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Getting Your First Dog – New Owner Guide

By March 14, 2020Pet Care
Puppy and Child

The idea of adding a dog to your family can be very exciting. You know from your friends who have dogs that these pets provide constant and loyal companionship and bring a lot of joy to daily life. However, having a dog is a major commitment, and you should really think through the implications. Your new canine friend will be with you for many years to come, so please read these few picks from a new owner guide that will help you decide whether a dog is a good choice for you. To read this new owner guide in much more detail, please click here.

Which Type of Dog to Choose

You may have your heart set on a particular breed of dog, but is it for the right reasons? There’s more to a specific breed than the way it looks. For instance, some dogs need a lot of exercise, while others need constant grooming to keep their coats in good shape. So, don’t just go out and get an Afghan hound because you like its exotic appearance. Instead, carefully evaluate the needs of each breed and whether or not that particular dog will fit in with your family’s lifestyle.

Prepping Your Home for a Dog

Now you’ve decided on the type of dog, take a look around your home and be certain to dog-proof everything. Do something about loose electrical cords, move household cleaners to high shelves, and throw out any plants that are poisonous to dogs. If you are set on getting a puppy, it may also be a good idea to remove small rugs and relocate your breakables. Even if you think you’ve done a good job of puppy-proofing, lie on the floor and look around again with a puppy’s eye.

Feeding the Best Diet for Your Dog

If you get a puppy, he should be fed puppy-formulated pet foods that have just the right blend of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that a young growing dog needs. Also, all dogs should not be fed in the same way. Small breeds have a higher metabolic rate than larger dogs and need to eat three to four times daily. Mid-sized and larger breeds should be fed according to their size and physical activity. 

The Importance of Good Habits for Your Dog

Once home, folks who deposit the excited newcomer on the oriental and let the kids chase him will soon be mopping up a puppy deposit and regretting the lesson they just taught their new pet. So, before you bring your new pup home, hold a family meeting and discuss what consistent training language everyone will use. Training should begin right at the start so that your new pet knows what is and is not allowed. For example, where food and water dishes are, where it’s ok to go to the bathroom, what areas of your home are off-limits, which are doggy toys and what are absolute no-nos.

Picking a Vet

New owner guides recommend checking out the veterinarians in your neighborhood and paying them a visit. Meet the vets and their staff and get an idea of what they are like. Request a tour of the facility to make sure you are comfortable with the way things are run. And, if you live in or near Columbia, SC, be assured that CVETS offers the very best in emergency care, should it ever be needed for your new dog.