When we see someone walk by with a beautiful dog, the natural thing to do is envision what your life would be like with the addition of a puppy. That said, owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibilities that you might not be aware of. Dogs are certainly one of the best pets around, and their presence can dramatically improve your life. At the same time, you want to ensure that your new best friend has the best life possible.
We’re going to explore some lesser-known tips for the first time dog owner out there, giving you insight into ways that you can give your pup the best life possible.
Tips for the First Time Dog Owner
Now, even if you had a dog when you were younger or a lot of your friends have dogs, there are still some things specific to the owner that you should know.
Additionally, different people have unique takes on how to raise dogs. That said, there are some general things to keep in mind that will improve your dog’s life significantly.
Let’s take a look at those trends:
1. Anticipate a Period of Adjustment
Many people second-guess their decision to buy a pup when they bring them home and find that they’re pretty unruly. Whether you bring an older dog home or your new friend is a fresh puppy, you can expect them to act unusually for the first few weeks.
At most, your pup won’t settle for a couple of months. After this initial point, you’ll start to see the behavior level off and your training can start to improve how they act. You might see that your dog is perfectly well behaved right off of the bat, too.
It’s impossible to know ahead of time. The important thing is that you take this period of time into account and give your dog some time to adjust.
2. Dogs Have Unique Diets
Running to the store and getting a random bag of dog food just doesn’t cut it anymore. We now know that different dogs require different diets to thrive and live good lives.
The consequences of an inadequate diet can go far beyond low energy and lead to bodily failures, obesity, and disease. It’s essential that you do some research on the specific dietary requirements of your animal.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune on pet food or dedicate long periods of your day to cooking special dog snacks. Dogs are pretty adaptable, but they do have specific diets that best serve them. If you want to have a happy dog, it’s important that you take note of these diets.
3. Vet Visits are Not Optional
Bringing your animal to a veterinary clinic right away is essential. You’ll likely have some papers from whatever source you buy the dog from, but that doesn’t mean you’re set.
Dogs are just like us, and they require regular medical examinations and procedures. It’s essential that you establish a relationship with a local vet who knows you and your animal for the long-run.
It’s impossible to say just what will go wrong or when you’ll need the help of a vet, but know that having a relationship with a clinic will be extremely beneficial when the time comes.
4. Get Vaccinations
Getting vaccinations is one of the best ways to prevent harm for your animal down the line. In other words, the more you vaccinate the animal, the more likely it will be to live a long life.
In some states, you might be required to get a set of vaccinations for your pup. Even if it isn’t required by law, you should consult with your vet to see what they think are the essential vaccinations for optimal health.
5. A Set Habitat
While you’ll probably spend most of the time with your pup snuggling, going for walks, and doing whatever else you like, it’s important to note that there will be a lot of time spent away from your dog.
So, you should create a habitat for your dog that is specifically its own. This doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant, but you should make a space for your dog that includes food, a bed, some toys, and an ample amount of space.
This can serve two purposes. First, it gives your new dog a place to feel comfortable and safe while you’re away at work or with friends. Second, it provides a level of structure to the animal’s life and establishes a sense of autonomy when you’re not willing to engage with it.
6. Training Improves Your Dog’s Life
It may seem like being a strict trainer of your dog doesn’t leave the animal a lot of space to be free and enjoy life. This is inherently untrue.
Sure, being strict to the point of abuse is never going to benefit an aminal. That said, providing structure and helping your pet learn new things and retain the information you’re teaching will inevitably allow them to be more active.
They’ll be more active in your life, and they’ll be more mentally engaged throughout the day. Just imagine if you had never learned to read or speak more than a few words. You would have nothing to occupy your time with, and your life would be significantly less meaningful.
The same idea can apply to pets. The more they have to do and occupy their minds with, the more engaged and happy they will be with life.
7. It’s Not All Fun
The final thing to know for the first time dog owner is that ownership isn’t always fun. Sure, most of the time you spend with your dog will be positive and your pet will have a positive effect on your life, but there will be some frustrating times, too.
We can handle those frustrations a little better when we anticipate them in advance. Just make a mental note that you can expect to be frustrated by your pet from time to time.
Need More Pup Tips?
Any first-time dog owner is bound to be anxious about their responsibilities with their new pet. We’re here to help you move forward with your journey.
Explore our site for more insight into dog ownership and how to give your best friend the best life possible.