TAGS: dog ownership | training | development

Top 10 Tips for New Dog Owners

02 Feb, 2023

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You've wanted to get a dog for a long time. However, you know and have been told it is a big responsibility. You finally feel like you are at a place in your life where you can take care of an animal, so you make the leap and get your dream pup! There are so many things to know and be aware of when bringing a puppy home, so we have listed what we believe are the ten most important things to do and be mindful of as a new dog owner.


#1 - Research the breed


Corgi with Owner

Our first point on this list is the step before bringing your dog home. There are so many dog breeds out there, and it is important to decide on a breed that will be suitable for your lifestyle. For example, if you live in a small apartment, it is likely not ideal to bring a large, highly energetic dog home, and if you are sensitive to fur all over the house, you should probably choose a breed that does not shed too much. There are many factors to look into, so doing proper research will ensure that you bring a suitable dog home for your lifestyle!


#2 - Get doggo supplies

Any dog owner will tell you that buying products for your pup becomes somewhat of an addiction, as we love to pamper our best friends. To start, however, just make sure you have the essentials like a collar, leash, harness, water and food bowls, and some healthy dog food!


#3 - Find a local veterinarian


Female vet with dog

Dog ownership is increasing so much that finding a veterinarian is becoming more complex. Securing a veterinarian you trust is very important for all the initial checkups your dog will need and any future care they will need (hopefully very little!). Having a veterinarian that you are consistently in touch with is especially important in case there is an emergency. In these cases, you should know exactly where you will bring your dog without thinking twice. 


#4 - Socialize your pup


Dogs playing in the grass with ball

Socializing your dog is one of the most important things to do, especially when they are young. Getting them used to new dogs and new people will allow them to feel comfortable in different environments and with different people. Using the DogPack App is a great way to meet local friends and find off-leash dog parks nearby where your pup can play with other dogs!


#5 - Build a routine

Consistency is vital for both you and your new dog. For example, if you are out for a few hours a day at work, then perhaps it would be a good idea to take them for a daily early morning walk before work. Of course, everyone's schedule is different, however, finding a balanced routine will help your pup know what to expect in their day and will allow them to feel comfortable in their environment.


#6 - Potty train

Beagle sniffing grass

Train your puppy to get used to peeing outside as much as possible. One way to achieve this is to take them out often and reward them with treats when they pee outside. Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing them from peeing in the house at the start, however, with enough training, it will quickly become a thing of the past, and your dog will only want to pee outside. 


#7 - Daily exercise

Some dogs need more exercise, others less. No matter what the breed, though, every dog will need daily exercise. Taking your dog on daily walks, runs at the dog park, and trails to hike on will keep both you and them healthy. As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog. If your dog has too much energy, it will be very difficult to handle in the house.


#8 - Train with positive reinforcement 


Positive reinforcement is a type of dog training that involves rewarding a dog for performing a desired behavior. This method is considered the most humane and effective way to train a dog, as it encourages the dog to repeat the desired behavior in the hopes of receiving a reward. This training method promotes a positive and happy relationship between the dog and the owner.


#9 - Maintain their health

If you want your dog to live a long and happy life, you will need to feed them good quality food and ensure they are up to date on their veterinary checkups. Making sure your dog lives a healthy lifestyle will save you a lot of pain in the long term as you will eventually need to pay a lot of money to resolve the issues that negligence brings, and even worse, your dog will suffer. You will get to know your dog and understand which food works best for them, which exercise routines, and when they feel their best.


#10 - Spend time with your new best friend!


Man Hiking with his Dog

Last but not least, enjoy the dog that you were so excited to bring home! Spend plenty of time with them, and you will form an incredible relationship. Having a dog is indeed a big responsibility, but it is also one of the most rewarding experiences. To these animals, you are their entire world, and they always make sure to show their appreciation in their own ways!


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