Got a new dog?
Or maybe you’re thinking of getting a puppy soon…
If so, then you’ve come to the right place to find answers to all of your new dog questions.
New dog owners are faced with a bunch of uncertainties. Especially after you get past that initial “Oh, he’s so cute” phase. Then, reality sets in.
Rest assured, basic puppy care isn’t something that comes naturally for anyone. We learn helpful tips from others who’ve been successful at raising and training dogs. And for the rest… well, we just learn as we go.
So, if you have some questions about dog care and what to expect, you’re definitely not alone!
Follow these tips for new dog owners, so you’ll know what to do and have a better idea of what to expect… even before you bring your new dog home.
Before Bringing Your New Dog Home
It’s important to think of your new dog as a full-fledged member of the family. You’re entering into a whole new relationship with a living, breathing, very needy, and very loving animal. Your dog will depend on you for everything for the rest of his life. And if your new dog is just a puppy, then you’re in for some especially trying times until he’s properly trained to co-exist in a home with people (and rules), instead of roaming freely with other dogs. So before you bring your new dog home, just make sure that you are 100% ready and that you have enough time and resources to devote to your dog’s needs and your new relationship together. It’s a lifelong commitment to your dog with the following daily requirements: feedings and walks, toys and playtime, basic training and grooming, in addition to caring for your dog’s shelter and safety needs.
Here are a few things to think about before you bring a new dog home:
The breed of dog you get isn’t as important as finding a dog whose temperament and personality matches your own. In fact, the Muttigree is one of the most popular dog breeds of all, right now! That’s right, mutts are the new black, and it’s socially respected to adopt a shelter dog rather than a purebreed or a pet store dog these days. While many think that hybrid dogs with fancy names and tiny teacup dogs are cute, so are senior dogs and rescue dogs. The point is: just know what you’re getting into regardless of which breed of dog you choose to spend your life with.
These articles will help you learn more about the various dog breeds:
First Days Home With Your New Dog
You’ve researched your options and picked out the best dog for you and your family… congratulations. Now the real fun begins! You get to pick his name and introduce him to the rest of the family and his new home. Be prepared… some dogs become scared or timid when they’re introduced to a whole new environment. Others become hyper and distracted by their new surroundings. To ease the transition and introduce your dog to his new home and his new family, your best bet is to give your dog a complete walk-thru of of your entire house — so he can get used to the new smells and spaces. Then, let your dog chill and take in the sights from the comfort of his very own dog crate! Dogs naturally like to have “dens” and spaces of their own. A dog crate will help your dog to feel safe while giving him a place to call his own from this day forward. Even if your dog doesn’t seem to like his dog crate, wait it out. He will learn that this is a good place to be. (But not if you keep letting him out of it every time he whimpers, barks, or acts like he doesn’t like it in there.)
Here’s how to introduce your dog to his new home and help him get used to his new environment:
Getting To Know Your Dog Better
If you’re like most people, a new dog means you now have lots of dog questions. This is especially true if you rescued a mixed breed dog or you adopted an older dog — both are situations where you will know very little about your dog’s heritage and health, among other things. Your first step (possibly even before introducing your dog to his new home) should be to take your dog to the vet. Veterinarians are a wealth of information! They can give you a good idea of your dog’s true breed (or breeds), his current health (and any vaccinations that may be required for his age), the potential for future health issues (based on his genetic makeup), and — best of all — a slew of other tips personalized just for your dog! That’s right, the vet will help to fill in all of the gaps for you on things that you couldn’t possibly know about your new dog — including how to raise a dog like yours and some idea of what you can expect for his future in terms of adult size and projected lifespan. This type of firsthand knowledge and advice is invaluable.
Here are some other ways to get to know your new dog better:
Senior Dogs Are Extra Lovable
If you have an older dog, then some things may seem easier while other things may seem like more of a challenge. The fact is senior dogs can be just as easy to train as younger dogs, and even easier to train than most puppies! It all depends on your dog’s temperament and life experiences up until now, as well as your own personality, patience, and consistency when training your dog.
Here are some helpful tips if your new dog is an older dog:
More tips for new dog owners!