First Time Dog Owner? Read These 8 Essential Tips!

Dog Owner

Arming yourself with tips for first time dog owners can make the process so much easier for you and your pet.

If you’re jumping into the experience without much know-how, here are some crucial things to remember!

  • Research

What should a first time puppy owner know?

To begin, choose the best dog breed for first-time owners. Then, consider these factors:

  • Breed origin
  • Energy level
  • Ideal living conditions
  • Temperament
  • Health conditions
  • Budget

Make sure to consider your living conditions and time constraints when looking up this information.

  • Prepare The House

Want to know how to take care of a dog?

Start by creating a calming environment for your dog. Designate an area for them in the home to eat, sleep, and play safely. Make sure you pet-proof the house.

You should let your pup sleep in a crate next to the bed for the first few weeks. Give them a stuffed toy and lots of blankets to keep them warm. 

As Charles Shultz puts it, “Happiness is a warm puppy.”

  • Find A Reliable Veterinarian

Finding a veterinarian is a must, even if you know how to take care of a puppy.

For starters, only a veterinarian can help you differentiate fact from fiction. They will help you stay on top of your dog’s vaccinations and check-ups.

Lastly, a veterinarian can give you the complete 101 on your dog breed’s grooming, diet, exercise, and other requirements.

  • Stock Up On Supplies

Those without any experience with dogs might wonder, how do I prepare as a first-time dog owner?

It’s easy as long as you know what to do.

We suggest stocking up on the following:

  • Comfy bed
  • Food bowl
  • Water bowl
  • Collar
  • Harness
  • Toys

You can add things to the list in line with your pup’s growth and requirements.

  • Know What Dog Food To Buy

High-quality food is another thing you’ll need to stock up on before your pup arrives home— you can bet they’ll be hungry right away.

Now, if you think any kind of dog food will pass so long as it’s dog food, you’re wrong!

Every dog has different dietary requirements based on its breed, age, and other factors. It is best to discuss it with your veterinarian and follow their suggestions.

If you have doubts like “Can my dog eat plums” or “Can my dog eat chocolate”, check with your veterinarian.

Prepare for some resistance from the dog’s end and make note of any reactions to certain foods. Also, beware of giving your dog more treats than recommended.

Abigail Macdonald says, “Basically, give her the required amount of DOG FOOD and no human food.” 

  • Create A Routine

So you’re all set with supplies, food, and bedding. Now you must be wondering what to do when you get a dog for the first time. Do you go out and play or train them first?

The most important thing at this point is to help the dog adjust. This involves doing everything possible to keep them comfortable and make them feel safe.

Since the change of surroundings and people is already too much for the dog, you need to prove you’re a reliable owner. And the only way to do it so early on is by setting a routine and sticking to it!

Take your pup for walks at the same time every day, give them food at the same time, and set play times. Your dog may resist most activities at first, but they’ll slowly ease into the flow.

  • Socialize And Train Them Early On

One piece of advice for first time dog owners that no one ever mentions is to allow them to socialize. Take your pet to dog parks, plan play dates, and introduce them to new people. Ensure that strangers know how to pet a dog.

Also, make sure to consider their age, experiences with socialization, and temperament.

Training is equally important, but you can take it slow with puppies. Dog training tips are available online, so you can use them or hire a professional trainer if you find yourself struggling with it. 

When starting training, you can begin with basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and so on. While there are many training tips for new dog owners, an important one is to never punish and use positive reinforcement. Yes, a first time puppy owner tip you should implement is to reward good behavior with treats and lots of praise!

  • Prepare For Behavioral And Health Issues

Despite doing everything right, know that some things are still out of your control. And some resistance is normal.

The only tips for dog owners at this stage are to do a little research, talk to your vet, and find a solution. Forcing your dog to change its behavior isn’t the right approach in any case.

Keep in mind that not all issues are behavioral, some might indicate an underlying health issue. While it may not be a severe issue, ignoring it might turn it into one!

One of the most valuable tips for first time dog owners is to practice patience with them.

As Cesar Millan says, “Discipline isn’t about showing a dog who’s boss; it’s about taking responsibility for a living creature you have brought into your world.”

The Bottom Line

With these essential tips for first time dog owners by your side, you’ll surely get things right and be a good dog owner.

Remember to keep your cool and don’t let fear or worry get the best of you!