Did you recently get a puppy or an adult dog? Congratulations! A dog is more than just getting a new pet, it’s an addition to your family—and for first-time dog owners, there can be a lot of questions about the best way to care for their new pup. At Germantown Vet, we know all there is to know about caring for puppies and adult dogs, and we can tell first-time dog owners like yourself everything you need to know to get started! Contact us today to schedule your first wellness exam (this is on our list of “must dos”) or to learn more about being a first-time dog owner!
“Must Dos” for the First-Time Dog Owner
Schedule a wellness exam with one of our professional veterinarians
One of the most important things a first-time dog owner can do is to schedule a comprehensive wellness exam within the first week of getting him or her. Whether you added a puppy or an adult dog to your family, scheduling an appointment with the experienced veterinarians at Germantown Vet will give you an excellent starting point for this new adventure. We can advise you on many things, such as diet, exercise, toys, medications, vaccinations, and more.
Invest in a quality dog food
You know that saying “you are what you eat”? Well, the same goes for your dog, too. Many of the inexpensive dog food brands are full of poor-quality, inexpensive ingredients—which can not only add pounds to your dog, but can actually be difficult for your pet to digest. Purchase the best dog food your budget will allow—our veterinarians are more than happy to help you select the right dog food for your pet and your budget.
Get the right supplies
When you’re a first-time dog owner, there’s a big initial investment you’ll need to make. That includes purchasing items such as:
- A crate – your pup is going to need a safe place to call home and a place to stay while you’re out of the house—especially if he or she isn’t housebroken yet.
- A dog bed – don’t want your new dog sleeping on your bed? Offer a comfortable alternative.
- Cleaning supplies – this is important because you need to get a cleaner that both cleans stains and deodorizes. If you don’t remove the smell, it’s possible your dog will come back to remark the same spot.
- Chew toys – as a first-time dog owner, one of the most important things for you to know is that your dog is going to chew—most likely on everything. There is hope, though! Get your dog chew toys and leave them readily available around the house. We recommend staying away from any toys that are made of rope, as the dog could ingest the strings and they can be difficult to pass.
- A collar and ID tag – make sure to keep your dog’s collar and ID tag on at all times.
- A leash – if you want to take your dog anywhere, it’s important that you have a long leash—but don’t forget the leash training!
Take care of your dog’s teeth
Just like human teeth, your dog’s teeth can decay—that’s why it’s so important to practice good oral hygiene for your dog. Get veterinarian-approved toothpaste for your pet and a soft-bristled toothbrush and start getting your dog used to having his or her teeth brushed. A good way to do this it by always saying the same command every time you brush—something like “teeth” works well because you can also say it when the vet needs to check his or her teeth at an appointment.
Puppy-proof your home… immediately
This step is crucial if you get a puppy because they are so curious—and when you bring puppies into a new environment, they’re going to want to sniff, chew, and eat everything they can get their little paws on. Unfortunately, some of the things around you house can be dangerous for your new pup, including wires, plants, rubber bands, etc. Ask one of the experienced veterinarians at Germantown Vet what things to keep away from your puppy.
Learn the right and wrong ways to train a dog
As a first-time dog owner, you might not be sure the best way to train your new pet. Our veterinarians at Germantown Vet know all the best ways to train a dog, and they can help you—especially if you are having some problem areas in your training that you need help with. It’s always best to use positive reinforcement when training because punishment can actually confuse or upset your dog.
Need More Advice? Contact Germantown Vet Today!
If you’re a first-time dog owner and you need more advice on how to prepare for your next steps, contact Germantown Vet today. We can help you schedule your first wellness exam, choose a good diet and exercise program, and more. Call us today!