What could be more exciting than preparing for a new pet to join your family?
Before you bring your fluffy bundle home, there’s lots of prep to do, especially if this is your first dog.
Take a look at our first-time dog owner checklist, packed with 10 top tips for welcoming a new pet into your home.
1. Consider whether you’re dog ready
While the idea of a new puppy or dog is appealing, consider whether you could give them the care and attention they need.
Do you have the time and money to devote to a demanding pet? And is everyone in the household happy to share the commitment of feeding, walking and caring for a new dog?
2. Choose a suitable breed
One of the things we love about dogs is their endless variety. So take time to research the many breeds of dogs and find one that will be compatible with your family life.
For example, a toy breed like a chihuahua or dachshund will require less exercise than a bigger dog, so it can be a great choice if you can only manage short walks.
3. Prepare your home
You will need to make adjustments to your home, especially if you are welcoming a puppy.
Your new dog will need their own dedicated space to sleep and relax, as well as an area where they can access food and water.
Keep any chemicals, cables and other dangerous objects out of your dog’s way. And make sure your garden is secure so your dog can’t escape.
4. Register with a vet
Register your new dog with a vet straight away so you can keep on top of any vaccination requirements and health checks.
5. Get pet insurance
Keeping your dog or puppy healthy can be an expensive business, especially if you don’t have pet insurance.
Your dog will certainly need veterinary care at some point in their life, so getting a good pet insurance in place will mean you don’t have to worry about unexpected bills.
6. Book doggy daycare
Doggy daycare is a great option if you are going to be out of the house for longer than four hours at a time.
As well as giving your dog company, it will help teach them to interact with humans and other dogs in a safe setting.
7. Buy equipment
As a first time dog owner, what to buy will be one of your first questions! Here are the basics that your new pet will need:
- Bed or crate
- Food and water bowls
- Supply of food
- Collar, tag and lead
- Car restraint for travel
- A few toys
- Grooming equipment such as a brush, shampoo and toothpaste and toothbrush
8. Research diet
Make sure you know what sort of diet your dog should be following.
Puppies have specific nutritional requirements, so make sure you buy food specially formulated for them. Also, be aware of what quantity of food you should be offering your dog or puppy so that they don’t get overweight.
9. Book training classes
If you’re getting a puppy, you can start with teaching them the basics at home. Booking training classes will also give them the chance to socialise with other dogs.
Training classes are also a great way to refresh older dogs’ skills.
10. Create a routine
Getting your dog or puppy into a routine will help them settle into their new home.
Feed, exercise and put them to bed at the same time every day so they know what to expect. They’ll soon learn to fit into your family life.
Matching your pet’s unique requirements
Now you’ve read our checklist, you should be ready to enjoy the newest – and furriest – member of the family!
If you need help with pet insurance in the UK, check out our pet insurance comparison service. Choose from leading insurers with an explanation of the different types of policy, too.
And with our UK-based experts on hand, we can help guide you to the best value policy to match your pet’s unique requirements.