First-time Pet Owner Tips

Please welcome back our regular guest blogger, Jessica Brody, who has given us an article called “First-time Pet Owner Tips.” I would like to suggest that there is a good bit of information here that veteran pet owners will find useful as well! Enjoy!

Dog ownership is an obligation that can last for several years. It is an undertaking that should not be taken lightly. The time commitment for training and exercising your dog can be considerable, and the financial burden of providing care can be expensive and unexpected. If you are able to commit the time and resources, however, dog ownership will pay you back handsomely for years to come in companionship and joy.

What kind of breed is right for you?

Before adopting a dog, you should consider what breed fits best with your living arrangements and lifestyle. Although you don’t exactly have free reign to choose whatever breed you’d like, adoptable dogs come in various sizes and general temperaments. The humane society that you adopt from will be able to provide some general guidance, but keep in mind that they sometimes can only provide their best guess, especially when it comes to puppies. For dogs that are generally close to pure-breed, you can check online dog breed matching sites.

Preparing your home for your pooch

Once you decide on the dog that you are going to adopt, you need to make sure that your home is ready for your new addition. If you want to restrict your dog’s access to certain rooms, you can use baby gates. Restricting your dog from looking out the front window, for example, is a tactic to curb incessant barking. In any event, if you are crate training your dog, you will need to establish a spot in the house just for her. Dogs are creatures of habit. Their happiness often depends on their ability to predict their day, so keep their food, bed, and toys in the same spot and minimize disruptions, especially during the first few months.

Give your house a once-over for safety as well. Look through your house from your dog’s perspective. Remove poisonous plants, both indoors and out, and look for other hazards, such as steep stairs for smaller dogs.

Dog bonding tips

The single most effective way to bond with your dog is to spend quality time with her. She is going to need training, even if she is an older adopted dog. Commit to daily walks as a part of your routine, and be sure to always put safety first during your treks. This is especially true when you first bring her home and encounter other dogs on your walks. Since you aren’t yet familiar with her temperament and how she’ll respond in new encounters, keep an eye on her body language. If she tenses up, growls or pulls her ears forward, she’s not ready to meet new furry friends just yet, but your bond will strengthen when she realizes you’re protecting her from a situation she’s not comfortable with.

Your dog will come to count on you for the activity and companionship. Your dog will begin to see you not as a stranger, but as a partner in life. With that base level of bonding, obedience training will be much easier to complete.

When you need help

There may be times when you cannot provide the attention that your dog needs. You may be busy at work or go on a vacation. Although dog ownership is a commitment, you are allowed to take a trip and stay late at work from time to time, but make sure that you make appropriate arrangements so that your dog is comfortable in your absence. If you find that you have to spend long hours away from your dog, consider using a pet sitting and walking service.

Before you go on vacation, research local pet boarding kennels to find one that will provide the best level of comfort for your dog. Kennel and boarding services range from a simple caged dog run to luxury rooms with frequent daily walks, group play with other dogs, and closed-circuit televisions that allow you to check in on your animal.

Dogs are wonderful additions to any family. They require work, but the efforts are rewarding in the love and companionship your family will enjoy.

A more complete guide may be found at

Photo Credit: Pixabay

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