Deciding to get a dog is an exciting time for a family. It is not a decision that is taken lightly, and it is important to be prepared for your new arrival and be aware of what to expect. In this article we offer our top 5 tips for first time dog owners.
Choosing the Right Breed
Different breeds of dogs exhibit different characteristics. Some dogs are known to have softer, more gentle natures making them ideal companions for families with young children. Other breeds of dog have been bred for hunting and searching, these dogs are less compatible with families but perfect for someone who is looking for a working dog. Prior to getting a dog it is important to research different dog breeds and decide which breed and temperament is best for you. You can choose to select a pure breed dog such as a Border Collie or Labrador. Alternatively, you can choose a cross breed including a Puggle or Schnoodle. Cross breed dogs will mix characteristics from two different breeds. For more information on different dog breeds, visit our dog breeds page.
Choosing a Diet
There are different theories on which diet is optimal for a dog but generally the perfect diet will depend on which dog breed you have chosen. You can choose to feed your dog fresh dog food that is free from preservatives and full of nutrients. More commonly owners will feed their dog prepared dog food either in wet or dry form. Wet dog food offers a nutritional diet that will give your dog additional hydration. Dry dog food is an economical option that offers your dog a healthy food source and also supports optimal dental health. Make sure you research which diet is most suitable for your dog breed prior to bringing them home.
Bringing Your Dog Home for the First Time
The first time you bring your dog home they will be nervous, and it will be important to quickly establish a routine and hierarchy in the home. Think about how you can provide a loving and safe home for your dog, make sure your dog has a bed and somewhere they can retire to when they need to have their own space. Establish a routine and let your dog know when they should expect to eat and when it is time to rest. Completing these steps in the early days will ensure that you and your dog develop a relationship of trust.
Registering with a Vet
As soon as you take your new dog home, register with a local vet and make an appointment for vaccinations and regular health checks.
Vaccinations and Health
It is important to visit the vet so that your dog can receive a health check and the appropriate vaccinations. There are many different types of vaccine that your dog might require. From the age of eight weeks puppies are normally given an initial course of vaccination which includes two vaccinations four weeks apart. Your puppy will then require a booster vaccination at the six or twelve months of age.
For more dog advice visit our dog advice page, for a quote please visit our quote page. We offer pet insurance for pre existing medical conditions. We also offer pet insurance for older dogs.