Top 9 Tips for New Dog Owners: Bringing Your Pooch Home
- Being a new pet owner can be overwhelming at times. As you get to know your dog better and as he/she gets to know you, remember that there are solutions to any obstacles you may encounter. Seek out trainers, veterinarians, & other qualified professionals for advice. Use your resources. Asking for help can reduce the anxiety of a new role.
- The first thing you can do to prepare for your new dog is to buy all the necessary supplies in advance. Have the supplies ready before you pick up your new pooch. This will ease the transition.
- Necessary supplies include the following: food and water bowls, nutritious and balanced food, a collar and leash, some chew toys, cleaning supplies, and a crate. When you go to the pet store, you can also get an ID tag with your dog’s name and your phone number.
- Remember that potty accidents are likely as your dog adjusts to his new home, even if he’s housetrained. It’s best to have cleaning supplies on hand that remove urine and debris and also neutralizes odors. If your dog smells his urine in the carpet, further accidents are almost certain!
- If possible, arrange your schedule so that you have a few days off with your new dog. This will give you a jumpstart in helping your dog learn the house rules from the very beginning. Keep in mind that your dog may not be socialized and may have bad habits. Close supervision can reduce damage to your household and will help you recognize problem areas to work on.
- Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior early on. This can include using treats, petting, praising, or giving your dog a favorite toy. If you use treats, look for all natural treats without additives or preservatives. Make sure to reward good behavior within a few seconds of the act, or your dog may not associate the right act with the reward. Also be consistent with commands by designating short one-word phrases that everyone in the family will use, like “sit” “come,” and “down.”
- If you confine your dog to one room, try to choose a room that is family-oriented or high traffic. The goal is to socialize your dog and help him acclimate to your household, not seclude him for long periods in a lonely area of the house.
- You may decide to use crate training to house train your dog. Often a dog will not urinate in his den (crate), so crating teaches your dog to hold his urges until he’s in a bathroom approved area. Be aware that you should never leave your dog in a crate for more than 4 hours. A crate isn’t meant to be a form of punishment, but rather a safe, comfy den with fun toys inside.
- If your dog has the necessary vaccines, allow him to socialize with other dogs at area parks. You can also enroll your dog in classes and “puppy socials” to ensure he gets proper socialization.
Holistic Veterinary Care wishes you and your furry friend a happy home!!