Recent events may have convinced you to own a dog for the first time.
There’s a lot of research that strongly suggests that your furry companion can help you de-stress, lower blood pressure, and be more active. These benefits can be quite helpful when you need to take a break from pandemic-related news and updates.
Just keep the following tips in mind to make sure you and your new dog are happy and healthy.
- Give them time to adjust
Having a new dog can leave you overflowing with joy and excitement. However, your new furry friend may not feel the same way right from the get-go. This is true whether the dog is still a puppy or already an adult.
It’s normal for some of them to feel a bit scared or hesitant at first. Be mindful of this and give them enough time to adjust to you and their new environment. For adult dogs who came from an animal shelter, they might need extra time.
You may be inching to hire an expert dog trainer as soon as possible, but try not to be overeager. Let them get used to your presence first and from there, take small steps towards building a stronger bond.
- Know their needs by heart and record key info
With a dog to take care of, you should stay on top of all their basic and special needs.
Even before they arrive in your home — or while you’re still considering the decision to own a pet — start doing your homework. Research about a certain breed’s nutritional needs, grooming best practices, and ideal environment.
Take notes and compile all this information in a journal or digital note-taking app for quick and easy access. This will especially come in handy in the future. Taking note of ailments and other peculiar observations can help you give necessary information to the veterinarian when health issues arise.
- Seek expert advice and support
As soon as you decide to get a pet, look for a good veterinarian whom you can routinely consult. A vet can give you proper advice on the food you should be feeding your dog, as well as other matters around pet health. A vet can also shed light on mysterious ailments that can affect your dog.
Ideally, you should find one whose clinic is within your neighborhood or general area. If you can walk the entire way, all the better. The more accessible the vet is, the quicker you can have your dog examined.
Additionally, make it a point to establish good rapport with your chosen vet. Establishing a good relationship with them is crucial, especially since you’re basically trusting them with your pet’s life.
- Expect behavior problems to pop-up
As your new dog gets used to being around you, you might start noticing that they’ll engage in some pretty disruptive behaviors.
Whether it’s loud barking when visitors are around or gnawing at your favorite pair of shoes, expect some form of behavior problem to arise down the line. And when they do pop-up, don’t just let it slide. Make sure that you show your displeasure to your dog.
Find ways to train them properly so that they don’t get used to certain activities. If you need support, it may be a good time to take them to that dog trainer you’ve been meaning to approach.