8 Things Every First Time Dog Owner Needs to Know

A tri-color brown, black, and white dog wearing a red plaid sweater sitting between two adults and being pet.

Have you or someone you know recently become a first time dog owner? This is a really exciting time, but it can also lead to a lot of anxiety, even if you’ve done plenty of research. You want to do what’s best for your dog, and we want to help you do that too! That’s why we’ve put together this list of eight things you need to know.

1. Give Your Dog Her Own Space

As a first time dog owner, your first step should be to make sure that your home is ready for your new dog. It’s recommended that you prepare a specific area of your home as your dog’s space.

The easiest way to do this is with a crate or another kind of gate or enclosure. This will keep your dog safely in one area until she becomes used to her new home. This will provide her with a space where she can have peace and privacy, and will help her acclimate. Remember, your dog is experiencing a big life change, just like you!

2. Safety Proof Your Home

It’s only natural that dogs will explore their new surroundings and if you’ve brought a puppy into your home, this means that she’ll most likely use her mouth to explore. Both adult dogs and puppies can easily end up in areas that aren’t safe for them.

 Remove wires and cables from low-lying spaces. Store medicines and cleaners in cabinets that can’t be reached by your dog. Remove breakables from spots where they can be easily knocked over and broken.

3. Research Veterinarians

One of the first trips you’ll take with your new dog will be to the veterinarian. Do your research first. Find a veterinarian that’s near your home, is accepting new patients, and has the patience to work with a first-time dog owner. You can also reach out to dog parents that you know to get their recommendations for a great vet, but don’t forget to do your own research as well.

4. Schedule Training Sessions

It’s simply not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. Although we usually think of dog training as something that’s for puppies, it’s vital and beneficial for dogs of all ages. Training classes help your dog learn how to behave appropriately and help strengthen the bond between you and your furry best friend.

5. Find a Dog Boarder, Dog Daycare, and Dog Groomer

You won’t always be able to travel or stay home with your dog. When it’s time for a vacation or business trip, make sure you have an existing relationship with a local dog boarding facility. Learn how far in advance you need to make arrangements for boarding and what to expect when you arrive. 

Dog daycare can also be a huge help to you as a first time dog owner. Instead of leaving your dog home alone while you’re away at work or when you go on a day trip that she can’t join you for, drop her off at daycare! Daycare will help you keep your dog socialized, exercised, and mentally stimulated.

Likewise, you’ll want to have a dog groomer handy to help you keep your dog well-groomed and happy.

6. Get Samples of Food, Treats, and Toys

Your first few days as a dog owner are vital to developing a bond. Being close to your pet can help to ease the transition.

Food and treat samples are important for dogs and dog owners alike. Some dogs are picky and won’t eat just any food or treat that’s given to them. In addition to this, some dogs have sensitive stomachs or food allergies. While you’re still getting to know your dog’s preferences, avoid buying a whole bag of dog food or treats that she won’t enjoy by getting samples. It’s usually easy to find samples of dog food and treats from your vet or local pet store. In addition to this, you may want to have a selection of toys at home ready for your new dog.

7. Inform Friends and Family

Friends and extended family members will need to be made aware of the changes to your household. You might find that your best friend is allergic to dogs or that your great-aunt has a fear of dogs. Let everyone know you’re welcoming a new pet into your life right away. You may also wish to ask for some time off from work. The first few days of pet ownership are vital to developing a bond, so being able to spend some quality time with your dog will help ease the transition for both of you.

8. Be Ready for Anything

Dogs, like people, have different personalities. No two dogs behave in exactly the same way. You’re guaranteed love and companionship, but what that looks and feels like will be unique to you and your new dog.

Pet ownership isn’t always easy, but it’s always rewarding. Follow this advice and you’ll be off to a great start as a first time dog owner!

Help For First Time Dog Owners at Fon Jon Pet Care

When it comes to being a first time dog owner, things can get overwhelming pretty quickly, but they don’t have to. With help from a facility like Fon Jon Pet Care for daycare, boarding, grooming, and training, you can easily give your dog the best care!

With more than 70 years of experience providing top-quality dog boarding, dog grooming, dog daycare, and dog training in San Diego County, we have the experience and expertise to help you keep your pup healthy and happy!

If your dog isn’t currently registered with us, we welcome you to contact us or register online. You can also schedule an appointment to meet with us and get answers to any questions you may have about our services.