First Time Down Owner Guide
Bringing a dog home for the first time can be an overwhelming, yet rewarding experience. When they enter our homes, they are just little babies, but soon they start leaving their pawprints everywhere.
And as dog lovers, we can see our entire life giving and receiving unconditional love from these four-legged angels.
The idea of getting a dog creates vivid images of us, cuddling and playing together. Life somehow seems better with a dog. However, someone who is adopting a dog for the first time can feel a tad restless while making the decision. Hence, this article offers the tips and tricks every to-be dog parent needs. So, read on.
Prepare yourself for a dog
As someone who loves dogs, you might want to adopt a puppy at this very moment. But that is a heedless move. Being a dog parent requires dedication and readiness for a long-term commitment. Hence, you must evaluate different aspects of your life to make sure that you can include a dog into your life. So, to understand if you can adopt a dog, answer the following questions with a 'yes'.
- Do you have enough time to take care of a dog?
- Do you have the time to train and go on walks with your dog?
- Can a grown up dog live comfortably in your apartment?
- Do you have the financial capacity for vaccinations, regular visits to the veterinarian, wet dog food, treats, and grooming?
- Do you know which type of dog will best suit your lifestyle?
Note: Before you shelter a dog, ensure that no one in your house is affected by it. You don't want your pet or a loved one to live in discomfort.
Rearrange your house
Before you bring a baby dog, do not forget to puppy-proof your home. Moreover, make sure to create a dedicated space for your puppy where it can play and rest. Stock up on dog supplies like a leash, collar, litter box, bowls, and toys. If you are adopting a baby pup, you will have to make a thorough plan and space for potty training as well. Neglecting this essential step can lead to unwanted accidents and a messy home. Hence, it is best to create a space for potty training outside your house.
Find a veterinarian
You must find a good vet even before you bring a dog home. A vet's hospital will be the first place your dog will visit. The doctor will examine your pooch, help you understand your dog better, and guide you to play the role of a dog parent seamlessly. Go for a vet with a friendly staff, so your dog feels comfortable in the hospital.
Provide basic care
Once you become a dog parent, it is your responsibility to meet its basic needs. Dog food that provides complete nutrition and a healthy living space are a must for any dog. Moreover, you need to make time to exercise, train, and groom your dog. In fact, you must also take your dog out to meet new people and pets. Early socialization will help your dog understand the world around it. Once you provide your dog with the aforesaid things, you offer your fur baby a beautiful life.
Note: Reach out to your vet to understand what and when to feed your dog.
Be a responsible dog parent
This is the most crucial step of adopting a dog. Taking on the role of a dog parent means taking care of this four-legged being for life. It means that you commit your time and effort to care for your dog while also taking responsibility for its actions. You will always stay by your furry friend's side. You will treat it like a baby, like a member of your family. If you think you can do this, then go give a pup its pack leader.
Note: Dogs need constant care and attention; hence, do not forget to get back up support, especially if you are away for long hours due to work. You will primarily need a dog walker to ensure your pet receives enough exercise. Consider different aspects of your life and opt for a pet sitter or day care services if required.
Be consistent with training sessions
If you have adopted a dog from a shelter, you must know that your pup might be a little traumatized. Initial days in a shelter is always difficult for new-born dogs, which is why you should look for a puppy needs list to prep for your little one. Your pooch will need time to adjust to its new home. Trusting a different human as its new caretaker can be a tad tough. If your pet is not eating, sleeping, or social in the beginning, have patience. Stay consistent with the right training methods such as positive reinforcements.
Make use of a microchip
A microchip proves to be instrumental with regards to ensuring that you do not lose your furry friend. It is a mini device that can be placed painlessly between your dog’s shoulder blades. However, do not forget to consult your vet about the same.
Frequently asked questions
How do you introduce yourself to a new dog?
Follow the below steps when introducing yourself to a new dog:
- Step 1: Approach the dog and its caregiver
- Step 2: Upon caregiver's permission, extend your hand towards the dog and let it sniff the back of your palms
- Step 3: Always pet the dog’s chest or shoulder and avoid the head
How long does a dog take to settle in a new home?
Dogs take about 3 to 4 weeks to settle in a new home.
How does a dog feel when rehomed?
Dogs do not forget their old house or people easily. In fact, research shows that dogs dream about their caregivers and being abandoned can lead to anxiety and depression. However, with proper care, training, and attention, they learn to trust and love again.
How long does it take to bond with a dog?
The answer to this question depends on whether you bring your puppy from a breeder or an animal shelter. In case you bring a puppy home from a breeder, it will take you around 3 weeks to 3 months to bond with it. However, if you bring a doggie home from a rescue home, it could take you a little extra time and effort to develop a loving relationship with your little bundle of fur.