The 5 Most Common Mistakes for First Time Dog Owners

August 25th, 2017

If you’re a first time dog owner, you’re probably caught up in all the excitement of having something fun, adorable, and spunky in your home. The enthusiasm that comes from being a new dog owner can get you pretty far. But there are some things that can be your demise if you’re not careful.

Here are the 5 most common mistakes we see first time dog owners making.

Buying a Dog

There are so many dogs in the world that need a home, we’re huge advocates of folks adopting a dog instead of buying one from a breeder, or even a pet store. When you adopt from a shelter, you’re saving a dog’s life, and freeing up space for another dog to be saved. When you adopt from a private shelter, the standards they have set in place are more rigorous, but they ensure the dog is going to a good home — and that you’re getting the best dog for your lifestyle.

Not Microchipping

If you don’t microchip your dog, you’re leaving a lot to chance. Their collar could come off. A tag could get lost while they’re running around. Microchipping is the only surefire way to get your dog returned to you. One quick scan and vets or shelters can know exactly who and where to return the dog.

Feeding human food

It’s sooooo fun to be your dog’s favorite person because you feed her yummy treats, or snacks at the table. But too much human food can lead to weight gain (and joint and health problems). It can also cause bad habits. And there are a ton of foods that are actually dangerous to your dog’s health. See this list of 7 foods you should never feed your dog.

Skipping Vet Appointments

It’s really easy to skip a vet appointment or two, especially if you take really good care of your own health. But making, and keeping, regular vet appointments matters. If you skip an appointment, you could be missing out on catching early signs of disease, arthritis, heart failure, tooth decay, or other issues that could cost you dearly — both your pocketbook, and the number of years you have with your dog. Your vet will also make sure your dog is vaccinated with everything she needs to help protect her from diseases and infections.

Skipping Obedience Training

If you don’t train your dog, you’ll be in for 10-18 years of frustration and headaches. If your dog isn’t trained, it’ll keep chewing through expensive shoes, tearing up toilet paper all over the house, lunging at other dogs unexpectedly, or barking every time a car drives past your house. And that’s likely to drive you crazy and tamp down the enjoyment of your dog. The best time to train your dog is when they are younger and more receptive — but don’t forget that old dogs can learn new tricks, too.

If you need help training your dog, we’ve got you! Check out our training styles and options here.