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Tips for New Dog Owners

Congratulations! Welcoming a new furry friend into your life is…
a person lying on the grass with a dog

Congratulations! Welcoming a new furry friend into your life is a wonderful milestone. Your new dog will be a part of the family for years to come. They will celebrate holidays with you and serve as a source of comfort when times are tough. You now have a new best friend who asks for nothing but your love.

While welcoming home a new dog is exciting, they still require care. You can set your dog up for a long, healthy life by following these tips.

Start with a trip to the vet.

The first step in bringing home a new dog is to create a relationship with a local veterinarian. This person will help you keep your pup healthy over the years and provide advice on the best ways to care for them. With a puppy, you may need to get a “starter package” that includes vaccines, a microchip, flea treatment, and a spay or neuter procedure. Most vets can accomplish all of these tasks in one visit and you can move forward knowing your dog is safe and healthy.

Your local ASPCA can also provide these microchipping services. This can give you peace of mind in the event that your dog gets lost.

Look into pet insurance.

Humans pay health insurance to cover the cost of their medical bills. They pay a monthly premium to the insurance company so they are protected in case of an emergency. Pet insurance works the same way. You will pay into your pet insurance policy, which will cover any unexpected vet bills.

Like humans, pet insurance for dogs varies by age and health conditions. If you take out a pet insurance policy on your puppy, you will pay a lower premium than for a lower dog. There are also different pet insurance coverage options depending on the amount you want to pay. However, as your dog ages, you will be happy you have this coverage in place.

Some pet insurers also cover routine care, like annual checkups and wellness plans. Ask your insurance company what is included in their policies.

Sign up for obedience school.

Every dog has its own personality and it’s not fair to assume a puppy will behave a certain way because of its breed. Even if you think your dog is well-behaved, look into an obedience school class that both of you can take. During this class, your dog will learn basic commands and how to interact with others. For example, few people enjoy having a large dog that they don’t know jumping on them. As a human, you will also learn how to manage your dog and lead them to make smart decisions.

Despite the old adage, you can teach old dogs new tricks. There is no age limit to teaching a dog good manners, which means you can even take older animals to obedience school.

Introduce them to new things slowly.

Your world is completely new to your dog. They don’t know your friends, your family members, your other pets, or your house. Like humans, it’s easy for dogs to feel confused or overwhelmed when everything is new.

Take time when introducing your dog to new things. You may want to create a waiting period before you take them to meet friends or introduce them to other pups at the dog park. Failing to take these introductions slowly could result in bad behavior like biting or growling at new things. Your dog isn’t aggressive in doing this, they are just scared.

You want your new dog to live a healthy, happy life. With the right pet insurance and a relationship with a licensed veterinarian, you can enjoy the next few decades with this pup. With the right care, your dog will stand by you through the good and the bad.