So, you've decided to get a dog. Congratulations! Dogs make wonderful companions and can bring a lot of joy to your life. However, before you bring your new furry friend home, there are a few things you should know. Here are 10 things every new dog owner should know.

So you've just welcomed a new furry friend into your home. Congratulations! Dogs make wonderful companions and are sure to bring plenty of love and laughter into your life. Of course, as with anything in life, there are a few things you'll need to learn in order to make sure you're giving your pup the best possible care. Here are 10 things every new dog owner should know.

I wrote this article to help you with your decision. The opinions in this article are strictly my own, and I have not been paid to write them. However, DonnaLikes may earn a commission from qualifying purchases made from links on this page. This does not interfere with my objectivity and does not affect the price you pay.

1. Dogs need exercise.

A lot of exercise. It's important to give your dog plenty of opportunities to burn off energy. Taking them for walks, runs, or hikes is a great way to do this. Not only is it good for their physical health, but it's also good for their mental health. A tired dog is a good dog!

Depending on the breed, size, and age of your dog, he or she will need anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours of exercise each day. A good way to get started is by taking your dog on a daily walk around the block.

-How to create a custom walking route for your dog

If you're looking for a fun way to exercise your dog, consider creating a custom walking route. Many websites and apps can help you do this, and it's a great way to get your dog some fresh air and exercise. Just be sure to familiarize yourself with your surroundings before you set out, and always keep an eye on your pup.

- The best toys and games to play with your dog to keep them active

Dogs need to be active and playful just like any other animal. Playing with your dog is a great way to keep them active and healthy. Some of the best toys and games to play with your dog are listed below.

One game that is always a hit is fetch. Throw a toy or ball for your dog to chase or catch and bring back to you. This game gets your dog moving and helps them stay in shape. Another great game is hide and seek. Hide treats or toys around the house for your dog to find. This game not only entertains your dog, but also provides them with a mental challenge.

What’s better than a dog with a toy?
They love to play with them, chew on them, and carry them around. Some even take them to bed with them.

Other ideas that can be used to keep your dog entertained and active include puzzle toys, busy boxes, and Frisbees. Be sure to use your creativity and come up with new games and activities to keep your dog entertained and happy.

- Additional tips for getting your dog to exercise more

  • Sign up for obedience classes. Not only will your dog learn some important commands, but he'll also get some much-needed exercise as part of the class.
  • Once your dog has learned some basic obedience, consider taking an agility class.  That will provide fun and exercise for both you and your pup.
  • Take your dog to a park or other public place where he can run around and play with other dogs. This is a great way to wear him out and give him some socialization too. Be sure to evaluate the quality of the places you take your dog.  You don't want him to have a bad experience.
  • Buy a Kong toy and stuff it with treats or peanut butter. This will keep your dog entertained for hours as he tries to figure out how to get the treats out of the toy.  TIP! To make it last even longer, after stuffing the Kong, freeze it before giving the toy to your dog.
  • Get a doggie treadmill. If you don't have time to take your dog for a walk, you can always use a treadmill to get him moving indoors.

- Why it's important for dogs to get regular exercise

Dogs need regular exercise for a variety of reasons. Exercise helps keep dogs healthy and fit, and it also helps them stay mentally stimulated. Dogs who don't get regular exercise can become overweight or obese, which can lead to health problems. In addition, without regular exercise, dogs can become bored and restless, which can lead to destructive behavior.

2. Dogs need to be trained.

Dogs are not born knowing how to behave. It's up to you to teach them the rules of the house and what is expected of them. This can seem daunting, but there are plenty of resources available to help you (including professional dog trainers).

Just like children, dogs need to be taught basic manners and obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, down, etc. Training will not only make your life easier but will also help keep your dog safe (for example, if he or she knows not to run into the street).

- How to stop your dog from jumping on people

Dogs will often jump on people as a way of greeting them. There are a few things you can do to teach your dog not to jump on people. One is to train him early on not to do it. If he's used to jumping up on people, he may not know how to behave otherwise.

