For first-time pet owners, knowing how to choose and care for their first dog can be confusing. Getting a dog is a major responsibility, but it also comes with quite a few benefits. While so much of being a pet owner is trial and error, there are some steps you can take to make the transition a little less stressful for you and your new dog. Here are a few things new dog owners need to keep in mind when making a puppy part of their lives:

 Picking a Puppy   

All puppies are cute, but you should pick out a puppy that’s right for you. Carefully consider your home, your habits and even your health when selecting a breed. Larger dogs tend to need more space, but they can work in a smaller home. If you prefer to hang out inside or travel a lot, a smaller dog may be better for you. The same is true if you have any health or mobility issues. Even if allergies are a problem for you, there are still some hypoallergenic breeds to choose from. Whatever your lifestyle or home is like, there’s a dog that’s just right for you.

Getting Your Home Ready   

Puppies can get pretty scared when you bring them into a new home. Help them settle in a little faster by getting your home ready for their arrival. Get your new buddy a cozy bed they can grow into and consider grabbing a crate as well. Put up gates to keep your puppy from roaming around and causing trouble. Puppies love to chew, so be sure to remove any potentially poisonous plants from your home or at least keep them out of reach of your pet. Finally, don’t forget to set out a bowl of water and pick out a food that will help your puppy grow up strong and healthy. 

Training Your New Puppy   

Being a new pet owner can be filled with ups and downs, especially when it comes to training. Dogs need guidance when it comes to socializing with other dogs and having manners with humans. Enroll your puppy in some basic training classes now to save yourself frustration later. To train your pup at home, stick to positive reinforcement and use treats and praise to reward wanted behavior. If your little buddy needs to be housebroken so be prepared with puppy pads and be patience as your dog learns the ropes. Patience will go along way when you’re adjusting to being a first-time pet owner.

Bonding With Your Pup 

Training can definitely help you form a bond with your puppy, but bonding can still take time, especially for rescued animals. Giving your dog a mental workout is fun for your pet and will help relieve stress for you. Make sure your puppy gets a physical workout with lots of walks and play. Taking your dog out for a walk gives him/her a chance to explore the world with their noses and get some essential exercise. Playing is a chance to burn off even more of that endless puppy energy. Spending time with your puppy is the best way to build a bond and become best friends.


Keeping Your Pet Safe

It’s natural to want to keep your puppy healthy and safe. Get your puppy in for a vet checkup as soon as possible. Your vet can provide the vaccines, microchipping and preventatives that will keep your dog from getting sick or lost. It’s also a good idea to have an emergency plan for your pet. Knowing what to do in the event of a natural disaster or crisis event can give you peace of mind. It could even save your pet’s life. Use this helpful guide to make sure you and your pet are prepared in the event of an emergency.

Being a first-time pet owner is a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun! Dogs are man’s best friend for a reason: They bring endless comfort and joy to our lives. Enjoy your new pet and all the adventures ahead of you.