I will like to Congratulate you on deciding to own your very first dog! With the correct level of training, planning, love and attention, your canine will be the perfect companion for many years to come. Dogs can bring such love and joy into our world. Research from the American Psychological Association has even indicated that those who own a pet will be much healthier and happier throughout their life.
You may worry that you lack the knowledge to keep your pet healthy, safe and entertained. Don’t worry – here are six tips to turn you from a canine rookie into a savvy dog owner:
THE CARE YOUR DOG DESERVES
Owning a dog is a big commitment. As a result, you will need to take on a number of new responsibilities. Daily care, medical visits, as well as vaccinations and training are potentially some of the financial costs you will incur.
However, this is simply the very nature of owning a pet and as thousands of other dog owners will agree, it’s worth it for the difference they make to your own life.Your dog deserves to be loved, so therefore it’s down to you to make sure they are cared for in the best conditions possible. Progress may be slow initially, as all dogs have to get used to their new surroundings, but it’s important to stay focused and not to lose your temper.
ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
It’s advised to purchase all of the essential equipment you need to successfully look after your dog before you bring them back to your home.
When owning a dog for the first time, there are a number of supplies you will need straight away and others which should be viewed as optional. The optional supplies can be purchased at a later date as and when needed.
The main and essential supplies include:
*.Stain and odour remover
The optional supplies include:
*.Puppy/dog training pads
*.Dog flea treatment
*.Kennels – for outdoor use
*.Pet gates – for inside the home
*.Grooming products and accessories
As your dog begins to settle into their new surroundings, this will give you a clearer indication as to what optional supplies you need to purchase.
A COMFORTABLE LIVING SPACE
It’s only natural that your dog will arrive home and explore its new home. Before your puppy or dog is brought back, you need to make some small amendments to your living space first.
The home and the garden can be dangerous for inquisitive dogs. So, to avoid injury, ensure your items remain intact, and to stop the dog entering or exiting areas of the home that it shouldn’t.
BASIC HOUSETRAINING STEPS
After making the above alterations in the home, your dog will now be ready to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. At this stage, it’s important to provide leadership so that the dog can comfortably adjust.
On first arrival, walk your dog around the garden on a leash. This will allow them to take in the smells associated with their new home. Pick a spot for your dog to relive themselves so that they also associate this area with this action.
It might take a while for this to happen, so be patient. Always praise your dog for completing a desired action through positive praise and treats. Remember that they have a lot to learn, so rewarding them early on will make them learn good traits for the future.
MEETING OTHER PEOPLE
Always give your dog time to settle in before you invite people over to say hello. The initial learning stage is hugely important and the dog needs time to learn without multiple distractions.
When you are introducing friends and family, keep thedog on a leash for extra control. Have a handful of treats ready to reward them for good behaviour too.
Remember that your dog can detect if your guests are nervous, so they also need to feel relaxed in this situation. Your dog is also likely to smell and sniff any visitors that enter your property.
Growling, barking and jumping are common behaviours, but you should always teach your dog not to jump on guests when they arrive. Using the command “off” from an early age will steer them away from bad habits.
With control and training, most dogs will learn to feel comfortable around others and enjoy meeting new people.
DOGS AND CHILDREN
First and foremost, never leave children alone with your dog. Teach your children, as well as those entering your home that they should never:
*.Scream or run towards your dog
*.Harass or mistreat them
*.Be forceful, aggressive, or play rough with them
*.Encourage play biting
A dog’s natural defence when threatened will be to growl, nip and bite to show that they are afraid. Therefore, be extremely cautious when dogs and children are in the same premises.
If the above guidelines are carried out your dog should be able to acclimatise to having younger children around them.
INJECTIONS AND VACCINATIONS
If you’ve bought your dog from a registered breeder, there’s a possibility that they would have already been given the required vaccinations. It’s best to check with them first and if not, speak to your vet straight away.
Getting your dog vaccinated will give you peace of mind and prevent your dog from becoming seriously unwell. In addition, while also keepingthem immune, you will be protecting the spread of infection to other animals too.
Vaccines can protect your dog against the following:
*.Infectious canine hepatitis
FOOD AND DIET
In order for your pet to live a healthy life, a decent doggy diet is essential.
As puppies grow quickly, they need a separate diet compared to adult dogs. It’s advised to use formulated growth food initially. This can be given to your puppy at regular intervals during the day to aid their development. Startby feeding your puppy four meals a day and reduce thisto three meals when they are four to six months old. After this period, two mealsa day will suffice.
A Mature Dog’s Diet
It’s advised to choose established dog food brands, as bargain food can cost you more in the long run. An established and renowned brand that uses high quality ingredients and fewer preservatives is the best option. This will help to avoid any allergies and offer the nutrients your dog needs. Always check the packaging to see what ingredients are contained.
Dry foods can help to keep a dog’s teeth clean and incorporating fresh vegetables into their diet will provide extra nutrients.
Just like puppies, always make sure that your dog has access to fresh drinking water and stick to scheduled feeding times. Always wash food and water bowls before each meal too, as this will prevent the spread of germs.
All that’s left to say now is best of luck with training and looking after your dog. Remember that you are the one to make a difference by acting as the leader, which a dog will need when settling into their new surroundings.
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