So, you’re thinking of getting a dog? In a recent survey, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) reported 70% of U.S. households own a pet. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them (about 69 million, actually) own a dog.
These results further prove just how popular our canine friends are. From the classic “puppy eyes” to the irresistible head tilts, these four-legged creatures obviously know how to win everyone’s heart.
But, of course, having a dog isn’t all fun and games. Obviously, some challenges come with it, too. The latter part is especially true for first-time dog owners. From poisons to injuries, there are tons of things to be cautious about.
Before you welcome your first ever pet dog at home, it’s best to know the dos and don’ts of responsible pet ownership. Below is a compilation of the most important tips to keep your dog safe, both indoor and outdoor. Read on.
If you’re at Home:
1: Put Things Away
Where do you think is the most dangerous place for dogs? The street, perhaps? The wild parks? Sure, it’s easy to point to the outdoors. Yet, believe it or not, your house is as dangerous as all these outdoor spaces could be.
From the electric cords to the small toys, many household items could pose risks to your pet. Kitchen utensils are especially dangerous. You could take your eyes off your dog for a second, and suddenly, you might find them chewing the electric wires or licking the razors from the trash.
To avoid possible dog injuries, it’s best to maintain a tidy home. Lock the kitchen cupboards, or at least make sure they are sturdy enough to resist possible bumps and scratches. Hang the electrical wires in a higher position. If that’s not possible, lock the rooms that contain many wires, such as the garage and computer room.
Small items, such as your child’s toys and other mechanical tools, must also have their own storage. Even the garbage cans must be tightly closed. If you’re planning to get out, make sure to keep the pillows and plushies away, too. Your dog could chew them and swallow the fabric and other contents while you’re away.
2: Lookout for Possible Edible Hazards
Let’s face it: Dog’s love to get a taste of almost everything. After all, they’re curious and always on the go. Naturally, this leaves them more at risk of possible food poisoning. That said, pet owners have the responsibility to look out for possible edible hazards inside their homes.
The kitchen is the first place to keep an eye on. Chocolates are especially dangerous to dogs. So, it’s best to store them in the highest compartment of your refrigerator. Other foods and ingredients that are dangerous to your pet include coffee, avocados, and raw meat. Even onions and garlic are bad for them!
Other than the kitchen, your medicine cabinet and storage rooms also demand close attention. You should keep your detergents and insecticides in relatively high storage and lock them away once you’re done using them.
If you’re Outside:
1: Keep your Dog on a Leash
Of course, you can’t keep your dogs inside forever. They’ll eventually desire the freedom of the outdoors. When this happens, you should put your dog on a leash before you leave for a brief walk.
Generally, there are many things to be cautious of when you’re outdoor. The car noises, for example, could activate your dog’s fight-or-flight response. Even the crowd could put them in panic. Keeping your pet on a leash enables you to monitor his every move. More importantly, you can easily interfere when things become too overwhelming for him.
To make each outdoor adventure less difficult, you can also sign up your dog for puppy classes in advance. This will help your pup learn how to socialize and behave while outside.
2: Keep Out from Puddles and Pools
Aside from the cars and crowds, water could also pose a problem. Puddles and pools are off-limits. Sure, there are specific dog breeds that are natural swimmers. However, the general rule is that not all dogs could swim. Hence, it’s best to keep them out of the pools before they learn basic swimming skills.
Puddles are especially dangerous. While they may appear harmless, they are in the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and parasites. Letting your dog play or drink from them could give them possible illnesses. To keep that from happening, it’s best to bring plenty of water every time you take your dog out for a walk.
Ready to welcome your first pet at home? Become a responsible dog owner. Know how to keep them from harm by following these safety tips and tricks.
Meta title: Tips for First-time Dog Owners
meta desc: Is it your first time getting a dog? Know how to take good care of your puppy. Here are the essential things that will keep your pet safe and sound.