Dogs can bring such a lot of joy into our lives, and there are even plenty of studies and scientific reports linking dog ownership with lower stress levels, better sleep, stronger heart health, and a longer life expectancy too.
So it seems that owning a dog isn’t just fun and exciting, it might just be a choice that helps you live longer and feel happier each day too. However, it’s important to get off on the right foot, and when you bring home a new dog, you need to accept all the responsibilities that come along with it.
Dogs aren’t just there to be cuddled and played with. They need to be looked after properly, given sufficient exercise to meet their needs, provided with the right food, taken to the vet when necessary, and so on.
So, if you’re ready to join the tens of millions of dog owners across the US and bring home a new canine companion of your own, be sure to bear these top tips in mind to make the process flow as smoothly and simply as possible.
One of the first things to do before even bringing your new dog home is to go shopping and stock up on all the supplies you’re going to need. You can find new dog checklists online to help make sure you don’t forget anything. Usually, the key essentials for a new dog are food, bowls for food and water, a leash, a bed, and maybe a few toys too.
You might also need a crate or carrier if you’re going to be transporting the dog in the car, and perhaps some other items too. Do your research and speak to a vet for any recommendations or expert advice if you’re not sure about which food to buy or how to prepare. Buying these items in advance will let you simply bring the dog home and not have to worry about rushing out for urgent supplies.
Socialization Is Key
If you’ve chosen to adopt a puppy, you need to understand the importance of socialization. Along with proper training, pups need to be provided with opportunities to meet other dogs and interact with them. Without socialization, dogs can become scared or even aggressive when going outside and seeing other animals.
Going to the dog park or attending dog socialization and training classes is a good way to introduce your pup to others. This is also a fun opportunity for dog owners to meet other people and their dogs, but you should always be careful at socialization classes or dog parks, as some other dogs may not be well-trained and could bite you and cause an injury.
One mistake that many new and first-time dog owners make is setting their expectations too high when bringing their pup home or assuming that things will play out a certain way. Each dog is unique, with its own personality, likes, dislikes, and character. You can’t expect them all to behave the same way, and they might surprise you with their early antics around the house.
Try to keep your expectations low when bringing your dog home. Don’t expect it to instantly be well-behaved and ready to snuggle up by your side. It might take some time for a dog to get used to its new surroundings, and there might be a little fear or anxiety at first. Some dogs can feel at home quickly, while others need time.
Another great tip for new dog owners is to be proactive, preparing for every scenario, and having plans in place to deal with different eventualities. Before your dog comes home, for example, it’s a good idea to find and contact a local vet you can rely on, and you can read reviews or get recommendations from friends and neighbors if desired.
Similarly, you should do some research about the breed before buying your dog and understand its temperament, common characteristics, and typical health problems so you know what issues to look out for. If you’re worried about your dog behaving badly or getting bored at home, prepare in advance by buying toys, booking training lessons, and setting time aside to take your dog for walks.
Owning a dog is always exciting, but the fun and thrill of the experience can quickly turn into worry and doubt if you don’t prepare properly. Make sure you’ve got all the bases covered and are ready to accept your new responsibilities wholeheartedly to have the best time with your furry friend.