While some people may find this behavior cute, it can be quite dangerous, especially if the dog is large. Teaching your dog "off" is an important command that will help keep both you and your dog safe.

To teach your dog "off", say off and turn away from the dog and ignore them until they put 4 paws on the floor. Then either treat them or gently praise or pet them to indicate proper behavior. Be sure to be consistent with this command, and do not push the dog away - they may think you want to play instead!  In the beginning, you may need to throw a treat to get the desired behavior.

Make sure that you reward your dog when he does behave properly and doesn't jump on anyone. This will help reinforce the appropriate behavior.

Give him a treat or play with him when he greets you without jumping. With a little bit of patience and persistence, you can have a dog that doesn't jump on people!

- The best way to obedience train your dog

The best way to obedience train your dog is to start early when they are still puppies. Reward them with treats when they obey your commands and be consistent with your training.

If you aren't training a puppy, you can still use many of the same techniques with older dogs. It might take more time for them to unlearn any existing bad habits.

If your pup enjoys playing with toys more so than treats, then opt to reward them with a quick game of fetch (or whatever their favorite toy game may be).

Remain calm and patient when working with your dog, and avoid using physical punishment, as this can lead to behavioral problems down the road. With patience and persistence, you can have a well-behaved dog that will respond obediently to your commands.

When it comes to obedience training your dog, clicker training is one of the best methods to use. Clicker training is a positive reinforcement training method that relies on using a clicker to mark the exact moment when the desired behavior occurs.

Once your dog has learned what behavior earns them a click and a treat, you can then begin to fade out the treats and rely on just the positive reinforcement of the click. Clicker training is a very effective way to train your dog and can be used for basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down, as well as more advanced tricks.

dog training

- Why it's important to obedience train your dog

Dogs that are obedience trained are easier to live with and more likely to remain in their homes. Training a dog to obey basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down not only makes life easier for the dog but also for the humans around him or her.

An obedience-trained dog is less likely to run off or get into trouble and is more likely to respond quickly and reliably to commands. This can make things like taking the dog for a walk or leaving him alone in the house much simpler. In addition, obedience training can help build a strong bond between dog and human.

Remember the following:

  • Start with basic commands like sit, stay, come, and down.
  • Be consistent with your commands and rewards.
  • Use positive reinforcement. Use praise and rewards, rather than punishment.
  • Be patient! It can take time for dogs to learn new commands.
3. Dogs need proper nutrition.

Not all dog food is created equal! Be sure to do your research and choose a high-quality food that is appropriate for your dog's age, breed, and activity level. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations if you're unsure where to start.

- The benefits of feeding your dog a raw diet

A raw diet for dogs is becoming increasingly popular, as pet owners become more aware of the benefits of feeding their furry friends a diet that is closer to what they would eat in the wild. Raw diets typically consist of meat, organs, and bones, as well as some fruits and vegetables.

Some people choose to feed their dogs a commercially prepared raw diet, while others make their own meals at home. There are many benefits to feeding your dog a raw diet, including improved digestibility, increased energy levels, and a shinier coat. Raw diets are also less likely to cause allergies and other digestive problems.

In addition, feeding your dog a raw diet can help to strengthen their teeth and bones. If you are considering switching your dog to a raw diet, be sure to do your research and speak to your veterinarian first to ensure that it is the right decision for your pet.

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- How much should I feed my dog?

Dog owners often wonder how much they should feed their furry friends. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The amount of food that a dog needs depends on a variety of factors, including age, activity level, and breed.

For example, a young, active dog will need more food than an older, sedentary dog. Similarly, a large breed dog will need more food than a small breed dog. That said, some general guidelines can help new dog owners determine how much to feed their pets.

Most experts recommend feeding dogs twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Puppies and young dogs may need to be fed three or four times a day. And, of course, all dogs should have access to fresh water at all times. By following these simple tips, owners can ensure that their dogs are getting the nutrition they need to stay healthy and happy.

