10 Helpful Tips for New Dog Owners

At Maxwell's Pet Market, we understand that there's nothing more exciting than the thought of getting a new dog and adding another member to your family. There are many things to consider when getting a new dog. Here are our top ten tips to help ensure your family, and your new potential furbaby, are happy together.
  1. Understand and Consider The Commitment
    Be knowledgeable regarding basic dog needs & behaviors for different ages/stages in a dog's life before selecting your new pet. Needs for a puppy are often much different from a mature pet.
  2. Make Sure You Have Time
    Evaluate the time that you and your family truly have to be a great dog owner. What is your work schedule like? Do you have time for frequent potty breaks, dog walks, playtime, feeding schedule?  (It's a family/group effort!)
  3. Research The Breed
    Before setting out to find that cute dog like your neighbor may have had when you were a kid, carefully consider their needs and whether or not that fits with you/your family lifestyle. Ex. Larger Breed Dogs need more space to run and require more exercise. Smaller sized dogs need exercise too, however, safety measures have to be in place as they can be injured easily.
  4. Consider An Older Dog
    As a long time volunteer at several rescues, I see many families adopting our smallest puppies. Did you know that 90% of the 6 month + dogs are already potty trained and know many commands? As a volunteer, this is something that we work very hard on so that they are adoptable and ready for their new home/family.
  5. Evaluate Your Budget
    What is your family budget? Pet insurance can be a great way to save on your pets initial veterinary needs. Spay/Neuter, microchip, rabies vaccine, parvo dental exam/cleaning, and others.
  6. Prepare Your Home
    Prepping your Home is very important. While sight is the most dominant sense for humans, smell trumps all other senses in the dog world. This means that they will be very curious about their new surroundings. Medications, Sharps, Small Toys, Cleaning Agents and loose electrical cords are some of the items that should be safeguarded. 
  7. Understand Nutritional Needs
    Understanding canine nutrition and your dog's needs. Do your research and most importantly, talk to your Vet. Pet Food Marketing can be very confusing but your Vet knows best. Consistency is key and be mindful of changes in your pet's behavior. This can indicate allergies, digestive irregularities, or other health issues.
  8. Build Trust
    Developing trust with your new dog is important because they want to feel safe & loved. Establishing a routine, spending time with them, build strong communication through training and one-on-one quiet time are great ways to interact and build a bond with your dog.
  9. Socialize
    Socialization can be the most fun part of having a pet in your family. Dogs love to go on adventures too! Safely introducing them to other dogs is important so that they have good behavior in these settings. 
  10. Have Fun! 
    Have as much fun as possible and make memories with your pet. As a senior pet owner, this is something that I strive to do daily.  Dogs can improve your mood and physical well-being. This is why they are often used as support dogs! Always plan your next adventure with your pup and cherish each and every moment. 
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