5 Critical Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

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Are you bringing a new dog home? Read five critical tips to making sure your new furry friend stays healthy and happy, emotional support animal registering tips, and more.

By Guest Blogger, Susan Reedy

Bringing a new dog into your home can be one of the most rewarding things a person can do. Dogs are loyal, intelligent, and beautiful companions. Dogs enrich lives so much that many dog owners refer to themselves as their “mommy” or “daddy.”

With all the joy they bring, dogs also come with a great deal of responsibility. If you’re a brand-new first-time dog owner, this article will give you five critical tips to making sure your new friend is safe and happy in their new home.

Preparing for Your Dog’s Arrival

A new dog will be pretty nervous when entering a home. They will be overwhelmed with new sites, smells, and sounds. It’s a brand new world for them. It would be best to have your supplies ready before bringing your new dog home.

A new dog needs food and water bowls, dog food, training treats, a six-foot leash, collar, and plenty of toys. Despite rawhide being commonly available in grocery and pet stores, it’s not recommended that ingesting rawhide has dire side effects. Rawhide is not easily digested and can cause obstruction issues in dogs.

Start Housebreaking Immediately

Regardless of what you are told about your dog’s potty habits (even if your new dog is an adult), assume that your pup will need to be housebroken. Even if they are properly trained, your home is a brand-new environment. Take your dog outside every few hours to make sure its bladder is empty. With puppies, you’ll want to take them out at least once every two hours and immediately as soon as they wake up.

Health Essentials for Your New Dog

Even if your new puppy’s vaccinations are up to date, you’ll want to schedule a visit with your veterinarian within the first two weeks of bringing your dog home. Vet visits can be very stressful for dogs.

The first visit should be a simple meet-and-greet and checkup. You’ll feel better knowing your dog is healthy right from the start, and your vet will be able to get a baseline of your dog’s health and behavior, making detecting future illnesses or injuries easier.

It’s not just your dog’s vaccinations you need to be aware of. There are plenty of pest repellants on the market harmful to your new furry friend. Knowing how to rid your home of pests without harming your dog is vital for their health. If you have insects and other pests in or near your home, research sprays and other deterrents carefully to ensure they are doggie safe.

Your New Dog’s Training & Mental Health

It’s essential to establish a healthy routine with your dog right from the start. Dogs thrive on structure. A good walk in the morning is stimulating for both of you. It gives your dog something to look forward to each day and can serve as a bonding time for both of you.

Dogs are task-driven, and giving them things to do is good for their mental health. Just as important as walking and establishing a routine is playing with your dog. Playtime is vital for dogs of all ages. Active playing keeps your dog’s heart healthy, works the joints, and improves physical health. There are plenty of fun doggie games you can play with your new pup that also stimulate its brain.

Your New Dog as an Emotional Support Animal

If you suffer from disabilities such as PTSD, chronic stress, and bipolar disorder (among others), you may want your new dog to be an emotional support animal (ESA). You’ll want to start by talking to a licensed mental health professional. If you’re already working with a therapist, you can ask them. They should be able to walk you through the steps of how to register your dog as an ESA.

A quick warning: Some scams offer fake emotional support animal letters. Fortunately, getting a legitimate one is easy, and The Health Board has step-by-step instructions on how to get one.

Another question you may have is how to approach landlords about your ESA. The good news is because of the Fair Housing Act. You don’t have to notify your landlord about your ESA before signing your lease.

A Long-Term Commitment

Your dog will be an excellent companion to you and your family with proper care. The key to your dog’s happiness (and yours) is always to remember that your dog is a living, breathing being.

Always remember to keep an eye on your dog’s overall health. Make sure you make time for games, training, and mental stimulation. Look after his physical needs, too. Give your dog the love and attention they deserve, and you’ll have a happy four-footed member of the family for years to come.

Let’s talk dogs, or even better, let’s learn about dogs. Gain more canine knowledge through Acme Canine’s social media:  websiteFacebookYouTubeInstagram

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