Top Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

 

Top Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

 Any dog owner will tell you that owning a dog is truly fulfilling — but few will tell you it’s easy! It’s a lot of responsibility to be the custodian of another living being, and you should make sure you’re ready for it. If you’ve decided that you are, congratulations! With a little planning and effort, you can set yourself up for a long and happy relationship with your new pup. Here’s what you need to do.

 

Benefits of Getting a Dog

Owning a dog is actually good for you! Dogs bring you companionship, fun, the confidence of knowing you’re taking care of another life — and of course, unconditional love in return. However, the benefits go beyond this — according to Vet Babble, dogs owners have better health than non-pet owners, including a 4 percent reduced risk of heart disease.

Dogs are also helpful for people in recovery from substance abuse disorders. Spending time with dogs is calming, can reduce feelings of loneliness, and your new friend will encourage you to be more physically active. In fact, studies of animal-assisted therapy show that the outcome of therapy for substance abuse is improved when there is an animal present.

 

Find a Dog with the Right Energy Level

You might fall in love with that spunky little pup in the shelter or store, but when you get her home, you’ll soon realize she has no off switch and will need a lot of exercise and interaction. Do some research into the energy level of dog breeds, and find one that’s a good match for you. Remember, however, that breed isn’t everything, and individual dogs can vary massively. Also, when dogs are kept in cages, it can be hard to get a gauge on their personality and energy level. The “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan has a good tip to get around this problem — ask if you can take the dog for a test walk. A quick spin outside will help the dog shake off the frustration of being in the cage, and give you a better idea of what she’s really like.

 

Start Training Straight Away

As soon as you get home, take her to her toilet, wherever that might be, and reward her for eliminating. Even dogs who have been house-trained elsewhere might need retraining in a new home. Right from day one, establish rules and boundaries, and be consistent. For example, if you don’t want her on the couch, don’t ever allow her on it. Even though it may be tempting to be “kind” when she first arrives, you will actually cause stress because she won’t understand the rules of the pack, and may disrespect you for your inconsistency. You can start teaching her basic commands like “No,” “Leave,” and “Sit” straight away — the interaction will help you bond, and it will also help establish you as the leader of the pack.

 

Expect a Period of Adjustment

It will take time for your new dog to settle in and realize her position in the pack. Remain calm and assertive, and give her an area of the house that she can call her own. If she wants to stay in this area for a while, just leave her to it and ignore her. She just wants to observe for a bit — she’ll come to you when she feels comfortable. Feed her the same food she was eating previously for about a week — the stress of moving can cause gastrointestinal disturbances and you don’t want to make that worse. Later, you can gradually switch to your preferred brand.

 

If you find a dog who’s a good match for your personality and lifestyle and start setting boundaries right away, you’re off to a great start. Your dog will know where she stands in the pack, and this will help minimize bad behavior — reducing stress for you both. Start right now by looking into the energy level of different dog breeds.

Photo: Pixabay

We acknowledge our guest article writer Jessica Browdy of www.ourbestfriends.pet Kindly check her work!

16 Replies to “Top Tips for First-Time Dog Owners”

  1. Matts Mom

    I do agree, that dogs are great for us. They give us unconditional love and support. I have two dogs, one of which is a rescue dog. They are both the most wonderful little boys. My rescue dog will do anything to please me. I think that if anyone is looking at getting a dog for the first time, or any other time for that matter, rescue dogs are great! It gives them a loving home and they will return the love 100 fold.

    Reply
    1. Mercy Post author

      Hell Matts Mom
      Thank you for sharing an assuring article on rescue dogs. Your comment gives someone who is interested in keeping a dog for the first time where to go first for the innocent great friends out there. Like you said the love from our dogs is unconditional. check my article on why are dogs mans best friendThank you so much
      Take care Mercy

      Reply
  2. Igor

    Hi Mercy!
    Dogs are “man’s best friends”! They get anything they want because they know how to treat their owner.

    People could learn from dogs many things.

    Your post is great. I like it a lot, although we have two cats at home. You could write something about cats, too, he, he!
    Or, I could do that? Maybe?

