Adopting your first dog can be exciting, but it can also come with a lot of challenges. Below are a few mistakes that many first time dog owners make – and what you should be doing instead.
Not doing your research
There’s a lot of research worth doing before getting a dog. This includes understanding the costs and understanding the needs of your dog. Breed-specific research can be particularly useful as different types of dog have different needs. For instance, the temperament, dietary needs and exercise needs of a husky are likely to be very different to that of a chihuahua. You can find lots of information online or by talking to dog professionals and fellow owners.
Skipping training classes
If you’re adopting an older dog, it’s possible they may already be well-trained. If you’re adopting a puppy, you’ll have to do all the training yourself. Going to puppy training classes can be useful – these classes can train you how to train your dog. On top of obedience tricks, dog training professionals may also be able to offer general advice on looking after your dogs such as equipment to buy or types of food to look into, which can be handy. Consider looking into training classes in your area and give one a taster.
Feeding them unhealthy foods
It’s common for first-time dog owners to spoil their dogs with unhealthy foods. In the long run, your dog may gain weight and develop various health problems as a result of this. Consequently, you should try to be strict about what you feed your dog. Look into vet recommended dog food and avoid giving your dog too many human foods as treats. Certain foods like chocolate and grapes should be avoided at all costs.
Being inconsistent with rules
When it comes to setting rules, it’s important to be consistent. For instance, if you don’t want your dog to go upstairs, make this a rule and stick with it. Allow your dog to go upstairs a couple times without telling them off and it will be very hard to get them to unlearn this habit. Inconsistencies can sometimes occur when two or more people in a household set different rules. Make sure to communicate with each other so that you can agree on rules.
Avoiding socialization with other dogs
Humans can be great companions to dogs, but dogs still need to socialize with their own kind. If dogs don’t get used to playing with other dogs, they may behave anxiously or aggressively when faced with another dog. This could make things difficult when going on walks – you don’t want your dog to be cowering in fear or straining at the lead ready to attack every time another dog comes near. There are many ways that you can socialize your dog including going for walks with other dog owners, attending dog training/social classes and possibly allowing other people’s dogs around your home. It’s much easier to get a dog used to other dogs while they are young.