Getting a Dog for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect

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Having a dog at home is a huge responsibility, they are not only there to give you company and comfort, but they also have their own needs as well.

If you’re a first-time dog parent, you might be feeling anxious along with the excitement of having a new furry friend because you don’t really know what awaits you.

While every person has their own experience in raising dogs for the first time, there are still a few main things that every new dog owner should expect, and we’re here to tell you all about it.

You’ll Need a House Prep

Many people don’t know that before getting a dog, you’ll need to change a few things around the house.

You know when you’re about to have a baby and need to baby-proof the house, the same needs to be done when getting a new dog, especially if it’s a puppy.

Make sure you conceal all electrical cords, lock cabinets, move plants out of reach so they can’t chew them, and get a trash can with a lid or keep yours out of reach as well. You can even use baby gates to keep them from accessing certain areas around the house.

They Will Not Be Housetrained

Whether you’re getting a puppy or an older one, it’s a mistake to assume that they will be accustomed to living in a home. All dogs need training and this should be consistent as well so that they understand the basic orders.

Teaching them the house rules will be challenging and will require extreme patience and positive reinforcement using their favorite treats or toys.

While you can take up the task of training yourself, you can also resort to a professional dog-training class that guarantees your furry friend has structure and learns to be disciplined and friendly.

Adjusting Will Take Time 

First-time owners usually have high expectations when getting their dog that they will blend right in from day one. However, within the first few days or even weeks, they will showcase fear and restlessness until they adjust to the space and your presence.

Through observation and even a bit of research, you’ll be able to tell what signs indicate certain moods and behavior. For instance, if you want to know when your dog is happy, many tend to kick back their legs.

You’ll start to understand what an excited dog looks like and what specific moves mean once you pay more attention to their habits and reaction when they get used to their surroundings.

Certain behaviors will start to manifest, showing you they are excited about playtime, walks, or just cues for their basic needs. In the meantime, until they do adjust, you can dedicate a certain enclosed space for them to feel safe at the beginning.

You’ll Experience Behavior Problems

Another thing you should brace yourself for is having periods of time where your dog will act out and cause you some kind of nuisance. When it comes to puppies, they showcase more destructive behaviors but are easier to fix.

Older dogs might still pose a challenge with issues such as destructive chewing or excessive barking which are simple ones to tackle. However, there are effective solutions available to help manage these behaviors. One option is to provide your dog with calming treats such as those seen at Xen Pets, which can help soothe their anxiety and promote better behavior. By incorporating calming treats into your dog’s routine, you can create a positive association and reinforce desired actions, making training more effective and enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

Other issues may be more grave like aggression, inappropriate urinating, or separation anxiety which needs to be correctly addressed and corrected.

The most important thing is to get yourself acquainted with these issues before you bring them in.

You’ll Change Your Routine

One of the most prominent changes you’ll experience as a first-time owner is a complete change to your daily routine. Having a dog means adding new responsibilities throughout your day that you cannot neglect.

For starters, you’ll have to develop a separate routine for your dog when it comes to scheduling meals, walks, and bathroom breaks. Then you’ll have to integrate this schedule with your own routine.

Not only will this help them settle in faster and create structure, but it’ll also mean living in harmony with each other without compromise.

It Will Cost You

There’s no sugarcoating it, having a dog means there’s a whole new budget to be set aside for their needs. Whether it’s their food, toys, care products, or vet visits and medications, you’ll find yourself spending a certain amount of money for them.

That’s why getting a dog is a step that should be taken seriously, especially when you have a tight budget to make sure you keep them healthy and happy.

Now that you have an idea about what to expect when it comes to welcoming a dog into your home for the first time, it’s time to pick up your new furry friend!

If you ever feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional or a fellow dog owner to give you some tips. The most important thing is to learn to identify their needs and fulfil them properly, the rest is all fun and cuddles!

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