Bringing a new pup home for the very first time is an exciting and special moment for any family. However, when you’re welcoming a dog into your home, there are a lot of things you need to consider, many of which may not have occurred to you beforehand. From finding the perfect place for your canine to sleep to purchasing the right toys to make them feel as comfortable as possible, the list can feel almost endless.
Of course, there’re always going to be some things you forget, many of which may be impossible to foresee as they relate to your new furry friend’s individual needs and personality. But in order to make the transition as easy and stress-free as possible for both your family and its new fluffy member, here at Lords & Labradors we turned to our dog-owning social media followers for the top #FirstTimeDogOwner tips they wish they had known when they first welcomed a new dog into the family. Spurred on by the chance to win a beautiful doggy hamper worth £100, it’s safe to say our wonderful followers did not disappoint.
Here's what we found out...
Space, boundary setting and lots of love…
Reading through the hundreds of tips sent in by you, our expert dog-owning followers, it soon became clear that there are three key pieces of advice seasoned dog owners wish they had known prior to welcoming a new pup into the family. These revolve around giving your new four-legged friends plenty of space and letting them settle at their own pace, providing lots of positive encouragement, while also setting boundaries early on, and, of course, showing them lots of love and support right from the get go.
While it can be tempting to mollycoddle and overindulge your new dog in an attempt to make them feel welcome and at home, as our competition winner @ted_cockapoo9 (Instagram) stressed, giving them a little space and time to adjust to their new surroundings by themselves can work wonders for their confidence.
Similarly, setting boundaries and training your dog early on is critical. From not allowing your pup to go upstairs or sit on the furniture and ensuring they behave when they are left alone in the house, setting boundaries through active obedience and separation training will not only set the right family dynamic, but also improve the bond between you and your canine. As Nemo from Urban Paws UK points out, this is particularly important this year as we hopefully move into a post-COVID-19 world and start to leave the home more regularly again.
Beds, toys and supplies...
Aside from the way you behave towards your new canine arrival, preparing your home and ensuring you have the right items to properly look after them is also very important. While you may think purchasing the basics is simple, essential items can be easily overlooked. As a rule, regardless of the breed and age of your new dog, you should have the following ready before you bring them home:
- A crate and/or bed
- Food and water bowls
- At least a week’s supply of food (ensure you purchase puppy food if required)
- Collar and name tag
- Lead and possibly harness
- Poo bags
- A brush/comb for grooming
- Plenty of toys.
What advice do you wish you had been given before becoming a first-time dog owner? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #FirstTimeDogOwner, and remember to check out the top 10 tips our dog-owning social media followers wish they had known, below.