- Should I give my dog supplements?

Unless your dog is receiving a complete and balanced diet from their food, they may benefit from supplements. vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients help keep your dog's coat shiny and their skin healthy, improve joint function, and support a healthy immune system.

However, giving your dog too many supplements can be just as harmful as not giving them enough. Speak to your vet about which supplements, if any, are right for your dog. They will be able to advise you on the correct dosage and frequency. Just like with humans, too much of a good thing can quickly become harmful to dogs.

With the help of your vet, and by doing your own independent research, you can ensure that your dog stays healthy and happy by giving them the right amount of supplements.

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4. Dogs need veterinary care.

Veterinary care is important for all pets, but it's especially important for dogs because they are prone to certain health problems (like hip dysplasia and heart disease). Be sure to find a reputable veterinarian that you trust and take your dog for regular checkups and vaccinations as needed.

- The importance of regular checkups for dogs

Many first time dog owners do not realize the importance of regular checkups for their furry friends. Just like with humans, regular checkups can help to ensure that your dog is healthy and happy. A veterinarian can perform a variety of tests during a checkup, including blood work, urine analysis, and weight measurements. They can also examine your dog for any potential health problems.

If you are not sure when your dog's last checkup was, or if you have never had one, be sure to ask your veterinarian. Dogs of all ages should receive regular checkups, so don't wait until your dog is a senior citizen to start taking them to the vet!

Puppies typically need to go in for a series of well-baby visits, while adult dogs should be seen at least once a year (twice a year if they're senior citizens).

- What to expect at a typical dog's vet checkup

A typical dog's vet checkup will generally include a physical examination, vaccinations, and a discussion about the dog's diet and health. The physical exam will include checking the dog's ears, eyes, mouth, nose, and body for any abnormalities.

The vet may also perform a basic blood test to check for any underlying health issues. Vaccinations will usually include a rabies vaccine, as well as vaccines for other common diseases like distemper and parvo. The vet will also discuss the dog's diet, providing information on how to keep the dog healthy and fit.

- How to choose a good veterinarian for your dog

When looking for a veterinarian for your dog, it is important to find one that you feel comfortable with and who has a good reputation. You should ask around to see if any of your friends or family have a veterinarian that they love and would recommend. You can also do some research online to find reviews of different veterinarians in your area.

Once you have a few options, it's important to visit each of them and see which one feels like the best fit for you and your dog. Each veterinarian will likely have their own set of policies and procedures, so it's important to make sure you are comfortable with everything they have to offer.

-Dogs need dental care too!

Plaque and tartar can build up on your dog's teeth just like they do on yours, leading to gum disease and other health problems. Be sure to brush your dog's teeth regularly (daily or at least several times per week) using a canine-specific toothpaste and toothbrush. You should also have your dog's teeth professionally cleaned by a veterinarian every one to two years depending on his or her individual needs.

veterinary dental exam

5. Dogs shed...a lot.

If you're not a fan of hair everywhere, you might want to rethink getting a dog. All dogs shed, some more than others. Be prepared for hair on your clothes, furniture, and floors—and lots of it!

- How to minimize dog shedding

Any dog owner knows that one of the most challenging aspects of pet ownership is dealing with shedding. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips that can help minimize shedding and make your life a little easier.

  • Be sure to brush your dog regularly. This will help to remove loose hair before it has a chance to fall on your furniture or floors.
  • Try to feed your dog a high-quality diet. A healthy coat is less likely to shed, so investing in good food can go a long way.
  • Take your dog to the groomer for regular baths and haircuts, or learn how to groom him yourself. This will help to keep his coat healthy and minimize shedding overall.

With a little effort, you can keep the shedding under control and enjoy all the benefits that come with being a dog owner.

