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Tips for first time owners

Written by Lizzie

You’ve taken the plunge, chosen your new furry bestie, and now you’re ready to enter the wonderful world of dog ownership! And while bringing your cute little furball back home might be a little daunting at first once the reality sets in, as long as you’ve got yourself prepared, you’ll be fine. So here are a few tips to help you get started on your puppy adventure.

Choose the right name for your dog

One of the most important choices you’ll have to make when you bring your new pooch home is choosing their name. In some cases, they might already have a name from the shelter or breeder they come from. So you might like the name they already have and stick with it. If not, you’ll have to choose a new name and teach your dog to accept it as their new name. Luckily, dogs are adaptable creatures, and if you use a new name consistently, they will learn to respond to it. We’d also recommend a name that’s short with a strong consonant (e.g. Jack, Max), as these kinds of short strong names will help your dog always hear his name.

Learn as much as you can about your dog’s basic needs

Dogs are amazing, but they’re not easy. There’s a lot that comes with the responsibility of raising a dog. That’s why it’s important to know as much as you can about what it will take to care for your dog. This means knowing and understanding their basic needs. This includes things like proper nutrition, physical care, consistent grooming and social interaction. Learning how to care for your dog in advance will make things easier once your dog is in their new home.

Prepare for behaviour problems

Dogs aren’t perfect, and you’ll inevitably have to deal with some kind of behaviour issue. It could be something as small as excessive barking or destructive chewing. Because issues like these come from issues like boredom, they can be remedied with a strong chew like our TastyBones, or with some exercise to tire them out. However, you may encounter problems like separation anxiety or aggression. That’s why it’s important to research as much as you can about canine behaviour problems before you bring your dog home to help you prepare.

Choose your house rules and stick to them

It’s essential that as soon as your new pooch comes home, he understands what he can and can’t do around the house. Is he allowed upstairs? Is he allowed on the sofa? Are there rooms he’s forbidden to go in? Establishing ground rules early will make clear to your dog what his limits are. Of course, you’ll be met with some rebellion at first, as your dog will defy your rules now and then. But with enough reinforcement, your dog will learn to respect the boundaries set for him.

Choose the right food for your dog

Choosing the right diet for your dog is an essential foundation of your canine companion’s health. But with so many foods out there to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one is right for your dog. There’s also the fact that every dog’s dietary needs are different, and you must choose a dog food that suits their needs. It’s best to learn as much as you can about your dog’s dietary needs and look for a dog food that best suits them.

Always reward good behaviour, never bad behaviour

It’s important to always reward your dog for all the positive progress they make as they learn and develop. Knowing that there are a lot of love and a tasty treat waiting at the end of a job well done, your dog will work hard to ensure that he follows orders as best as possible. It’s also important that you never reward your dog for bad behaviour, your dog needs to learn that he will only be treated when he has achieved an order or task. If he is rewarded for his bad behaviour, he won’t learn what the correct behaviour is.