Owning your first dog is both exciting and fulfilling. It is exciting because you will now have a true friend, a furry companion, and a partner that you deserve. It is fulfilling because you’ve made the kindest gesture ever- Taking a dog home and committing to giving it the best home in the world. But just like other new dog owners, you probably are confused about what to expect from your new-found friend and how to make him/her happy. The pup isn’t warming up to you even after providing him with the best shelter, care, nutrition, entertainment, and love- and time. The responsibilities seem unreal. Things aren’t as rosy and merry as you thought.
But you shouldn’t panic. Taking your first dog home was always going to pose some unfamiliar challenges to you. And if you aren’t feeling challenged just yet, then you probably are still in the honeymoon phase. The need for big commitments and big responsibilities will come knocking soon. That is why you need these 10 tips on how to become the best pet parent and ensure that your little ball of fur is happy and healthy for the rest of its life.
1. Give your dog enough time to adjust
Your new best friend isn’t warming up towards you because he is scared and overwhelmed by the new environment. There are dogs that will hide from their owners or act up until they familiarize themselves with their new home. Don’t rush your pup into feeling comfortable around you. Be patient and within a few short days, he will become hyperactive and start trusting you again. Note that every dog has its own adjusting time so please don’t compare yours with any other dog.
2. Always check with a vet when buying dog food
Because you aren’t too familiar with dog nutritional needs, it is best that you liaise with a vet officer in finding the best dog food for your pup. A good veterinarian will help you meet your dog’s individual nutritional needs at the beginning and in case there is the need for new food, he will help you to transition gradually without jeopardizing the dog’s health.
3. Potty training is kind of urgent
The dog hasn’t been living in your house so, of course, you will need a potty training regime for the new friend. That is particularly essential if the dog is in its early development phase. Note that your dog will also need a similar regime if you move to a new home, say after buying a house.
4. Find a reliable vet ASAP
As we mentioned, the best way to handle a dog situation is to liaise with a vet. Your dog will need regular vaccinations and check-ups, so just like you probably have a family or personal doctor, your pup will need a personal, reliable vet.
5. You will need minor kitchen refurbishments
Kitchen remodeling is mandatory for every new dog owner, not unless it is already pet-friendly. You will need to add special feeding stations for the dog and special storage units for its food. Also, ensure that the kitchen cabinets are lockable and that there aren’t any power cords lying on the kitchen floor.
6. And the bathroom, too
Bathroom remodeling includes creating space for the dog’s litter box and repositioning bathroom supplies so that the dog doesn’t feed on them. That would be catastrophic.
7. You will need better cleaning supplies
Dogs aren’t the cleanest among pets. Expect your dog to walk through mud puddles and unapologetically leave paw prints all over your furniture and cleaned floor. You will also have to deal with lots of pet hair on the couch and blankets. That is why you need to invest in better cleaning supplies.
8. Start socializing your dog ASAP
Your dog needs to meet new people and new pet friends ASAP! If you keep it in isolation for long, it will have a hard time interacting with people or other animals at public places.
9. Set up a sleeping spot beforehand
Have your new dog’s sleeping spot- maybe a dog crate with a cozy dog bed- prepared in advance. That will make things much easier for both of you.
10. Learn as many dog training techniques as possible
Proper dog training is essential for a strong owner-pet relationship. Without it, you two might never find happiness around each other. Ensure that you learn enough pet training techniques before bringing the pup home.
To be a great dog owner, you must commit your life to take proper care for your dog, including accepting responsibility for whatever it does within your neighborhood. It means loving it for the rest of its life, like your biological kid. Dogs can be a handful sometimes so if you cannot commit to your furry friend, then you probably need to consider a different kind of pet.
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