You’re a New Dog Owner: Now What?

The first steps Few things are as daunting as being suddenly confronted with having to care for another living being. Being a first-time dog owner is often accompanied with an entire gamut of issues – Some psychological, some real; Some expected and others, bolts out of the infinite blue. And if you’re like most people, […]

The first steps

Few things are as daunting as being suddenly confronted with having to care for another living being. Being a first-time dog owner is often accompanied with an entire gamut of issues – Some psychological, some real; Some expected and others, bolts out of the infinite blue. And if you’re like most people, you probably looked to the internet for advice and guidance. But frankly, the sheer overload of (sometimes, conflicting) information can be overwhelming. Worry not! Here is a short rundown to help you better understand the bases that need to be covered to make life smooth for yourself and your new furry friend.

At the outset, the most important thing to understand is that bringing home a dog , in many ways, is no different from welcoming a new member to your family. It comes with it’s own set of challenges and requires a substantial amount of commitment and attention. To be fully mentally prepared for this and to budget accordingly in terms of time and resources required is of the essence. Having said that, it’s not about being perfect all the time – Occasionally shortening morning walks due to a busy schedule or feeding your dog later than usual that one night because of that work party you couldn’t miss don’t make you a bad dog owner. While it’s totally normal to scare yourself thinking about whether you’ll be up to the task, it’s vital to realise that the most crucial aspect is to actually love, care for and value your dog. Your minor transgressions will be more than overlooked by your canine buddy if you show it affection and care.

Healthcare

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One of the first things on your to -do list should be to find a quality veterinarian. It is hard to overstate the importance of a vet in any pet’s life. A good vet serves as your primary reservoir of information on your dog’s current health, immunisation requirements (based on age, area etc) , nutrition and general welfare. Potential health risks associated with breed  and mitigating factors are also best discussed with your vet. Regular check ups and diligent vaccination will definitely do a world of good for your new pet. Joining a local support group is also a great way to keep yourself abreast of the latest hacks and to meet fellow dog owners willing to share their expertise. It also helps in providing your dog quality time with other dogs which helps shape their behaviour. A trip to the pet supplies store might also be in order. As a starter kit, you will need a collar, a leash, a dog home/dog-bed, a feeding bowl, a water bowl and a doggie toilet. A pooper scooper will save you the ire of people in your city when you go on walks with your new friend. You can also find a dizzying array of these goods and everything else your pet could need at our sister website, www.perropet.com .

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Is your home safe?

Making your home a safe environment for the new entrant to your family is really important and saves time, money and potential heartache if done right. First, you must ensure that there aren’t any loosely hanging electrical wires or potentially hazardous exposed circuitry. While dogs are surprisingly smart in and around habitats, it requires time and training for them to get there. Your puppy is a curious creature and this makes it very vulnerable. Care ought to be taken to make sure medications, household chemicals and some human foods like chocolate, onions, grapes, nuts, to name a few, are kept well out of the pup’s reach. Fencing your yard is also a great idea that will surely earn you brownie points with your neighbours. If you also have a toddler/child at home, it asks to be doubly careful and having your home professionally child-proofed might do the trick on both fronts.

Train your dog

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Training and Nutrition are the other two pillars on which your dog’s future health and behaviour rest. The earliest part of your pup’s life are usually the most demanding from you as a caretaker and you must be willing to invest this time seeing as how this period is very crucial in determining the way your dog acts/behaves for the rest of it’s life, which will also be a significant chunk of your own life. Walks are a great way for your dog to spend their excess energy and get some quality exercise. Walks, if used efficiently, can form the bulk of your hands-on training to heed to commands and perform tasks, while a more ongoing approach is essential for more passive training around other aspects of your home, family and life. Your dog requires timely feeds, that provide it with all the macro and micronutrients it needs. Home cooked recipes or dried preparations can both do the job. Your dog, you will learn, has a distinct taste palate and a set of preferences which also need to be taken into account while making dietary choices.

You may want to read more about how to train your dog here.

Owning a dog is a rewarding and enriching experience, if the slightest of diligence is displayed. We wish you all the luck for your new journey, which in all likelihood, will be one you won’t regret one bit.

Updated: August 29, 2017.

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