Top 5 Tips When Getting Your First Dog

Top 5 Tips When Getting Your First Dog


Yes, you’re finally getting a dog! FINALLY!! Oh wait…what do you need to know before you get one? There’s tons of tips and tricks on the internet it’s almost overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled the top 5 things you should consider before and after getting your new best friend. If possible, you should always try to research the type of dog you’re getting and basic care instructions based on breed type but here are some general tips for bringing your new dog, no matter the breed, into your home.


1. Space and Supplies

Welcoming a dog to a new home involves considering the space you have to offer and whether it’s appropriate for the type of dog you’re getting. Too many times apartment owners have gotten a puppy without consideration of how big the breed may grow, leading them to either move or give the dog up for adoption. So, first take a look around the space you have right now and how welcoming it would be when sharing it with a new furry friend.

On the same note, giving a new dog, young or old, their own space within your home can be extremely helpful in providing a calm place to rest and a spot that is only theirs. Puppies are usually crate-trained to create this space. However, many older dogs tend to find their own spots unless designated. All that’s left for you is to find a comfortable bed to help. This can also assist in spacial recognition which could be beneficial when training.

A bed is not the only thing you’ll need of course and there’s no telling what your dog may require based on special needs. The best plan is to get all the basics, such as food, food and water dishes, treats, toys, a leash and collar (possibly harness), along with a bed/crate. The type of dog you’re getting, big or small, old or young, will dictate the specifics of these supplies.


2. Routine

When adopting a puppy or a senior dog, remember to allow an adjustment period. There are too many instances of new owners giving up after a few weeks with a new dog not listening to them or causing “trouble” in their home. Remember that this experience can be just as uncomfortable for your pet. They’re suddenly brought to a new place with strange people that they now have to rely on. Take it easy on them!

Remember 3-3. A common trend of 3’s for getting a new dog is to allow 3 days for their initial nervousness to subside, 3 weeks for the dog to settle into your routine, and then 3 months of building trust with you as their new owners. It may take longer or shorter than this time based on your dog’s personality and potentially your efforts as an owner to make them comfortable.

One of the best ways to ease new dogs into a new home is to create a routine especially for them. Dogs are actually big fans of routines. While puppies may take a little time to learn them, older dogs will quickly appreciate a set schedule for their food, walks, and potty breaks. They’ll know when to expect what, which will ease initial anxiety and allow them to relax in their new environment.


3. Exercise

Within the routine for dogs, exercise is extremely important at any age. Dogs generally have a lot of energy and even if yours may not, regular exercise is important for their health just as it is for other pets. Funnily enough, dogs have a similar exercise recommendation per day as humans, ranging from 30 to 45 minutes. Some breeds benefit from longer work-out sessions up to multiple hours as well. During your first few weeks together, you’ll start learning your dog’s preferences and be able to judge how much play makes them the healthiest and happiest.

While dogs love walks, runs, and a good game of fetch – or what my dog calls “get the ball and don’t give it back” – don’t think those are the only ways to get their energy out! Many dogs also love to swim, play hide and seek, tug-a-war with rope toys, scent games, and more.

Exercise not only helps promote your dog’s physical health, but also their mental health. A variety of stimuli from visuals, sounds, and especially scents help exercise your dog’s mind, keeping them sharp and alert well into their senior years. Even senior dogs benefit from these exercises and live much fuller lives when continuously stimulated.


4. Training

By training together, you not only help your dog remain well-mannered around other people and dogs, but it helps build a bond between the two of you. There are many different methods that dogs respond to and it’s important to remain calm during anxious moments. Many dogs do not react well to one type of training and respond much better to another, so be sure to do your research. By looking up training methods based on your dog’s breed you can find specific techniques that will assist you.

One of the biggest tips on training is never call your dog to you in order to reprimand them. There should be no shouting or chasing or chaos in a training environment. If you’re frustrated, your dog will sense that and react to the negative environment. Training should be a comforting experience for them as you set clear boundaries in what’s expected all while they get rewarded with treats or praise for their efforts.


5. Visit Your Veterinary

It’s always a good idea to visit the vet as soon as you get your new dog. This applies to all shapes and sizes, new puppies or senior dogs. An initial appointment can tell you many things about your dog’s current health and how to care for them in the future. Depending on where you adopted your dog, you may have records of their previous health appointments or potential conditions, but it’s always a good idea to get an understanding of what they need with a trusted practitioner. There are many great breeders out there while there are also some that really shouldn’t be trusted with the dogs they’ve been given, so whether your new dog comes from someone with five stars to one star, understand their health for yourself. Vets can also offer suggestions for foods, treats, and other needs your dog may have.


These are some of the best tips we can offer for those of you considering a new loving doggo into your household. There’s always more to consider, but remember, you don’t have to get it all perfect from the get-go. You’re learning just as much as they are in many cases. As long as you put in the effort to understand your dog and their needs, along with lots of love and treats, you and your new best friend will live a happy life together.

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