First Time Dog Owner: 10 Tips for New Dog Parents

Bringing a dog home is the dream of millions of people every year. But between the responsibility of taking care of a pup and not being allowed to have one in their home, a furry canine companion isn’t in the cards for everyone.

If you are lucky enough to have a new dog, you want to be the best pup parent you can! This first-time dog owner guide will help you raise your pup healthy and happy.

10 Tips to Raise Your New Pup Right

From the first day and night to keeping up with exercise and meals, follow this first-time dog owner checklist to blend your pup in with your home:

  1. Set realistic expectations. Many new parents expect to bring their dog home and live happily ever after. The reality is usually way different. 

Chances are, Fido is going to be nervous and take a little time to get settled in. There will be accidents, chewed furniture and shoes, and long nights of listening to them whine. 

It’s all part of getting used to being a new pet parent. You can handle these problems better if you know to expect them.

  1. Know the breed’s characteristics. Every dog breed has unique features that you should know to keep your pup healthy. For instance, some dogs have a tendency to develop hip dysplasia and should never be allowed to jump on furniture.

Before you bring your pup home, grab a book and read up on everything you need to know about them.

  1. Load up on the goods. When you buy the information book about your dog, load up on the rest of the supplies you’ll need. That way, it’s all ready before you bring your pup home. 

Of course, the list includes dog food, bowls for food and water, treats, and toys. But don’t forget the leash and collar, nail clippers, a crate if you choose to use one, and pet stairs if you want them on the furniture with you.

  1. Schedule a vet appointment. Ask your trusted friends and family members for their recommendations of a good vet near you. As soon as you can, make an appointment to get your new dog a routine check-up and any necessary vaccines.

It’s best to have them established as a patient as soon as possible just in case an emergency arises. However, if you’re concerned with the dirt and grime from outside walks before your pup gets their shots, cover their paws first. 


Walkee Paws protects your dog’s sensitive pads from harmful debris, keeping them from carrying it into your house and, worse, from licking their paws after the walk. Be sure to size up when buying your Walkee Paws since your pup is going to grow. The straps are adjustable for heights, so as Fido grows, you can loosen them.

  1. Learn pup hygiene basics. Some dogs, like dachshunds and Yorkies, are prone to bad teeth. Others have nails that grow fast and twist dangerously. Long-haired pups can have trouble seeing if their fur grows over their eyes. 

As their parent, it’s up to you to learn the basics of caring for your dog’s basic hygiene needs.

6) Protect their puppy paws and prevent them getting sick and bringing dirt and germs into your home with Walkee Paws the world’s first dog legggings

I recommend Walkee Paws to my clients as effective protection against many environmental hazards (snow-melt chemicals, fecal- and urine-related germs, glass, pesticides, foxtails, etc.). I like that they are easy to get on, stay on, and that the boot and sleeve protect the dog’s limbs, too, and not just the paws.

Dr. Lawrence Zola

University Animal Hospital

New York, NY

  1. Find the right dog food. When you’re first getting started, you might think all dog food brands are the same. But your dog’s breed might require something special. Check with the vet as soon as you can, and make sure your pup is getting the nutrients they require to grow healthy.
  1. Pet-proof your house. There will be behavior problems as you are each learning each other. One way to limit the collateral damage is to pet-proof your house ahead of time.

Grab some pee pads in case of accidents. Get a baby gate to keep your dog out of any no-go areas. And make sure anything you don’t want chewed is out of reach of your pup! 

  1. Know about the medications you’ll need. Heartgard and flea meds are two of the most common regular medicines that dogs need. But your climate and environment might require you to look into other protective measures, too. 
  1. Agree on the sleeping situation ahead of time. Will you cuddle with Fido in bed? Will he or she have a nearby pet bed? Are you crate training? 

The hardest part of the first week or two will be establishing bedtime routines. Make sure you know what you want and stick with it, even with the heart-wrenching whining. Consistency from the get-go will save you a lot of headaches later.

  1. Keep to a schedule. If you want your dog to transition into your routines quickly, make those routines consistent. Wake up and bedtime, potty time, and mealtime should all be close to the same schedule every day.

Number 11: Give Plenty of Love

The most important thing to do to take care of your new dog is to love them. When you do, the rest comes naturally. 

Getting a dog for the first time can be nerve-wracking. But with first-time dog owner tips and your care for your pup, they will be happy and ready to give you years of love and loyalty.