It is almost Christmas and a time of year that a lot of children start asking for a puppy or a dog. I always go the Dog route because there are so many out there craving love and attention and a new home. But if you have made the decision that a canine is joining the family you need to be prepared. Like bringing a baby into the home there is a lot of pre-planning and prep needed. If you’re interested in adopting a dog in the future then you might find it helpful to learn about some of the common experiences that other dog owners have faced. Today I thought I would share a few tips and tricks to prepare you for the top six things to expect as a first-time dog owner.
Even adult dogs need to adjust to your home
When your dog first comes home, you’ll notice that they can be a little anxious. This is perfectly normal as even experienced adult dogs will need a bit of time to get used to their surroundings. Try and accommodate your dog by taking good care of them and paying them lots of attention during their first few days at your home.
It can take up to several months for them to get fully settled into their new home, so don’t be discouraged if it’s taking a while. Remember how you felt the first time you ever moved, into your first apartment and house and how foreign that felt. And your move was voluntary and something you planned for. The dog has had no preparation into what your home will be like.
You’re going to run out of supplies faster than you think
Be it dog food, bags, toys or even leashes, you’re going to run out of supplies sooner than you think. It’s important that you stock up on essentials and always have around two week’s worth of supplies. This will give you plenty of time to remember to stock up the next time you visit a supermarket, and also ensures that you have plenty of spares.
And on the toy front recognize the hunter instincts and don’t get upset when they shred the toy. They are playing and just like toddlers, dismantling is the most fun.
There are an overwhelming number of choices for dog food
When you first go out to buy dog food, you’ll find that there’s an overwhelming amount of choice. From Royal Canin dog food to cheap supermarket varieties, it’s important to learn what your dog needs and how much they should be eating. This will depend on the breed and size of your dog, so make sure you speak to your veterinarian for advice if you’re unsure.
Another tip is stick to what they are recommending. I know it may not seem like a lot to share half a cup or a cup but trust me the science works. The recommended food dosge is based on what is the healthiest for your dog. This took me a while to adjust, until I also do the human comparison, compare what a real serving size is to sometimes what we want. And what is the result of excess, hmmmm unwanted pounds. The animal diet is the same.
Behaviour problems are more common than you think
Unfortunately, behaviour problems are common with dogs especially if they’re not accustomed to your personality or your home. This is where training can help. Make sure you’re informed about their behaviour problems and speak to an expert if the problems are getting worse by the day.
Be patient, this is a new environment with new rules. Everything around is different and they just need time to adjust.
Raising a dog will help you get your life sorted out
If one thing’s for certain, it’s that you can’t raise a dog unless your own life is sorted out. Having a dog around the house will encourage you to take better care of your lifestyle, your home and your surroundings. You’ll be tidying up your house to ensure your dog has a comfortable space to call home, you’ll spend more time outside exercising to keep up with your dog, and you’ll learn to shift your priorities around.
You will recognize that even outfit selfies can wait when your pup wants attention. Or learn to incorporate his rules with your rules.
You’re going to get distracted all the time
Your dog is always going to want to play no matter what time it is. It’s important that you try and set specific times to play with them so they don’t keep distracting you when you need to work. They’ll want your attention all the time and they’ll do whatever they can to get it!
The reverse is also true though, they love their routines. Once you establish meal time, playtime and walk time you need to stick to it. Do you have a regular dinner time? If you miss it how does it make you feel? I know I get Hangry, your pet is the same they need structure and routine. But they will bring so much love into your life that you will not mind at all.