Have you recently welcomed a new furry friend to your family? Or are you thinking about it? Whether that new family member is a puppy or an adult dog, we’re here with some helpful tips and tricks to help new dog owners and ease the transition for everyone!
1. Do Your Homework
There are some initial steps new owners should take to properly be prepared for the arrival of your new friend. First, setting up an initial vet appointment for examination and any required shots is critical to the health and wellbeing on your dog. Second, learn about your dog! Do some research about the specific breed you’re interested in to stay informed on any potential health problems in the future. Third, make sure your home is prepared to welcome your new addition. Also, make sure to check your community laws and restrictions during your research phase! Lastly, make sure to stock up on all of your necessities. Having the necessary items for training and care at home will help keep your new pup comfortable during the transition. Whether you’re adopting a puppy, adult dog, or senior pup, there are some key items every dog will need! These items include food and water bowls, food that is appropriate for age and dietary restrictions, leash, collar, grooming items for their coat and fur type, potty training items (if needed), and plenty of toys and treats! For older pups, we recommend stocking up on our classic Bully Sticks to help them feel more comfortable. For puppies, we recommend our light and crunchy Beef Gullies as they’re softer on young teeth and are great tools for teaching your pup to chew safely.
2. Set Realistic Expectations and Boundaries
The first few months of dog ownership are a period of adjustment for not only your new dog but your entire family as well. It will take time to learn what methods work best for your dog and the members of your family as well as developing a new routine. This routine should include consistent feeding times, bathroom times, regular exercise for you and your pup, and plenty of play/bonding time. The more consistent a routine, the better!
3. Invest in Training
Training is not only a fun way to bond with your dog and show off some cool tricks, it's also essential for establishing good behavioral habits. By teaching your dog basic commands such as sit and stay, your dog develops manners that will prevent them from excessive jumping on people, running out the door, and begging. If you are unsure of how to go about training your dog properly, enrolling in obedience school or working with a licensed trainer is an excellent way for both you and your dog to learn together while also giving them the opportunity to socialize with other dogs.
4. Get to Know Your Dog
Bonding and spending time with your dog is essential for creating a solid, trusting relationship. By getting to know your dog and recognizing their behavior patterns, you'll also be able to tell when something is wrong. Each dog has their own unique personality, just like us humans! If you ever notice that your new dog is suddenly acting completely different, not eating, drinking, or sleeping more than usual, there may be something wrong. When in doubt, get it checked out.
5. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Dog owners are connected by a wonderful community both online and offline, and we’re here to support and guide each other as much as possible! It's also important to find a good veterinarian. If you ever have a health-related concern or are unsure about something, you can reach out to your local vet for a second opinion. Don't be afraid to utilize the dog community for further tips, tricks, recommendations, or just to chat about your pup's quirks! You may even learn something new about your breed.