Coming home with a new dog is an awesome feeling. You are excited about what is to come with you and your pup. Though this may be the happiest day of your life, there are some things you should know as a new dog owner. You want to make sure your expectations are managed as having a pet can sometimes be very romanticized. If you know these things, the first few years with your new pup will be amazing.
Get New Trash Cans
New pups are notorious for getting into trash cans, leaving your room covered in shredded paper towels, and thrown out food. This can be a disaster to clean up. Keeping your trash cans covered and secure will help prevent you from coming home to garbage strewn around everywhere. If you are fortunate enough to buy a garbage can with a pet-proof lid or at least any lid, you will be well on your way. Your doggy will not be tempted to dig for treats when you are not watching.
Make Your Place Doggy-Proof
This includes rethinking where you would normally keep things. You do not want to have things lying around your house. You have another household member that loves to explore and chew on things. Things like dog food as well as purses or bags that might have medication in them are all things you have to keep out of your dog’s reach otherwise you might be creating choking hazards or other situations that will make more work for you. When in doubt always remember that if you do not want your dog to get a hold of it, do not put it within their reach.
Adopt A Labeling System
It is time to get organized. Anything in your kitchen or home that can be dangerous or potentially dangerous should be labeled. This encompasses things like medicines, household cleaners or anything else that can be harmful to your pup. When you implement a labeling system you will know exactly what is in your closet or under the sink that way if in the event your dog gets to it, you will know exactly what to tell your vet.
Have A List Of Important Numbers
Keeping key numbers close by at the ready is crucial in case of emergencies. You should have the number for your vet as well as the emergency vet clinic number as well as the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number on that list. Keep it on your fridge or my entryway table or on the kitchen counter by the home phone if you have one. Keep another in your home office on your computer or laptop. Wherever you are mostly around the home, keep your list of important numbers in there. You want to make sure that you are ready to give those numbers a call at a moment’s notice.
Have A List Of What Foods Your Dog Can And Cannot Eat
The last thing you want is your dog dry heaving or actually heaving in the hallway because of something he or she ate. Understanding and remembering what foods your dog can and cannot eat are a part of being a dog owner. If you had a child, you would want to know what foods your kid is allergic to. It is the same concept as your pet. There are a lot of lists you can find on the internet that tells you common foods that are ok for your dog to eat and some that are not ok.
For example, never feed your dog things like grapes and raisins, onions and garlic, chocolate, and corn cobs. You should also avoid feeding your dog anything that has the artificial sweetener xylitol which is commonly found in peanut butter. A lot of chemicals in those foods are toxic for your dog to eat and will cost you a lot of money at the vet to treat. On the other hand, your dog has the option to enjoy pineapple, blueberries, sweet potatoes, eggs, honey, celery, and cucumbers.
Watch How Fast Your Dog Eats
You do not want your dog to eat too fast because that can cause a heap of problems for you and your pup. Dog breeds with deep chests are more likely to bloat after inhaling their food. The bloating happens when dogs eat too much too quickly and their stomach gets too much gas, causing the doggy stomachs to enlarge. This makes it difficult for your pup to breathe. Thankfully there are creative ways that you can help your dog pump the breaks when it comes to stuff their face with food.
Instead of putting your dog’s food in a typical dog food bowl, opt for putting it in a special dish with maze-like walls. This will force your dog to slow down because the dog food can be more difficult to eat up. You could also give your dog smaller portion sizes, but feed them more frequently. You could even hand-feed your dogs. If you think the maze-like dog food bowl is a good idea, be cognizant of the kind you buy. Some come with rubber lining which can easily be chewed off if your dog becomes frustrated, which is not good because your pup can develop food aggression.
Train Your Puppy To Chill Out When It Is Time To Eat
At first, it is cute, but after a while, your dog’s incessant barking and jumping while you get his or her food ready can be irritating. Teach your pup to relax and wait patiently for their food. To do this simply put your dog’s food down and when your doggy tries to make a move toward it, pick the food right back up. Only place it back down once your pup is sitting calmly and quietly. After a while, he or she will understand the cause and effect of what will bring food.
Train Your Pup To Stop Begging While You Eat
This is an important thing that must be taught early on. It can be incredibly irritating to you and especially your guests if you have to worry about your pup watching you and your guests eat. An important step is to stop feeding them from the table. The best thing to do is to never start that habit in the first place because once you do it once, your dog will expect it every time thereafter. While you are eating you can attach their leash to the leg of a couch or something nearby that is immovable. This allows your dog to see you, but they are not close enough to start begging you for food. After you are done eating and you have something suitable for your dog to eat, you can get up and feed that to your dog while petting them for a few minutes as a way to incentivize your dog’s newly learned behavior. If you do this consistently every time you eat, you will never have to deal with a begging dog again.
Watch Out For Your Plants
Believe it or not, there are some common houseplants that are detrimental to your doggy. These plants include aloe vera, tulips, and daffodils just to name a few. It is recommended that you do some research and understand the full list of house plants that are not good for dogs.
Read Your Dog’s Body Language
You have to understand your dog just like your dog has to understand you. Your new pup is capable of expressing their emotions and it is up to you to listen to them. Do some quick research on some common dog body language when they are afraid, anxious, happy, insecure or stressed out. You want to avoid interpreting your dog’s body language without at least a little knowledge as this can lead to a plethora of problems.
It’s especially important to be able to tell when a dog is scared or feels threatened. This is true of your own dog, of course, but you should also spot the signs of a strange dog in distress. Unfortunately, some dogs are poorly trained or socialized, and may even be aggressive. Try to avoid getting bitten, but if a dog does bite you, then you will need to see a doctor as dog bites easily get infected and can carry diseases. You may also consider contacting a dog bite lawyer. If you have children, be sure to teach them the signs of a fearful or stressed dog, whether it’s your pup or a strange dog.
Know Your Dog’s Habits And Quirks
This is also super important. You need to know what your dog likes and what he or she does not like. Knowing your dog’s habits and behaviors will allow you to do so much more. For example, if you wanted to incentivize your dog to do something, you could know just what to do based on what your dog likes or dislikes. Know your pup’s triggers and what pushes their buttons. When you fully understand these things you can quickly identify any issues that may form at the moment. You are also able to be prepared for any future issues as well.
Be Consistent With Your Training
Staying consistent is the only way that your pup will learn what to do and what not to do. Keep taking your dog out on the same schedule every day otherwise, you will be needing a pooper scooper and towels to clean up the mess your dog will have made. Look for long term success instead of short-term satisfaction. The biggest cause of training setbacks or failures is when the dog owner does not stay consistent.