7 Ways To Make Your First Dog Feel Right At Home

by Jessica Brody

You’ve finally decided to get that dog you’ve been dreaming of for years. You have spent ages daydreaming about all the cuddles, walks, and play sessions you will get to enjoy with your first pooch, but you also think you are ready for the responsibility that comes with all the fun. One of those responsibilities is prioritizing the dog’s happiness and well-being from the second they arrive in your life. These tips will help you do just that, and will ensure your dog feels at home right away.

Let Go Of Your Expectations

First off, accept that the dog you get may not always act like the dog of your dreams. Dogs are complex creatures with distinct personalities, and it is up to you to love them no matter what. Owners sometimes have unrealistic expectationsof what raising a puppy is like – shedding these and learning to love an individual animal is a huge part of the joy of dog ownership.

Choose The Right Breed

You may have a favorite breed of dog for Instagram accounts, but that won’t necessarily translate into the best breed for your home. You need to take into consideration space available, your budget, and the amount of time you are willing to dedicate to the animal. This dog breed selectoris an easy and fun way to get you thinking about these factors.

There are a few popular breeds that can be particularly difficult for first-time owners. This listby I Heart Dogs breaks down 15 common examples, but even if your preferred breed isn’t featured, it is a good idea to research it intensively before buying or adopting.

Learn About Potential Health Problems

Part of this research should involve finding out about common health complicationsassociated with your chosen breed. This will help you prepare accordingly when looking for pet insurance (which you absolutely should have) and will also ensure you know the warning signs for any illnesses.

Get The Right Cleaning Kit

Maintaining a dog-friendly home doesn’t have to take too much more work, as long as you have the right cleaning materials. Ahigh-quality vacuumdesigned for sucking up pet hair and dander is a must, and there are plenty of excellent models on the market to choose from. You should also have rubber gloves or a lint roller to pick up hair on soft furnishings.

Decide On The Rules

Before you bring your dog into its new home, decide on the rules you are going to be implementing. Will they be allowed on the couch? On the bed? Upstairs? Establishing the rules from the start avoids confusion later on, as dog training thrives on consistency. Bear in mind that if you are getting a puppy, their size will change, and by the time they’re grown, it will be harder to re-train them.

Prepare The House

It’s tempting to buy up every toy, leash, and cute accessory you see before you bring a dog home, but it’s best to just start out with a few essentials. Then, make sure you have an enclosed area in which the dog can get used to the house without being overwhelmed – the kitchen is usually a good choice. 

Chill Out

Having a new dog is very exciting for everyone in the family, but it can be scary for the dog, especially if they are old or a rescue. It’s important to balance affection and excitement with a low-key, calm approach that won’t make them feel nervous. Be patient, give them breaks from all the attention, and don’t over-excite them. This guideby My Dog’s Name has some great advice specifically for rescues, but most of it applies to any new dog.

Getting a dog may be something you’ve thought about for years, but the dog doesn’t necessarily know what’s happening. You will both learn to love and understand each other with time, but it is your responsibility to make sure they are comfortable and happy from the beginning. If you understand this responsibility and all it entails, then congratulations! You are ready to become a pet parent.

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