If you’ve recently welcomed a new pup into your home, you want to do everything you can to give him the life he deserves. Having a furry friend to keep you company can benefit both you and your pet in a myriad of ways. According to research, becoming a dog parent has been linked to an improved mood, better heart health, reduced stress levels, and greater empathy. Likewise, you can give your dog a better life by bonding with him and taking good care of him.
While the journey you’re about to embark on with your dog will be filled with opportunities for fun and quality time together, it’s important to be prepared for the tough spots as well. Bringing a new pet into your home is a major responsibility that comes with its own challenges and setbacks. To ensure that you’re up to the task, it’s crucial to know what you can expect from owning a dog for the first time. The following guidelines will help you assess your dog readiness and offer you practical solutions for common problems that you might face.
The idea of cleaning up the mess that your shedding dog left behind isn’t something that you want to think about as a new pet owner. If you’re particularly fussy about cleanliness, this potential issue could be even harder to come to terms with. Fortunately, not all dog breeds shed, and it’s worth your time to do research on this topic before you choose your new pet.
If you still find fur scattered across your home, don’t panic just yet. Your standard vacuum may not be able to erase all the damage, but the best vacuum for pet hair can. Consider investing in a vacuum that’s designed to clean pet hair if shedding has become a significant problem. This can ultimately help you save time and make it easier to maintain a clean living space.
Additionally, remember to use your vacuum for pet hair on a regular basis instead of waiting for the damage to build up. Cleaning up messes as soon as possible helps you build the habit of tidying up and makes your job a lot easier as well. While your vacuuming schedule may vary depending on how messy your pet is, try to clean up at least once a week to keep your home properly polished.
- Excessive Barking
Dogs use barking as a means of communication, and a few yelps here and there shouldn’t alarm you. However, if you can’t open the front door without having your dog insist on barking incessantly, it may be time to find a solution.
The most effective way to address excessive barking is to let your dog grow acclimated to disruptive sounds. For example, you can start out by having a friend or neighbor lightly tap the front door. If your dog doesn’t bark, praise him verbally or give him a treat. Repeat the process while asking your friend to gradually increase the noise level. Once this goes on for a while, your dog will begin to recognize that there’s no imminent danger every time someone arrives at the door. As a result, he will stop reacting by barking needlessly.
Chewing is a completely natural activity for dogs, but it can be a headache for owners. If you’ve come home from work to find that your pup has chewed through your new pair of sneakers, it’s time to set things straight.
Fortunately, getting your dog to give up his chewing habit is easier than you think. A simple way to start is to give your pet enough chewing toys to keep him occupied. When introducing your pup to chew toys, it’s crucial to implement positive reinforcement as much as possible. Reward him with a treat whenever he gnaws on a toy instead of an object that isn’t meant for chewing.
To further discourage your dog from chewing your belongings, try to connect his chew toys with mealtime. For example, if you use his toys to feed him or place one of his toys next to his dog bowl, your dog will be much more likely to associate his chew toys with a positive experience. Overall, keep persisting. Your dog will eventually take the hint and stop chewing when he isn’t supposed to.
- Leash Pulling
Dealing with an uncooperative dog during walks can be a struggle for new owners. When your pet pulls on his leash, you may have trouble getting him to do his business and find yourself spending more time outside than you planned. To fix this issue, it helps to understand the way your dog’s mind works.
Dogs are naturally curious creatures who are always searching for the next opportunity to explore. When your pet constantly pulls on his leash to sniff the same spot, he likely smells traces that another dog left behind, and he’s eager to take in this information. This is where you come in. To get your dog to give up the constant sniffing and licking, you need to keep him fully engaged throughout the walk.
Instead of simply pulling him along the sidewalk, pay attention to your pup. Talk to him throughout the walk and be sure to use an encouraging tone. This can be especially helpful if your furry friend takes a while to do his business. If you typically stick to the same route, try switching to a new one. By keeping your dog excited and interested from start to finish, you can get him to direct his attention to you instead of whatever he’s trying to sniff.
Handling Your New Dog Like an Expert
While dogs are extremely lovable pets, they may cause you to run into problems that you weren’t quite prepared for. Fortunately, by keeping these simple guidelines in mind, you can welcome your new pup into your home with confidence. Before you know it, you’ll be able to overcome any obstacle and focus on creating a meaningful connection with your brand new dog.