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First Time Owning A Dog? Read These Tips!

September 5th, 2019
First Time Owning A Dog? Read These Tips!

Once you have made a choice to have a dog join your family dynamic, you have lots of fun ahead! There joy and love they will offer is a great addition to your life, whether you are a single person ora family of many.

While there are lots of web sites and articles with tips and pointers for when you bring your dog home, there are probably five main guidelines that are truly important but are not always well known. Knowing these tips will help you keep your new family member safe and happy in their new home.

  • Tip # 1 – Watch what your pooch puts in their mouth

One of the biggest unknowns for new owners is what your pup should ingest. Many people just assume most food items are ok, but in reality, there are that must be on the list of not to eat. One is grapes and raisins.

These tasty treats are loved by dogs, especially grapes, but are a big problem. They are not only a choking hazard but are toxic for your dog. Onions, garlic, and chocolate closely follow grapes and raisins. None of these can be eaten in any form. This means you need to be careful if you let them have some leftover spaghetti sauce or meat from a stir fry.

The presence of garlic and onion can make them ill. Chocolate's danger gets stronger, the darker the chocolate gets. Your pup should not have a form of chocolate, but dark is the worst. The liver of the small dog will not be able to process the toxins in the plant and will damage other organs in the process.

Each toxin in your dog’s diet will attack the liver of your puppy first, but can damage all kinds of organs. It is also important to point out that purebred dogs are more susceptible toxins in human food than mixed breeds.

Along with these food items, corn cobs, and an artificial sweetener called xylitol are also items that can send your furry friend to the emergency clinic. Reading ingredient labels is important to avoid this. Xylitol often shows up in foods such as peanut butter and chewing gum, both of which dogs have been known to get into.

  • Tip # 2 – Your dog is much smarter than you think
Your Dog Is Much Smarter Than You Think

Food is a strong pull for dogs if they can smell it. There is nothing worse than going out for a while and coming home to a kitchen full of trash. You will need to make sure your garbage bins are covered and safe. It's one thing to have to clean up a smelly mess, but bones and peelings can make your pet very ill.

All cooked bones can splinter one they are eaten and can injure your dog internally. This is life-threatening for them and can not only be painful but means a very expensive trip to the vet. Warn your kids and other family members to keep garbage safely disposed of in the bathroom and bedrooms as well. Dogs will find temptations in the oddest spots.

If your dog is smart enough to open the trash can, they may also be able to get inside certain cupboards and bags. That means that you will either need to move items that they might be interested in or seal things up appropriately as with cupboard locks

Adoric Sliding Cabinet Locks

Leaving a purse or backpack out on the floor means your pooch will have access to things such as medications or other items harmful to dogs. Put things out of reach, seal up bags, and lock up doors you do not want to open. Rather than kid proofing, you are dog proofing.

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  • Tip # 3 – Some plants are toxic for your pup

Although we don't often think of plants being toxic to our dogs, there are some that you have to watch out for. Additionally, many of them can be found around the house. Even if you don’t have a green thumb, easy grow plants such as Aloe Vera can be deadly.

Outside and potted plants such as tulips and daffodils are also something that can make your dog very sick as the bulbs are toxic. Make sure you do a google search of ones of plants you may have in and outside so you can keep them safely out of reach.

Finally, pet owners should keep their pet on a leash when close to unknown plants. This is especially important if your canine hasn’t passed puppy training yet and doesn’t know how to act with strange plants, people, or strange dogs.

  • Tip # 4 – Keep important numbers handy
Keep Important Numbers Handy

If somehow your pup outsmarts you with tip #1, #2 and #3 you may find yourself in need of #4. Keep the phone numbers of your dogs’ vet, the emergency vet and your poison control close by for reference by anyone who may be with your dog. It allows for fast intervention should your dog get into something they shouldn’t have.

Preventative veterinary care is as important as good quality healing, as the needs of your canine companion might change as it grows. Having often and open communication with your vet will do more good for your dog’s health than anything else.

  • Tip # 5 – Fast eating is problematic
OurPets Durapet Premium Stainless Steel Slow-Feed Dog Bowl

Do not let your dog gobble down their meals too fast. This applies especially to big breeds who have a deep chest. If a dog eats too quickly and also have water with their meal, they can come down with a deadly health situation called bloat. Bloat occurs when they eat so fast, your dog gets air trapped in their stomach, which makes it grow and causes severe breathing issues. This type of situation can lead to an emergency vet visit as it is painful for your dog and potentially life-threatening.

KONG Classic Dog Toy

A way to combat the issue of bloat is to slow down your dogs eating. You can buy specialized dishes to slow down their access to the meal and use feeding toys such as Kongs. Kongs allow you to fill them with food, so they have to work for their meal. The other option is to feed your pup smaller batches of food more frequently, so they do not wolf it all down in one gulp. Put their water up as well, so they aren't eating and drinking at the same time.

Final Thoughts

These five tips are ones that are important but there many more you will come across as you begin on the journey of pet ownership. Having a dog is never just as simple to buying it and bringing it home. Pet ownership takes time and money, but your new canine friend will bring a lot of joy to your life, and by being aware of their surroundings, you can keep them safe and healthy.