    Anyway, very useful and informative dog.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Mercy Post author

      Hello Igor
      Dogs will forever be the best man’s friend and like you mentioned they people should learn from the dogs. I love cats too and I think yes can come with an article about meaow they are lovely too and give companion too.thank you so much let’s keep in touch and come up with the cat-dog article.
      Take care Mercy

      Reply
  3. Dave

    One thing we’ve always done when we got our dogs was to have the kennel ship something with them (a blanket, large stuffy, etc.) as it’ll have scent of their mom and litter mates on it, then keep this in that area you mentioned that “just theirs”. If they get lonely and miss their dog-family, then they can get reassured through the scent on the blanket/toy.

    We have two (2) dogs – both Nova Scotia Duck Tollers. The first one is the PERFECT family dog, but when we got the 2nd, we wanted a more outgoing one with more of a ‘take charge’ attitude. We got exactly what we asked for, but she’s a bit much to handle as she was the boss of the litter of pups. It’s so important to know WHAT you want and HOW much time you can devote to the dog. A high-maintenance dog (one that requires a LOT of exercise) is not a good fit of people that don’t get out much, or don’t have 2 hours minimum a day to devote to the dog’s activities. I’m really glad you touched on this in your post here.

    Reply
    1. Mercy Post author

      Hello Dave
      I thank you so much for your comment because it does not only add value to the post but it is giving other dog parents some new ideas they can try, thank you for taking your time to write such an informative comment,kindly check our potty training for dogs made easy. article for more.Thank you
      Take care Mercy

      Reply
  4. travel and treatz

    All the benefits of having a dog are true! Plus…. they are all cute!!! who doesn’t like having something cute around! Seeing your dog… even if they did something wrong…. makes your day better!

    Reply
  5. Tim

    I agree 100% dogs are great companions. I have had few dogs over the years and it is a big responsibility, however so worth it. They can truly be your best friend.

    Reply
    1. Mercy Post author

      Hello Tim
      I really appreciate your confirmation to many that dogs are our greatest friends, this is a great encouragement for new or to be dog parents.Kindly read also our article on why are dogs mans best friend it has a great information too.
      Thank you take care Mercy

      Reply
  6. Tom Priesmeyer

    Great tips on owning a dog for the first time. It is not easy, and does require some knowledge, and commitment. This info is important because some people frankly should not own dogs, based on the way they treat their dogs. Hopefully this article will dissuade those that would neglect their animals to keep from adopting one. Conversely, it will help those good folks to treat their dogs better than perhaps they would have.

    Reply
    1. Mercy Post author

      Hello Tom
      Yes, I totally agree with you that dog should be treated well, unfortunately, some don’t and its so painful to mistreat an animal. I hope and believe our messages will reach all over and our voices will be heard by many if not all.Read our post on why are dogs mans best friend its so moving and loving for dogs
      Thank you take care Mercy

      Reply
  7. hong

    Great article. I have a friend that has a dog. She loves her dog; it is almost like her child. I have been thinking about getting a dog in the future. This post really helps to prepare me to get ready. Thank you for the awesome information.

    Reply
    1. Mercy Post author

      Hello Hong
      I am excited to learn that the post has impacted you positively. I hope to see you soon when you start sharing with us your new journey with a dog, Kindly read our post on dogs breed for choosing the best breed. thank you
      Take care Mercy

      Reply
  8. Mario Vrtovic

    Dogs are one of the intelligent animals among the domestic pets. They have the ability to communicate with humans, other dogs, and even other animals. They do this by using body signs and different vocals. The signs are made with the help of body movement involving eyes, ears, eyebrows, head, mouth, and tail.
    You should watch these “signs”, as a dog owner.
    Anyway, great post!
    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Mercy Post author

      Mario
      We at Dog localityreally appreciate your contribution and the information you have shared on dogs.I know your comment will add value to pet parents in terms of how they communicate to them. Thank you and keep doing it.Thank you
      Take care Mercy

      Reply

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