- The best ways to clean up dog hair

It seems like no matter how often you sweep and vacuum, there always seems to be a light dusting of hair on your floors. If you're looking for ways to reduce the amount of dog hair in your home, here are a few tips to try.

  • Invest in a good quality pet brush and brush your dog regularly. This will help to reduce the amount of loose hair that gets left behind.
  • Use lint rollers to pick up hair from clothing and upholstered surfaces.
  • Vacuum regularly using a vacuum cleaner with powerful suction. By following these simple tips, you can help to keep your home clean and free of pet hair.

- Dog breeds that shed the least

If you're looking for a low-maintenance dog that won't leave piles of hair around your home, you'll want to choose a breed that doesn't shed too much. While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, some breeds are better for people with allergies.

These breeds typically have shorter coats that don't release as many allergens into the air. Breeds that fall into this category include the Affenpinscher, American Hairless Terrier, Australian Terrier, and Bedlington Terrier. Other low-shedding breeds include the Bichon Frise, Brussels Griffon, Maltese, and Yorkshire Terrier. before making a decision, be sure to do your research to find a breed that will be a good fit for your lifestyle.

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6. Dogs are messy eaters (and drinkers).

Eating and drinking are some of the messiest things dogs do—so if you're a neat freak, you might want to reconsider getting a canine companion. Be prepared for spilled water bowls and food on the floor (and maybe even on yourself!).

- Why are dogs, messy eaters, and drinkers?

Dogs don't typically use utensils, 🤣 so it's not surprising that they're often messy eaters and drinkers. When they're chowing down on their dog food, they tend to gobble it up quickly and don't take the time to chew thoroughly. This can result in food getting scattered around the bowl or dropped on the floor.

And when they're lapping up water from their bowl, they often splash it everywhere as they go. So why are dogs, such messy eaters, and drinkers? Part of it may be due to their wild ancestors. In the wild, dogs had to eat quickly to avoid being detected by predators. And since water is often scarce in the wild, they had to lap it up quickly while they could.

Today, most dogs don't have to worry about predators or scarce resources, but their eating and drinking habits still reflect their ancestry. Another reason for their messiness is simply that they're excited about food and water.

When your dog sees his food bowl or his water dish, he knows it's time to eat or drink and he may be so eager to get started.

So if you're tired of cleaning up after your messy dog, you can try to slow him down by using a puzzle feeder or a slow-flow water bowl. Or you can just accept that dogs will be dogs and embrace the messiness!

- What can you do to help reduce the messiness?

It's no secret that dogs can be messy eaters and drinkers. Water and food often end up everywhere but in their mouths, leaving behind a trail of dog food for you to clean up. But there are a few things you can do to help reduce the mess created  when your dog is eating or drinking.

  • Create a designated area for your dog to eat and drink. This will help to avoid spills and accidents elsewhere in the house.
  • Make sure their food and water dishes are placed on a mat or towel. This will help to catch any spills and make cleanup easier.
dog eating on a mat

  • Consider using a slow feeder bowl for their food. These bowls have raised sections that help to slow down eating, which can help to prevent your dog from making such a big mess.
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The design of the bowl forces your dog to eat more slowly, which helps to break down the food more thoroughly.
  • Be patient and train your dog to eat or drink calmly. It will take some time, but it will be worth it in the end!

- Dog food and water bowls: which ones are best?

When it comes to keeping your furry friend well-fed and hydrated, there are a few things to consider. One is the material of the food and water bowls.

A lot of pet parents opt for stainless steel because it's easy to clean and doesn't hold onto smells. However, ceramic can be just as easy to clean and is less likely to get scratched up or dented. Plus, it comes in a variety of colors and designs that can add a bit of personality to your pup's mealtime routine.

Another thing to think about is the height of the bowls. With a little bit of research, you're sure to find the perfect set of dog food and water bowls for your home.

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7. Dogs have accidents...sometimes in the house.

Accidents happen—it's just a fact of life with dogs (and kids!). Be prepared for occasional accidents in the house—and try not to get too frustrated when they happen; remember that they're just learning!

