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Dogs are true, man’s best friends. They can be your best companion when strolling in the park or playing in your backyard. No wonder many people choose dogs as pets at home. If you haven’t tried being a dog owner yet and are planning to become one, it is essential to know your responsibilities. Learning some first-time dog owner tips can help you become a happy pet owner.
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First-Time Dog Owner Tips – 8 Things You Should Know
Having a dog at home sounds exciting. However, as a first-time dog owner, taking care of this animal could be quite challenging. It is because, like humans, dogs also need food and proper hygiene. Since they don’t live like humans, they need someone to understand them and adequately care for them. Aside from that, animals also get sick. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to take care of them.
First-time dog owners may find it a daunting task to take care of puppies. So if you are a future dog owner, you may consider the following tips:
1. Choose the best breeds for first-time dog owners.
Dogs come in a wide variety of breeds and sizes. Although all dogs are adorable animals, you and your dog must be a good match. Since some of them need extra care, it is highly recommended that you own a less-maintenance dog.
Picking a dog breed could be quite tricky. So if you become a pet owner, you may choose one based on your lifestyle. You’ll have to consider the dog’s grooming requirements as well.
Choosing a dog from a variety of breeds could be overwhelming. But there are types of dogs that can match your personality and lifestyle. For instance, if you always have a hectic schedule, you may consider low-maintenance dogs like Boston terrier, chihuahua, dachshund, Doberman pinscher, and French bulldog.
2. Create a small room dedicated to your dog.
Like humans, dogs also need a place to stay. You may consider making a dog cage or small house for your future pet. Consider adding a sleeping spot for him. It would be better if he has an area of his own where he can move comfortably.
3. Decide what areas at home can be accessible by your dog.
Dogs are playful animals. They should move freely for some time since it could also be their exercise. So if you are letting your dog roam inside the house, limit the areas that he can access. These animals can chew on things and rip up some items they see on their way. To avoid the damage a dog might bring, keep all the pieces out of your dog’s reach.
4. Buy the right dog food.
Not all dog foods are the same. Know that different ages and breeds may require specific nutrients for them to live longer. Make sure to consult your veterinarian and ask him/her if you can continue the food that your dog has been eating or transition them to a new one. Your vet can recommend the best brands and give you the right advice on how dogs can benefit from their food.
5. Purchase some dog accessories.
One thing that you should never forget when following our first-time dog owner tips is buying dog accessories. It would be best to have all the necessary supplies such as a dog collar, ID tag and rabies tag, and food and water bowl.
When putting a dog collar to your pet, make sure that you can put two fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Doing so allows you to check if your pet can breathe comfortably with the accessory on. You may also buy a leash that is four to six feet long and some toys that your dogs can play with.
6. Always observe your dog’s behavior.
It is vital to be observant when you are with your dog. Please take note that these animals can change their behavior in different kinds of environments. Even if they look alright, they might be suffering from an illness. A change in your dog’s behavior could mean something, so try to become more observant.
For instance, anxiety is one of the dogs’ common health conditions. To know whether your pet is feeling anxious or not, try to recognize his behavior. Anxiety symptoms include the following:
- Barking when the owner is not around
- Destroying furniture
- Excessive licking or chewing
- Frequently urinating
- Panting even if it is not hot
- Running away
If you find your pet experiencing any unusual symptoms, it’s time to bring them to the nearest veterinarian. Other first-time dog owner tips include behavioral training, especially if your pet has anxiety.
7. Learn how to brush your dog’s teeth.
Your pet also needs dental care. That’s why you need to familiarize yourself with the proper ways on how you can brush your dog’s teeth. Know that it is part of your pet’s hygiene to prevent diseases.
It is recommended that you do the activity three to five times a week. You may also ask a veterinarians’ advice about the best ways for your dog’s dental health. Besides, vets can recommend an appropriate toothbrush and paste that you can use for your dogs.
8. Consult a veterinarian if your pet is sick.
Prior to becoming a first-time dog owner, except that a dog can be vulnerable to diseases. Knowing some tips can keep you calm in times like this. Dogs need you the most when they are feeling lonely and weak. Instead of treating them on your own, bring them immediately to a veterinarian. Vets are experts when it comes to treating dogs’ diseases.
Owning a pet is both exciting and challenging. If you are a future dog owner, you may experience struggles in taking care of your pet. That’s why before buying a dog, it is significant to understand what kind of responsibilities you are going to have.
Besides that, learning some first-time dog owner tips can help you prepare ahead of time before owning one. It will also be easier to take care of pets if you already have ideas on what to expect.
Ian is an avid outdoorsman and dog lover. He lives in Central Florida with his wife Heather, and their 2 dogs – Panda (Purebread Rough Collie X English Golden Retriever) & Kuma (Blue Merl Purebread Rough Collie)