Tips for First Time Dog Owners

Becoming a first-time dog owner can be a daunting task. There are so many things to consider before bringing your new furry friend home. But with a little preparation, you can make the transition as smooth as possible for both you and your pet. Here are some tips to get you started.

The basics of dog care

As a first-time dog owner, there are a few things you should know in order to provide the best care for your new furry friend. For starters, you’ll need to purchase some supplies like food and water bowls, a leash and collar, and a bed. You’ll also need to decide on a feeding schedule and figure out where your dog will be spending most of his or her time.

When it comes to exercise, dogs need at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, so be sure to take them on regular walks or runs. Lastly, it’s important to socialize your dog from an early age by taking them to the dog park or enrolling them in obedience classes.

Choosing the right dog for your lifestyle

When you are a first-time dog owner, it is essential to select a breed that matches your lifestyle. For example, if you live in a tiny apartment, you should select a small breed that doesn’t require much activity. In contrast, if you have a spacious backyard, you may want a breed that prefers spending time outside. You will also need to assess how much time you are willing to invest in grooming your dog. Some dog breeds must be brushed every day, while others require grooming just once per week.

Bringing your new dog home

First, take some time to puppy-proof your home. Remove anything that might be tempting for a chewing pup, and make sure any dangerous cleaning products or medications are securely out of reach. You might also want to create a quiet space for your new dog to retreat to if they need some time to decompress.

Next, introduce your new dog to the rest of your family members, one at a time. Have everyone sit on the floor and let the dog approach them on their own terms. Once they seem comfortable, allow everyone to give them a pet.

Finally, get started on basic obedience training right away. Dogs are much easier to train when they’re young, so even just working on sit, stay, and come will be helpful. Not only will this help your new dog become a well-behaved member of the family, but it will also help you build a bond with them.

House-training your dog

House training can be a bit of a challenge, but it is important to be patient and consistent. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Choose a designated area for your dog to relieve themselves. This could be in your backyard, on a certain patch of grass in your neighborhood, or even on a puppy pad inside your home.
  • When it comes to it, or even on some old newspapers in your laundry room. The important thing is that you are consistent with the location.
  • Take your dog to their designated area frequently, especially after they eat or drink, and give them plenty of time to do their business.
  • Reward them with treats or praise when they go to the right spot. This will help them to associate going to the right spot with something positive.
  • Never punish your dog if they have an accident inside—this will only make them scared and confused. Just clean up the mess and try to do better next time.

With patience and consistency, you should be able to successfully house train your new dog in no time!

Feeding and watering your dog

A decent rule of thumb is to feed your dog twice a day, with about equal portions at each meal. Depending on their activity level, you can give them somewhat more or less food, but it is essential to keep a constant feeding schedule. Regarding water, you must constantly provide your dog with a bowl of clean water. Additionally, you should clean and refill the bowl daily to prevent the accumulation of bacteria.

Grooming your dog

While some people choose to do this themselves, others prefer to take their dog to a professional groomer. However, even if you plan to use a professional, it is still important to know how to groom your dog properly. After all, you will still need to brush them and bathe them between visits. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help first-time dog owners learn the ins and outs of grooming. 

Exercising your dog

Dogs need to exercise just like humans do, and it is important to make sure they are getting enough physical activity. Depending on the breed of dog, they may need anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours of exercise per day. This can be in the form of walks, runs, fetch, or any other activity that gets them up and moving.


Congratulations—you are now the proud owner of a furry friend! By following the tips above, you will set yourself and your new dog up for a happy and healthy life together.