Listed here are 5 tips for first-time dog parents.
Make Bed-Time Decisions Early
Before you bring home your new dog, decide where your pet will sleep and stick to this decision. The first few nights home, your dog may whine and cry if not allowed in bed with you. If you do not intend to permit your dog to sleep in your bed, resist the urge to let your pet sleep under the covers “just once,” as your dog will quickly learn that whining and crying results in more cuddle time.
Create a Budget
First time dog owners can easily spend too much money, purchasing fun items on top of the many necessities. Create a budget and stick to it closely, especially because you never know when you might need extra money in case of an emergency veterinary bill.
Educate Yourself on Pet Obesity
One of the biggest health risks that household pets face is obesity. Not only does obesity (i.e. weighing 20% more than the animal’s ideal weight) lead to expensive health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and kidney disease, but it also significantly lowers a pet’s lifespan. Before you bring your pet home, create a healthy diet and exercise plan.
Be Consistent with Training
Training your new pet is important, even if you are only teaching the most basic of commands. The training process will go smoothly if everyone in the household is consistent and uses the same commands each time. Nothing derails a dogs training faster than when one person in the family allows a dog to get away with bad behavior!
Purchase High Quality Food
The food that a dog eats will directly influence its health and quality of life. Look for a food that lists meat as the first ingredient and is free from fillers, preservatives, and artificial dyes. While higher quality food tends to be more expensive, less food is required per serving due to lack of filler ingredients which improves the value. A great resource for finding the best food for your dog is DogFoodAdvisor.com.
Being a first time dog owner will certainly have its ups and downs. However, by creating a budget, being consistent with the house rules, keeping your pet at a healthy weight, and feeding the highest quality food that you can afford will make your job easier.