You’ve just become the proud owner of a cute little puppy, but since it’s the first time you’ve ever had a dog as a pet, you’re not sure you’re doing everything right. Fear not, because the Go Pal team has prepared a beginners’ guide for new dog owners that will make your experience as stress free as possible. Check out our helpful tips for all you new dog owners!
1) ID, please
Getting your dog micro-chipped and/or providing it with an ID tag is essential and can save you a lot of trouble in the future. You can never know what could happen every time you take them for a walk. They can get startled or run off after another dog, especially dogs in heat, and if they don’t have any identification the process of searching for them might be very stressful. A micro-chipped dog has got info on their owner in the microchip so returning them to you will be easy. This is a small investment that keeps you safe from losing your dog and helps prove ownership in case of theft.
2) Think about neutering or spaying
While there’s always controversy about neutering and spaying pets, if you don’t plan on breeding it for purebred puppies, there is no need to torture them. Neutering and spaying will not only help your pet lead a more normal life and save you a lot of trouble, it also prevents serious health issues like cancer of the reproductive organs.
3) Be patient with housebreaking
One of the most stressful things for every new dog owner is to teach their dog when and where to relieve themselves. Young puppies need to do it about six times a day, so be prepared for a lot of cleaning. The best way is to restrict them to one room and cover the floor in old newspapers. Reduce the newspaper layer little by little until the puppy learns there’s a specific part of the room for its needs. Reward them every time they relieve themselves on the newspaper. When the puppy is old enough to go outside, take some soiled newspapers and leave it outside. The smell will help the puppy realize what’s expected of them. The whole process might take a while, but once they’ve learned it, you won’t have any problem. Watch out for specific behavior like circling that indicates the dog needs to go outside.
4) Start training as early as possible
It’s essential for the dog, as the new pack member, to learn its place in the pack. You need to show them who’s in charge and set some basic rules you’ll be strict about. A common mistake dog owners make is to think of their pet as of a child and treat them this way. Dogs need discipline and most unwanted behavior comes from you lacking to fulfill your pack leader role. Be firm and consistent and reward the dog when it acts the way you want them to.