Tips for Keeping a Dog: For Inexperienced New Dog Owners


Ariel Jiang, Staff Member

Adopting a puppy is a serious commitment, and inexperienced new owners can run into trouble along the way. This article will be a piece of advice covering what I think are the five most important topics for an inexperienced dog owner. 


1: Tips to help your dog to adjust to their new home

First of all, feeling comfortable is very important. Just like us, dogs can be unaccustomed to new environments, especially when they are young. In order to reduce the discomfort during the first two days, I suggest setting up a comfortable place in the corner before the new puppy arrives. This small corner will later serve as a safe area for the first two days before the pup adapts to the unfamiliar environment. This will be a place where puppies will feel safe while exploring their new home. 

When the puppies arrive, introduce them to the little corner. Having too many places or smells at the same time can make them uncomfortable or even confusing. Give them enough time to familiarize themselves with their little corners. Then, when they are comfortable in their corner, you can introduce them to your house and room and let them sniff the new areas as they please. This will help your puppy adjust to their new home. Let them take their time; adaptation can be a slow process. Then you introduce them to your family. The advice here is to stay calm and try not to scare them. Remember to pay close attention to their safety and prevent accidents. Although it is exciting, the first week can be rough for families and new puppies.


2: Food

After a comfortable living space, food is the next major topic. Changes in diet can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea. So if you’re going to switch your dog’s food, you should do it gradually over the course of a week. They will need about a week to get used to their new food. 

Additionally, dogs of every age and breed have their own diet. Adult dogs do not eat the same type of dog food as puppies. Food consumption also varies greatly depending on the size of the dog. One can’t expect a papillon, a small-breed dog, to eat as much food as a German Shepherd, a large-breed dog. Whether it’s a puppy or an adult, I recommend visiting a veterinarian to better understand your dog’s needs. 


3: Flu Prevention and Dog Health

Speaking of Veterinarians, health checks are important for both owners and pets. A health check can help identify one’s potential health risks and help you to make better decisions. In addition to health checks, flu prevention is also important. And one effective way to help reduce your chances of catching a flu is to get vaccinated. Canine influenza, also known as dog flu, is a contagious respiratory disease known to infect dogs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the first strain of the virus was reported in 2004 and was confirmed to have spread from horses to dogs. 


4: Relationship with the Dog

It is important to have a healthy relationship with your dog. It’s like making friends, where you have to spend time together, keep an eye on your dog, train, and communicate with them. And the best way, of course, is to play with your dog. Games such as Finding Hidden Treats and playing Hide-and-Seek can be fun to play with your dog.


5: Comfortable Bed and Toys

Your new dog deserves a place to call their own. So, you should definitely invest in purchasing a comfortable dog bed for them. They definitely will thank you for doing this. Also, buy them a chew toy so they can play with it. Chewing household items, shoes, etc., can become a serious issue if not dealt with early on.


While there are many things to look forward to when adopting a puppy, getting along with your dog can be an exciting experience. I wish all new dog owners a good time with their dogs. 



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