Clicking on our complete guide for new dog owners (or, as we like to say, pet parents) has made our whole body wag with excitement, not just our tails! Why? Because it means you've probably searched "animal shelters near me" or spotted an adorable litter of puppies, and you want to give a dog a home. We love it!
Welcoming a dog into your life is an amazing and rewarding step, and building a relationship with your dog will be an exciting journey full of firsts, laughter and love! But, adopting a dog at any age can also be a little scary when you've never owned a dog before. Keep reading our 1st-time pet owner's guide to having a dog or puppy to prepare you for this new exciting journey and lifestyle commitment on becoming a pet parent.
As a self-professed dog lover looking to adopt a dog or puppy, it's natural to want to ensure you provide the very best care and life for the dog (or doggos) you bring home. But, where do you start, right?! As proud pet parents, we recommend you start with the dog ownership guide below.
Sterilisation - You'll need to pay for spaying (female) or neutering (male dogs). Some dog homes and shelters include sterilisation during adoption.
Basic dog care costs - These are basic supplies needed for pet dogs:
Other dog costs - There are a number of additional expenses new dog owners should consider, such as:
Feeding - You'll need to set a feeding schedule and stick to it to ensure your newly adopted dog feels secure and won't worry about if their next meal will arrive or not.
Cleaning - Dogs must have clean eating and drinking bowls, so you'll need to wash your dog's dishes daily.
Medical care - You will need to take your dog for regular vet checkups, deworm them, and give them medication.
Bonding - This is a super important one! Dog owners must set aside time daily for bonding. Dog specialists advise at least 1 hour per day of direct attention between you and your pet dog. But we won't blame you for spending way more time with your pup!
Important physical activity and mental stimulation for dogs:
Grooming - Set time aside to groom your dog and/or drop them off and pick them up at your prefered dog parlour.
It would be really unfair to expect a large dog breed with tons of energy like a German Pointer, Collie or even a medium breed with a seemingly endless battery, like a Dalmation or Boxer, to live comfortably with no way to release all their pent-up excitement and energy.
Dogs need space and freedom to stretch their legs and play! Even extra teeny tiny dogs like Yorkies, Daxies and Chihuahuas need room to be fabulous and have fun.3 questions to help you decide what size and breed dog is best for you:
We know how tempting it is to want to scoop up every cutie that catches your eye, but you must think about the relationship you want to have with your new best friend.
5 questions to help you determine which dog personality would best suit your lifestyle:
Want a dog who follows you everywhere or an independent soul?
Here's a checklist of dog care supplies you will need:
Food bowls - Yes, bowls! Get more than 1 bowl per dog
Water bowls - Get multiple water bowls suitable for outside and inside use for your home
Food - Ask for vet recommendations
Dog collar - A collar with personalised name tags shows ownership of a dog. A dog's tags should also have your contact information on them
Valgray for Dogs tip 1: Did you know we offer FREE personalised name tags and engraving with every Valgray for Dogs luxury dog collar purchase? View our dog collars to learn more about our complimentary name tag engraving.
Dog leashes - get dog leads to ensure your dog can't get away during vet visits, walks, and training.
Dog bed and bedding - Dogs need a dedicated sleeping area and bedding
Dog toys - Toys keep your dog active and mentally stimulated
Treats and chews - How can you not buy them ALL the treats, right?! Not sure what to get your dog? Ask your vet.
Dog shampoo and conditioner - Specially formulated dog shampoos and conditioners maintain skin PH balance and guarantee a clean, healthy coat without irritating the skin. Hypoallergenic and medicated dog shampoos help soothe itchy, dry skin and control skin inflammation and flareups which dogs with more serve skin allergies will require. Consult your vet for the best dog shampoo products for your doggos needs, as all dogs are different
Valgray for Dogs tip 2: It's best to avoid cheap dog shampoos (and human shampoos) as many of them contain harmful ingredients and skin irritants.
Dog nail clippers - Your dog will need regular manicures! Dog nail clippers cut long nails without harming the sensitive nerve endings and blood vessel supply in your dog's nails.
Valgray for Dogs tip 3: Worried you'll clip your dog's nails too short? Ask a professional groomer or vet to clip your dog's nails.
Canine toothbrush and toothpaste - Dog toothbrushes and toothpaste help clean teeth without harming gums or introducing dogs to harmful substances like fluoride (found in human toothpaste).
Valgray for Dogs tip 4: Learn more about doggy dental health on our blog Dog health 101: Dental health for your doggo.
Brush or comb - All dogs need brushing or combing to remove loose fur and improve their coat.
Poop supplies - Pooper scoopers and biodegradable poop bags are a must to keep your home doggy doodie-free (and fly-free!).
We hope our guide for new pet owners was insightful and helpful for all you new dog owners! Next is our guide to dog adoption.
Valgray for Dogs tip 5:Always pick up your dog's poop when walking in public areas. It's something all dog owners should make a habit of!
Please note this blog is for information purposes only. Valgray for Dogs encourages dog owners to consult a veterinarian before making decisions about dog feeding, medical care, oral health care or behavioural conditions.
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We try our best to cater to every breed, but some doggos might need a little extra at-home customisation to achieve the perfect fit. Our PVC-coated nylon straps are soft, making adjustments at home very easy. Use a standard leather punching tool to add additional holes, or use a utility knife to trim the length of your collar.
Interested in learning about the paws and humans behind Valgray? Learn about our journey and how we give back on Valgray, This Is How Our Story Started!