Welcoming a new dog into your home is an exciting time. But along with all the fun and joy your new companion will bring, it’s important to prepare for the responsibility. Here, the experienced veterinarians at Animal Medical Center in Foley, AL, provide some useful tips to help you get through the first few weeks with a new pet.
5 Tips for New Dog Owners
1. Prepare Your Home
Your new pet will be curious about its surroundings, so you need to make your home a safe place they can explore. Put electrical cords, small knick-knacks, and household cleaners out of reach. Remove toxic houseplants, and move anything you don’t want to be chewed on to a safe location.
2. Stock Up on Supplies
Before you bring your dog home, go shopping for essential pet supplies. You’ll need food, a water dish, and collar and leash to start. Other useful items may include a crate, dog bed, toys, treats, and waste bags.
3. Have a Training Plan
Whether it’s a puppy or an older dog, your new companion will need some training. Research training methods and develop an action plan that you can put into place immediately. It’s best to avoid bad habits by setting behavioral rules for your dog on the first day.
4. Visit Your Veterinarian
One of your first outings should be a visit to a veterinarian’s office. They’ll perform a thorough examination, make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations, and can even recommend the best diet and training methods. Now is also a good time to have your pet microchipped at an animal clinic, which makes it easier to locate them if they ever get lost.
5. Be Patient
As with any new relationship, there are bound to be some challenges at first. Be patient and commit to working through behavioral issues and accidents. And don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian or a trainer for help with specific issues, such as excessive barking, anxiety, or aggression. With a little time and love, nearly all problems have a solution.
If you’ve just welcomed a new dog into your life, establish regular veterinary care with Dr. John Heilmeier or Dr. Kasey Singley at Animal Medical Center. Offering a full range of medical services as well as pet boarding and dog grooming, this animal clinic covers all of your new companion’s needs. To schedule an appointment, call (251) 955-5900 or visit their website to learn more about their veterinarians.