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Some Free Dog Advice (Tips for First Time Dog Owners)

So you finally got a dog. Congratulations! You are now the proud owner of an awesome pet. However, your buddy probably didn’t come with instructions. That’s okay, though: even though dog ownership comes with lots of responsibilities, you can begin building a great relationship by adhering to some basic pointers.

Providing a Warm, Welcome, and Loving Home

One of the most important ways you can establish a bond with your new little buddy is to make sure your home is completely accommodating to his needs. How this environment shapes up depends on the breed you’re dealing with. Larger or more independent dogs may require a comfortable outdoor space, whereas smaller dogs or pups with a strong pack mentality may be better suited for indoors.

Wherever he’s most comfortable hanging around, you should make sure his environment is as safe as possible. Certain plants, foods, and other objects like medications can be severely dangerous to your dog. It is wise to be as diligent as possible in this regard: one misstep could spell a trip to the emergency vet or even worse.

Keep Your Dog Well-Fed by Feeding Him Well

Dog Advice

Obviously, your dog is going to need food and water to thrive. But it's not enough to make sure that his needs regarding this necessity are met. You need to monitor closely your dog's dietary habits, exhibiting a stern measure of control on them whenever possible.

For instance, you should be very diligent about your dog’s water intake. Dogs could become very ill if they go for extended periods without drinking water, so it is critical that you make sure he has access to clean water at all times. If you notice that he is drinking too much water, you may want to consult a veterinarian, as this could be a sign of a disease.

Dogs should also be fed a well-balanced diet that is appropriate for their particular age and lifestyle. You should refrain from giving your dog human food, as some scraps from the table may be extremely difficult for him to digest. Also, some foods that are safe for us to eat such as onions and chocolate are poisonous to pooches, and could cause serious or even fatal issues if consumed in excessive amounts.

Be Kind - Your Dog Has Feelings, Too!

Because your dog is an animal and not a human, an inexperienced dog owner may be inclined to think of them as being emotionally hardwired differently. However, the manner in which you talk to your dog will have a visceral emotional impact on your dog. This manner will go a long way into building your relationship.

Your tone of voice plays a huge role in communicating with your dog. Praise your dog in a tone that is pleasant but not too boisterous, and give your commands in a firm, strong voice. If your dog does something bad, let him know about it in a lower, sharper voice.

If you are reprimanding your dog, keep your verbal disciplines short and to the point. Also, even if he does something truly nefarious like take a bite out of your furniture, keep your emotions in check and do not lash out at him in a verbal tirade. Doing so can cause some pretty significant damage to your dog’s comfort zone - not to mention your relationship.

Verbal efficiency is a key component to training your dog. It is wise that you whittle any commands you wish to give him to quick, one-word mandates. Remember, your dog is not born with an understanding of your words, so keeping your verbal cues to a minimum will help him understand what you want from him easier.

Let Your Dog Know You Love Him

Above all else, make sure that you provide your dog with plenty of attention and affection. Keep in mind that the environment that you build for your buddy represents most of his world, and you are the most important part of that world to him. And while this aspect of dog ownership is easy to forget considering how busy our own lives can get, simply taking the time to let your pooch know how much he means to you will help create a mighty bond that will last for the duration of his life.

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Nina Cole - November 23, 2016

Having worked in the pet care industry for over eighteen years, I am astounded how many first time dog owners fail to research a breed before buying or adopting.

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and each breed has their own idiosyncrasies, which require certain levels of knowledge and understanding. For example, I would never advise a German Shepherd or a Border Collie for first time dog owner!

For an inexperienced owner, certain breeds can prove challenging, for example, a Border Collie is a working dog and as such requires mental stimulation and frequent exercise in order for them to live happily as part of a family unit.

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