There aren’t many experiences in life as exciting as bringing home a new dog. The first few months with your new dog will be an adjustment period for you both. You’ll both be delighted while also learning what to expect from each other.
During this transition phase, it is normal to encounter some problems. Once you start looking at everything you need for your new dog, the process can begin to feel a little daunting. If you’re a first-time owner, it’s easy to feel like you’ve forgotten or overlooked something.
Here is some helpful advice for new dog owners to take the stress out of bringing home a new pet:
Research Your Dog’s Breed
The deeper you dive into information about your dog’s breed, the easier you’ll find it to transition into a new lifestyle as a pet owner. Taking the time to research different breeds will help you find the perfect partner for your current lifestyle. Look for a species that suits how you lead your life. Bulldogs, Saint Bernards, and Bullmastiffs are examples of calm dogs that can thrive in small spaces.
One of the most important aspects to consider is how much exercise your dog will need. If you live in a small apartment or aren’t an active person, getting a breed like a husky is a huge mistake. Failing to give your dog the appropriate amount of exercise can result in depression, obesity and other health issues.
Behaviour is another crucial aspect to consider when researching different breeds. If you have a family with small children, then it’s important to look for a breed that interacts well with high-energy, unpredictable children. Certain dog species are far too defensive or stubborn to get along well with children. However, these breeds can make great companions for people who live alone or need a guard dog.
Consider Raw Dog Food
Many new dog owners are using raw dog food to help their pets stay healthy. Raw dog food contains a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and fats that are drastically reduced in processed dog foods. Raw dog food also contains essential omega-3 fatty acids that help your dog grow a softer, shinier coat.
One of the biggest benefits of raw dog food is that it’s significantly easier for your dog to digest. The increased digestibility helps your dog’s system absorb more nutrients while also reducing the volume of stool that you have to pick up.
Update Your Budget
Budgeting is a key step to take before you first bring your new friend home. It’s critical to be honest with yourself and assess if you’re in a position to own a dog. Taking on the responsibility of owning a dog means you can’t cut corners regarding their health and lifestyle. While it may be ok for you to eat only ramen noodles for a week while you wait to get paid, your dog will still need high-quality food at all times.
When creating your new budget, you’ll have to include things such as vaccines, checkups at the vet and grooming. Depending on where you live, you may also have to invest in a preventative flea and tick treatment to protect your dog as it plays outside. Making a budget will highlight the lifelong commitment you’ll need to make as a new dog owner.
Prepare a Designated Area
One of the best ways to help your friend adjust to a new environment is by setting up their own special area. When introducing a dog into a new home, it’s a good idea to limit their access at first. A confined sleeping area will help your dog adjust without overstimulating them with a large apartment or home to explore.
When bringing puppies home, it’s especially important to limit their access at first before giving them free rein of your home. Giving your dog their own space will help minimize confusion in a new environment and help them understand your expectations. If you don’t have a small corner for your dog, you can use a smaller room such as the laundry room to create a safe space for them to relax.
Invest in a Microchip
Microchips used for tracking are one of the best investments you can make to protect your new dog. Microchips are less than 3 millimetres large and inserted between your dog’s shoulder blades. Unlike a collar, the microchip won’t fall off or get lost. If a stranger finds your dog, they can quickly get your contact information, home address and even information about your dog’s health.
Getting your dog microchipped is fairly inexpensive and immediately valuable if you end up in an emergency situation. If you live close to the mountains or near other wildlife, microchipping your dog is a wise precaution to take to ensure your friend always returns home.
Start Dog Training
Even if you choose a well-behaved breed, you’ll need to start training from the first day. Working through basic commands is an excellent way to begin bonding with your new friend while also making the rules of your home clear. Training helps improve communication which will come in handy if you have to housetrain your new dog.
It’s worth picking up a few bones and treats to use as rewards during your casual training sessions. Investing in professional training to attend with your dog is a great way to enhance responsiveness and strengthen the bond with your dog.
Prepare for Health Scares
Dealing with health scares with your pets is never fun, and they never occur at a good time. Whether your dog gets hurt while playing outside or begins to show symptoms of another health problem, having awareness ahead of time will help prevent you from panicking.
It’s a good idea to find a reputable local veterinary ahead of time to help you prepare for these situations. Routine exercise, dental care, and grooming can help your dog avoid common health issues. As mentioned before, it’s essential to have a budget for your new pet to cover any unexpected medical costs.