet supply websites or ask your vet for recommendations.
If your new dog is a senior or has special needs, the supplies you need may not be what you expect. Older pets deal with stiff joints and limb weakness. A rear support leash or lifting harness can make it easier to get your dog into the car or up the stairs if they struggle.
5. Establish Routines with Your New Dog
This part can be a little tricky as it will require your utmost patience and flexibility. It will take a while, but you will have to establish a routine with your pet. One of the most important ones to establish is the bathroom routine.
In the beginning, be sure to set up specific times during the day to take out your dog to start getting them used to only going potty outside, rather than in the house. The most common times to take your new best friend out is usually when you wake up in the morning, before bedtime, after your pup’s play time, and a little while after your dog has eaten. Establishing this schedule and sticking up to it consistently. This will eventually train your dog to do this habitually at the same time every day.
Of course, it’s inevitable that during the first stages of training, your dog may commit mistakes or accidents along the way. Refrain from punishing them and scolding them as this can restrain your relationship with them. Instead, practice giving them plenty of positive reinforcements, especially when they go outside, by using praise, pets, and treats
6. Do Obedience Training
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to teach them good manners and obedience. You will have to establish your dominance so they’ll listen to you instead of fighting you every step of the way. Through this, you are not just raising a good dog, but you’re also developing their social skills and priming them to have positive interactions with other people.
Teach your pet simple commands such as laying down, sit, and stop. This will keep them safe and under your control in times of emergency or unforeseen situations, such as keeping your pet from running off into the street.
Don’t forget that during the process of training, keep it positive and keep on praising your dog for their improvements each day. Remember that this is not just about training your pet, but you are also creating your special bond with them.
Raising a dog can be a difficult but rewarding experience. Establish a good foundation with your pet as they are growing up. If there are things you are unsure about, consult your vet and they’ll assist you along the way. In no time, you’ll be a knowledgeable pet parent, providing a welcoming, loving home and a safe environment to your new dog.