Owning your first dog is one of life’s major great joys and will provide you with the experience of a lifetime for many years to come. However, the idea can be intimidating to those who have never owned a pup before. There comes lots of responsibility, prepping, understanding of behaviour, budgeting and more to owning a dog.
Don’t fret; read on as we uncover some of the best tips for first-time dog owners that provide important information on everything you need to know to feel confident at every step. Learn to love your new canine companion!
Do Your Research
Up and down the UK, people buy into various dog cultures that they’ve found after one or two interactions resulting in an experience they didn’t expect. Making sure you adopt a dog that fits perfectly into your life requires extensive research into the behavioural aspects and requirements of a specific dog breed.
It’s always worth looking at the bigger picture regarding getting your first dog. Is it a fit for your family’s needs? Does it blend well with the area you live in? Any restrictions on dog walking in your area? These are just a few things you must consider when performing your research.
Researching online is only the start; it is always recommended that you talk to shelter staff, and the professionals should tell you about what sort of lifestyle you want for the pet. Seasoned professionals will help you find the best match and know exactly what the dogs need.
As previously mentioned, taking on a dog is one of the biggest responsibilities you could take on in life. Some of the longest-living dog breeds can exceed up to 15 years, so taking responsibility for your dog’s health, well-being, and care is extremely important. Making a lifelong commitment to ensuring your dog’s care means providing them with adequate food, healthcare, and training – which is no easy task to be ready.
When owning a dog, you take on the responsibility of your dog’s actions around your community, so whatever your dog does towards anyone or anything falls on you – that includes picking up after them!
Falling back onto research, you should always look into your local laws and regulations regarding dog ownership and follow all the guidelines in place for licensing your dog and making sure they’re up to date on all the latest vaccines.
Understanding Your Dog’s Behaviour
When you take the time to understand your dog’s behaviour, you immediately notice how they use their natural canine language to communicate with us. This can help you spot certain situations where your dog may act up, be hungry, or need to be walked. Important things to note when owning a dog.
A study based on the learning and behaviour of dogs proved that dogs have similar emotions to humans. They love, trust, feel happy and sad, and have likes and dislikes. When you understand this, you can quickly empathise with them and begin to understand their emotions better.
It’s also important to consider how the work looks from your dog’s perspective. Dogs are always honest about how they feel; they only hide their emotions and shut down if their displays have been overwhelmed.
Everyone wants the perfect dog. Simply relaxing and helping our dogs to make better choices allow them to fit in better with more ease. Any signs of anxiousness or tension will reflect in the dogs’ emotions. For example, if your dog is lunging or barking at given opportunities, it comes down to how you respond. If you remain calm and assertive, your dog will calm down. If you are timid and scared in your approach, your dog may sense it and act out harshly. Staying cool, calm and collected will help your dog do the same.
Prep The House
Be ready! Getting a puppy in the house is like having a newborn baby but arguably worse. They are wild and likely to push against all your boundaries and do their best to annoy you.
This means dog-proofing your home and garden for safety. Look for holes in fences and any sharp or harmful objects they could chew up. Keep dangerous chemicals stored well away. It would help if you also stocked up on some basics such as bowls, collars, leashes, toys, and appropriate puppy pads or crates for potty training.
Get everything in order and prepped, and you are a step in the right direction. The last thing you want is to be unprepared.
To Sum It All Up
Getting your first dog is a mixture of many emotions, stress, happiness, excitement, and anxiousness. How you choose to prepare and inform yourself is down to you, and every dog owner should strive to do so.
It all comes down to research; the material is all out there to learn, so allow yourself plenty of time to take it all in and inform yourself about everything there is to know about owning your first dog.