Becoming a First Time Dog Owner: 5 Essential Tips To Know

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Becoming a dog owner for the first time can bring a lot of excitement but it can also feel daunting.

Being prepared and having a clear understanding of the dog breed you are choosing to adopt is imperative.

Not only for your own sanity but also for the overall care you can provide your new dog.

While it may seem overwhelming, for anyone who has never owned a dog in the past, I can assure you that’s it’s worth the effort and patience.

In today’s discussion, we will cross off a few crucial items that are going to make the process that much better for you and the dog you plan to adopt.

Let’s dive into it.

Adopting A Dog For The First Time: Becoming a First Time Dog Owner

It’s likely that you are feeling stress or anxiety about several things if you are getting ready to adopt a dog for the first time.

Yes, all puppies are adorable and it’s tough to resist even if you aren’t necessarily ready for the challenge.

Perhaps you don’t know how to train a dog, or you are worried about how the potty-training process might unfold.

Or, it’s possible that the anxiety is more directed towards the fear of how a new dog may behave with family members or young children.

Plenty of potential reasons may be causing you concern but if you are dead set on adopting a new puppy, this discussion is going to help you prepare.

Below, I have compiled some critical tips and planning you should implement to ensure you are prepared and educated prior to the adoption.

Ultimately, these will help you understand your dog breed at a deeper level and reduce some of those concerns you may have now.

1.) Ensure You’re Ready and Have Time For A Dog

A lot of individuals see a picture of a puppy and the decision is made.

It’s time to adopt a dog.

It’s hard to resist and I understand the temptation. I’ve owned several dogs in my life and typically that’s how it started.

However, it is important to admit and point out that some individuals and families are simply not made to own and raise a dog.

Sometimes this can be due to a lack of time available and sometimes, the stress and work it takes to train and socialize a dog properly can be overwhelming and something you don’t truly want to dive into.

The first tip I have for you before heading to the breeder or adoption agency to adopt your first dog is to take a moment and reflect.

Be honest with yourself during this process.

Make sure you are looking months and even years into the future.

The first tip I have for you before heading to the breeder or adoption agency to adopt your first dog is to take a moment and reflect.

Do you really have the time and patience to care for a dog and are you going to give it your best effort to train and socialize them properly?

If the answer is yes, you are in great shape but if you are even remotely undecided on this question, it’s likely better to wait to adopt a dog until you are ready or cancel the plans entirely.

2.) Do As Much Research In Advance As Possible

All dogs are different and require the owners to care for them regardless of personality or behavior.

You need to understand what your dog needs. Some dog breeds are more challenging for first time owners than others.

This can be anything from exercise to the food that suits your dog breed best.

What potential health problems might they have in the future?

What questions should you be asking your breeder?

All these answers are readily available in most circumstances online if you take the time to look.

The more educated you can be on the specific dog breed you are thinking of adopting, the better you will be prepared and the better care you will be able to provide.

The more educated you can be on the specific dog breed you are thinking of adopting, the better you will be prepared.

Do some research prior to the adoption.

Trust me, it will help immensely.

3.) Prepare The Home and Mentally Prepare Prior To The Adoption

Now that you have your research out of the way and you have fully committed to adopting your first dog, it is time to mentally prepare and physically prepare your home for the adoption.

You need to realize that puppies chew.

Puppies will also pee and poop inside a few times while completing potty training.

While it may seem avoidable, it is more difficult than you may believe to get through training mistake free.

Make sure the yard is prepped and safe for your dog to run around and exercise and not escape.

Make sure items are out of reach that you do not want to see damaged.

Perhaps add a puppy gate to a room in your home to isolate the areas your puppy can move freely.

All these small preparations can help you avoid headaches in the future and ultimately keep your dog safe and cared for in the best fashion possible.

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4.) Build A Support System

If you have been keeping your plans to adopt a dog a secret, it’s time to stop and start telling your friends and family.

Having a support system in place prior to the adoption will allow you to find dog sitters much easier and find someone who can let your dog outside in case of an emergency when you can’t get home.

I can’t tell you how many times finding a dog sitter has been an issue in my time owning and raising several dogs.

More times than I can recall or count.

Having a support system in place prior to the adoption will allow you to find dog sitters much easier.

Trust me, the more people that know your plans and that you can line up as backup or last resort options, the better.

5.) Expect To Fail Frequently

Even though this is listed last in our discussion, it may arguably be the most important of them all.

You cannot go into adopting your first dog looking for perfection.

It will never play out this way.

Dogs make mistakes and owners make mistakes throughout the journey.

Some items will be chewed or damaged.

Potty mistakes will happen and expenses you did not plan for will arise.

You cannot go into adopting your first dog looking for perfection. Dogs make mistakes and owners make mistakes throughout the journey.

If you go into the adoption with this mindset, you will be much better prepared and handle failures throughout the journey.

Expect failure because it will happen.

The Takeaway

Owning a dog only gets easier with time.

Once you raise one dog, you are likely capable of raising any dog.

It takes time to understand how to communicate effectively with a dog and you may be tested in the early days after the adoption.

After you get in a groove, it is 100% worth it, and a dog can make a great addition to any family.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with the dog you plan to adopt and the journey you have ahead of you.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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