Tips for First-Time Dog Owners
As a first-time dog owner, you will undoubtedly have many questions about how to care for your new furry friend. Specifically, you may be wondering what items you’ll need for your new dog or puppy at home. Here are some tips from the staff at KC Dawgz for starting off on the right paw with your new four-legged friend.
Beds & Crates
What’s the difference between beds and crates? Crates are large structures that can be locked from the outside. They are safe spaces where your dog can go when he needs to be held securely. His crate should be big enough for him to move stand up and turn around in comfortably. When selecting a crate for your dog, try to think of it as his house within your home, because your dog may need to be comfortable spending up to several hours in the crate at a time.
Your dog’s bed, however, is a cushion of some sort that your dog can sleep or rest on. If you want your dog to sleep in his crate, you can place his bed in his crate. But if you want your dog to sleep somewhere else—whether that’s at the foot of your bed or in another room—you can get another bed and place it there, as well.
The goal with beds and crates is to make sure that you keep your dog’s size and comfort in mind. Even the best-behaved dogs and puppies won’t enjoy sleeping on beds that are too small or staying in crates that keep them from standing up and moving around.
Getting your dog to behave and do tricks is no simple task, but training treats make it fun and enjoyable. Your dog will learn how to behave based on a reward system: do a trick or follow a command, then get a treat. You can reinforce good behavior with treats, too. Just keep in mind that a little treat goes a long way. Think of it this way: if you ate a candy bar each time you did something well, you might have some health problems later on, too!
Collars & Leashes
If you’re out with your dog in almost any city or town—whether you’re going on a neighborhood walk, taking a trip to the pet store, or even getting into and out of the dog park—your dog is probably required by law to be on a leash. Beyond the law, it’s important to keep your dog on a leash for her safety, too. Make sure that your dog’s leash is appropriate for her size and weight. Leash collars need to be snug and not too narrow. Not sure about what type of collar and leash might be best for your breed? Consider enrolling in one of KC Dawgz’s elite dog-training classes. Our expert staff can help you determine which leash is best for your dog.
Your dog is going to go through a lot of toys. Depending on the breed, specific types of toys are better than others. Some dogs prefer to chew, and others prefer to play catch or tug. Purchasing tough toys is always better than bringing home flimsy ones. In the long run, it will save money (consider all the non-toy household items that your dog won’t be using as a substitute toy when hers break or fall apart), and sturdier toys will last longer, too.
Seat-Belt Restraints & Car-Seat Covers
Have you thought about what you are going to do when it’s time to take your dog to the vet? How about trips to the dog park? Traveling with your dog is a journey in itself. On your first trip to the pet store, be sure to pick up seat-belt restraints and seat covers so that your dog can ride safely and you can keep your seats in great shape.
We know you’re excited about starting the journey of caring for a dog. The staff at KC Dawgz are ready to help you every step along the way!