Getting a new dog is an exciting time for any pet lover, but it can be particularly exciting if this is your very first dog. For first-timers, it can also be a time of worry if you are not sure what you need to do first, how your first dog will react, or how much your routine is going to change.
Below are some tips to think about for your first dog.
A Quick List of Essential Items
Starting from scratch with your supplies can feel overwhelming, so here is a quick run-down of what your dog is going to need straight away.
- Food and water bowl
- A bed
- An adequate lead, collar and halter if necessary
- Dog food
- Dog treats
- At least one toy
You can develop this list over time once you learn more about your dog, such as what toys they like and whether you need a different lead or other accessories like a coat.
4 Helpful Tips for Getting Your First Dog
- Plan Some Time Off
Whether it is a puppy or an adult dog, having time off work and other social commitments to dedicate to your dog at home will be a huge help for the both of you. It will allow your dog to settle in, commence with training and be around you all the time in a new and unfamiliar environment. It can also give you more time for walking the dog and getting into your new routine.
- Find a Good Vet
Finding a vet as soon as possible is a good idea, as you never know what is going to happen, so it is always good to have a vet on hand. Some vets, like Colonial Animal Hospital, also welcome walk-ins for those new pet owners who have not had time to find a vet yet and are caught off guard with an emergency.
- Do Breed Research
It is important to understand which breeds of dog are going to fit with your lifestyle. This includes the amount of exercise a certain breed needs, their personalities and other things such as how much hair they shed or how much grooming they need. This research is important if you are looking for the ideal breed to fit with your routine.
That being said, it is also a good idea to try to rehome and adopt first if you can. This will enable you to give a loving home to a dog in need and is especially good if you would prefer an adult dog already trained, to a puppy from a breeder. You may be able to find your ideal breed from an adoption service, but otherwise simply learning more about the dogs you are considering from a shelter and meeting them will help. The people at the shelter will be able to help if you discuss it with them – they want the dogs to go to their best home.
- Re-evaluate Your Home Layout
If you have never had a dog in your home before, you may need to move a few items around or redesign the layout for ease. Dogs can make a mess, accidentally knock items over and they also need room for play. So, you may want to put away any valuable items, consider using furniture covers or install dog gates to prevent your dog from having access to certain rooms.
Follow these simple tips to ensure happiness for you and your pup!