Happy Monday, friends! Let’s start the week with some puppy cuteness, shall we?! I’m working on a post all about What To Consider Before Getting A Dog…. but as I started writing it I thought, what if you already have one? Just because you’ve already committed doesn’t mean you can’t still use advice, right? (I can always use puppy advice ?)
Like most dog owners, we fell in love with Luna the minute she became ours. Isn’t it funny how quickly they become a part of the family?! Since I know firsthand that being a dog parent can be an overwhelming and confusing journey, here are a few tips for new dog owners that we’ve learned to help keep them healthy, safe, and happy.
6 Tips For New Dog Owners
Find a vet you trust.
If you don’t like the first one you meet, try another one! And once you’ve found one you trust, don’t be afraid to ask them questions! We not only love our vet, but everyone who works at that practice is so friendly and helpful. Luna had a bunch of tummy issues when we first got her, and they were so great as we figured out how to get everything back on track!
Get a slow feeder dog bowl.
Speaking of tummy issues, we went through a few different dog foods during that time. But even after we found the right one, Luna threw up her dinner because she ate too fast – she is a VERY food motivated little thing! Since we knew this was because she was eating way too fast and not because the food didn’t sit well with her, we got her a slow feeder bowl and it’s been a game changer. Not only does it help her digestion, but it also gives me a chance to brush my teeth in the morning while she takes her time eating breakfast instead of scarfing it down in 5 seconds ?
Make sure they’re getting enough exercise.
If they’re getting into trouble or being a pain, it’s probably because they need to get some energy out! Luna requires multiple 15 minute walks a day to be on her best behavior. Girl’s got a lot of energy! If we know we can’t give her that, we’ll try to take her on two much longer walks. Or if the weather won’t let us go outside, throwing her toys down our hallway for a while usually wears her out.
Get Help With Training
While you can definitely do some basic training and crate training (SO important!) yourself, I highly recommend enrolling in a puppy class or scheduling a few private sessions with a trainer if you have the funds. ALIVE Rescue and a friend of ours both recommended Anything is Pawzible and they helped us a TON.
Intimidated or worried about the money factor? Don’t feel like you need to commit to a million private sessions! Even one or two can make a huge difference, because they’ll give you tools and training exercises specifically for your pup and what you’re working on. As long as you continue to do the exercises at home, you can limit the amount of sessions and stay within a modest budget pretty easily!
Get toys that you can put treats into.
Honestly, I’m not sure what we’d do without these kinds of toys. As I mentioned before, Luna is very food motivated. So if a treat is hidden in a toy, she will spend a lot of time trying to get it out! Her favorites are this ball, this KONG toy, and this bone.
Invest in preventative care.
You’ve most likely talked to your vet about necessary vaccines if you already have a pup, but there is also other medication you can give your dog at home. We give Luna a heartworm medication, as well as PetArmor Plus for flea and ticks.
I found PetArmor Plus at Petsmart, which is SO convenient since we get a ton of other items for Luna there, too! We decided to go with PetArmor Plus because it starts working to protect Luna from fleas, larvae, ticks, and chewing lice within just 12 hours.
Are you thinking “why do you need to give your dog something for fleas and ticks in the city?” Well, I strongly believe in preventative care for humans… so shouldn’t we also use that approach for our pup? We want to protect Luna BEFORE something happens, instead of solely reacting to to her getting fleas from a dog she meets on a walk or a tick from running into the bushes at one of our parents houses.
Also, did you know that fleas and ticks can be present year round, even in colder climates? And they can lay dormant for several months before hatching? (SO GROSS.) PetaAmor is a fast acting, waterproof formula that helps break the flea life cycle by killing flea eggs and larvae for up to 12 weeks, and kills ticks that may transmit Lyme disease. When you think about it that way, investing in a product that can protect, prevent, and treat is so worth it. Even for city dogs!
Of course, you should always consult your vet before giving your dog any medication. As I mentioned above, don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Do you have any other tips for new dog owners?
Also, if you don’t have a dog yet, is there anything specific you’d like me to include in my post about What To Consider Before Getting a Dog? Let me know in the comments!
This post was sponsored by PetArmor Plus, but (as always) all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Lake Shore Lady possible!