Adopting a dog is a huge responsibility, especially if you are a first-time dog owner. We all want to give our furry little ones the best life possible, so here are some tips for first-time pet owners to make sure your new dog is safe, happy, and cared for.

Tips For First-Time Pet Owners


Research the breed of dog you are adopting. Learn about the breed of dog you are getting so you are aware of their disposition and how to properly care for them.

Find a vet. Find a local veterinarian that you feel comfortable taking your dog to. Keep this information handy in case of emergencies.

Pet insurance. Consider getting pet insurance, which helps pay for the cost of your dog’s vet bills.

Choose which food you will feed your dog. Choose your dog’s food based on their breed, size, and overall health needs.

Obedience Training. If you’re adopting a dog, especially a puppy, you should consider obedience training. Training can help your dog unlearn unwanted behavior, such as biting, pulling on leash, as well as teach them commands.

Stock Up On Supplies

Stock up on these supplies before your dog arrives:

  • Food and water bowls
  • Toys
  • A crate (if you will crate train them)
  • Treats
  • A leash and collar/harness

Pet-Proof Your Home

Cleanup. Make sure that anything your dog could get their mouth on is out of reach. Puppies are especially known to swallow foreign objects and chewing everything due to teething.

Indoor plants. Choose indoor plants that are pet-safe. If you have plants that are not safe for pets, keep them out of reach to reduce exposure.

Pet-safe cleaners. Buy household cleaners that are safe for pets to be exposed to. Click here to learn about some pet-safe cleaners.

Backyard Safety

If you have a backyard, consider these safety tips:

Perimeter. Make sure that the perimeter of your backyard is secure, with no room for your dog to squeeze through and escape.

Pool safety. If you have a pool, teaching your dog to swim could greatly reduce drowning risks. Further reduce this by getting a pet life jacket and make them wear it whenever they are playing by the pool.

Outdoor plants. Certain outdoor plants and flowers can be poisonous to dogs. Learn which outdoor plants are safe for your dog to be around.

Written by Vincent M.

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