- How to deal with an accident in the house

Dogs are loyal, loving companions that bring joy to our lives. But sometimes, even the best-behaved dog can have an accident in the house. If your furry friend has had an accident, don't despair - there are a few simple steps you can take to clean it up.

First, it's important to remove all traces of the accident as quickly as possible. Any lingering odor will only encourage your dog to repeat the behavior.

Use a paper towel or sponge to soak up as much of the mess as possible, then use a pet-safe cleaner to disinfect the area.

With a little patience and elbow grease, you'll have your home looking and smelling like new in no time.

- 10 easy tips for potty training your puppy

Potty training a puppy can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By following these ten easy tips, you can make the process as smooth as possible for both you and your pup.

1. Start as early as possible. Puppies are typically ready to start potty training around three months old.

2. Establish a routine and stick to it. Puppies thrive on structure and will quickly learn what is expected of them when it comes to potty time.

3. Take your puppy outside frequently, especially after meals and naps. Repetition will help your puppy associate going outdoors with relieving himself.

4. Be patient and consistent. Don’t get discouraged if your puppy has an accident or two – just keep reinforcing the rules until he gets it right.

5. Reward your puppy for successful potty trips outdoors with plenty of positive reinforcement (praise, treats, etc.). This will help him stay motivated and encouraged throughout the process.

6. If you catch your puppy in the act of eliminating indoors, don't punish him – simply scoop him up and take him outside to finish up in the appropriate spot.

7. Keep a close eye on your puppy during potty time, especially when he’s first starting out. That way you can intervene quickly if he has an accident indoors.

8. Clean up any messes promptly using an enzymatic cleaner designed to break down pet urine and feces odor molecules. This will help discourage your pup from re-marking the same spot in the future.

9. Be prepared for accidents – have plenty of poop bags, paper towels, or rags on hand to mop up any messes until your pup gets the hang of things.

10. Finally, be patient! Potty training can take a little time, but with patience and perseverance, you’ll have a well-trained puppy in no time!

8. Dogs bark...sometimes too much.

Barking is normal canine behavior, but sometimes it can get out of hand. If you live in an apartment or close quarters with neighbors, excessive barking can be a problem. There are ways to train dogs not to bark excessively (consult a professional trainer if necessary), but it's something you should be aware of before getting a dog.

- How to stop your dog from barking

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, from announcing the arrival of visitors to expressing excitement or fear. While some barking is normal, excessive barking can be a nuisance for both dog and owner. If your dog is prone to barking, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the noise.

First, make sure your dog has plenty of exercise. A tired dog is less likely to bark out of boredom or frustration.

Secondly, provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation through activities like puzzle toys and training games.

Lastly, if your dog is barking for attention, make sure to provide positive reinforcement when he or she is quiet. With a little patience and effort, you can help your furry friend learn to bark only when it's necessary.

9. Dogs can be destructive.

Puppies and young dogs in particular are notorious for chewing on anything and everything they can get their teeth on, from shoes and socks to furniture and drywall.

It's important to provide your dog with plenty of chew toys and bones to keep him or her occupied, as well as to crate train or use baby gates to confine them to a specific area when you can't supervise.

10. Getting a dog is a big commitment.

Caring for a pet is a big responsibility—one that shouldn't be taken lightly. Be sure you're ready for the commitment before bringing a dog into your home.

Dogs are a lifetime commitment. When you adopt a dog, you're committing to care for him or her for the animal's entire lifetime—which, depending on the breed, could be 10 years or more. Be sure you're prepared to make that kind of commitment.

There's no doubt about it: getting a new dog is exciting! But before you bring your new furry friend home, there are some things you should know first. By being prepared for what's ahead, you'll set yourself—and your new pup—up for success.

Thanks for stopping at DonnaLikes

Donna, Gibbs, and Lola

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This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, and advice of a qualified licensed veterinarian.

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