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Owning a Dog 101: Tips for New Pet Owners

You've decided to expand your family by four legs — congratulations! Bringing home a new pet is a fun and exciting experience for everyone. Most pet owners would agree that having a canine companion has brought an abundance of happiness and joy to their lives. You can set yourself up to being a successful pet parent before you even bring home your new puppy. It's best to prepare ahead of time and get an idea of what to expect life to be like with your new pup. Here are some ways you can prepare to make that transition go as smoothly as possible for both you and the pup.

1. Find the right dog food.

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It doesn't matter the breed or size of your new dog, one thing is for sure - they all eat! It's important to have food and water ready for them when they come home. There are tons of options for dog food, so do your research. If you're bringing home a senior dog, look for food that's specially made for older canines. If you have a puppy, there's a big difference between puppy and senior food, as the puppy chow generally has nutrients that support healthy growth in dogs.

2. Prepare your home.

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Make sure you have all the things you need for your new pooch before they get home. Set up a safe space for them to retreat to, like a crate or a bed. You should also consider crate training as it has many benefits for your dog friend and your home. Stock your home up with plenty of toys, treats, and a food and water bowl. Don't forget to get their identification tag, either. Last but not least, you can't overlook getting a dog collar, harness and leash to use when you go out on adventures with your new pooch.

You may get overwhelmed with all the different types of leashes, harnesses and collars on the market. The first thing to consider is getting a dog harness and leash combination instead of just a leash and collar. The Joyride no-pull harness is the best harness on the market, especially for puppies, and they have the customer reviews to prove it. These harnesses make those daily walkies a lot easier and is more comfortable than an average collar. The harness snaps on in seconds, the side rings discourages pulling, and it's vet-approved! To ensure you pick the best fitting harness for your large dog or small dog, use their weight to find the ideal dog harness.

3. Find a great veterinarian.

Every dog needs regular check-ups and that requires a great vet. Just like with any other family member, they can get sick or have accidents that require medical care. When you bring home a new pet, it may be a good idea to take them for a check-up to see where their health is at. Rescue dogs can be a bit of a wild card when it comes to health, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve the best. Adopting a dog that's had a hard life is a very rewarding experience, and you'll want them to be around as long as possible. It may be worth looking into getting pet insurance, that way you always have peace of mind and know that any unexpected vet bills can be handled.

4. Housetraining

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Even if the person you adopt your new furry friend from says the dog is housetrained, it's best to assume they aren't. They won't be aware of your "no-potty zones", and it'll take some adjusting. You can take control of this by confining their space to use the bathroom such as in a crate with puppy pads laid down when you aren't home. When you are home, regularly hook up the harness and leash to take your dog outside to potty, and give them treats as a reward.

You'll soon realize just how much your dog goes poop, especially if you have a small yard. No one likes picking up dog waste, and it's unavoidable. But we live in a wonderful day and age where you can pay someone else to pick up that dog doo-doo! Pet waste removal naperville il will take care of it for you, with services that offer weekly or bi-monthly pick up. A pet waste removal service may not have crossed your mind before, but they'll help you keep your backyard clean for you and your family.

5. Commit

A dog is a big commitment! It's not just welcoming home a new pet, it's a financial and emotional responsibility as well. So commit yourself to be the best pet parent you can possibly be. Do your research on every topic — the best dog food for your pooch, how best to handle poop cleanup, whether a harness or leash and collar is the way to go — and your new four-legged companion will quickly become your best friend. With these tips, you'll be more than prepared to become a pet owner.

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