My advice for first time dog owners #FirstTimeDogOwner - MissLJBeauty

My advice for first time dog owners #FirstTimeDogOwner

As a first-time dog owner, you are probably a bit worried about have questions you want to be answered. I know this time is so special and well lets face it totally overwhelming. I have grown up with dogs and I desperately wanted a dog. But dogs are a huge commitment and they need the right environment to thrive and well live their best life. For me, I wanted to give my dogs all they could wish for and more. So I had to wait for stars to aline and be in the right place to welcome a new family member. 

I was actually reading a fantastic post on Lords and Labradors called Top 10 tips first-time dog owners wish they'd known and this made me sit down and write this post for you all. 

My dogs 

I have two wonderful dogs. I could write a whole post about how my dogs changed my life for the better but today we will talk about top tips. let me introduce you to my dogs. 

Millie is a Springador, Springer spaniel cross labrador she is 8. We got millie when she was 18 months old so missed her puppy stage, unfortunately. When we rescued millie is was not in the best way. She was suffering an ectopic pregnancy had serious issues with her paw and we found out very quickly she has mild hip dysplasia. She is a lovely natured dog but is so quirky. She loves who she loves and can't be bothered by anyone else. She loves bog diving, swimming and treats. 

Mylo is a Dalmatian and he is 6. We got Mylo at 12 weeks old. So we did the full puppy training with him. Mylo has major food intolerances which are common with dalmatians. He loves nothing more than hitting the mountain bike trails with us. He is the softest boy in the world. He needs cuddles and blankets. 

I have been asked lots of question about my dog and being a first-time dog owner. I thought I would answer them for you.


How do you dog-proof your house and making it safe for them 

As the article on lord and labradors has said you need to create boundaries with your dogs. They need to know where they are allowed and not allowed. I would recommend getting kids stair gates. To keep dogs out of areas you don't want them in. Think about your house as if you are baby proofing it. Put locks on anything dangerous. Tidy away any clutter or anything that can be chewed. 

We used a crate at bedtime as Mylo loves his own little cave. This saved our walls and furniture from any chewing. He liked his own little area away from us and Millie. 

I have a nightmare story. When we had Mylo about a month. He was super small. I had made chicken broth. With chicken legs. I carefully tied the bones in a carrier bag and popped it in the kitchen bin. I went to the toilet. thinking Mylo was far too small to reach the bin.  When I came back, Mylo looking super happy with himself as he had eaten the whole lot. Yip all nine of the bone. I panicked and called the emergency vet. Luckily he was fine but there was a lot of tears from me as I thought I had killed him. so if this doesn't give you a warning nothing well. 

Puppies like to chew. Make sure you buy chew toy and praise the puppy when he uses it. 

What do they need? 

This is the basic list I would buy for a new dog in my life. 
  • A collar and name tag 
  • Bed for a young dog I would get a cheap bed 
  • a crate with bed and blankets
  • Pee pads accidents happen
  • food 
  •  food dish and water dishes I have four throughout the house
  • Leads
  • the harness I believe in using a harness it is so much better than using a lead on a collar as this can injure the dog. when they pull you are pulling there neck. with a harness, you are pulling there body causing less harm. 
  • Toys I recommend chew toys and tug of war toys as well as soft toys. 
  • Poo bags
If accidents happen you might want to check out the post of mine called How to clean up dog sick 

What would you tell a first-time dog owner? 
Be prepared for the fun to start. The love from a dog is like no other love you will ever receive. They are all so special they do not expect anything from you but your love and this makes them the most special companion. 

Register with your local vet. 
This can be done before you have your pup. I recommend taking your new furry friend to the vet the day you get them for a check-up. I did this and you can discuss with them vaccinations and other requirements. 

Pet insurance
Buy the best pet insurance you can. This will be worth it if your dog gets sick. I would sell a kidney if I had to save my dogs. Luckily I have good pet insurance. You must always read the fine print. The most important thing is to make sure they cover you for long-term or recurring illness. This is super important. Millie will have a recurring scan when she is older to check her hips. Mylo has already cut his paw twice and needed bandaging. All claimed on insurance. I would also look for one who pays the vet direct. It is so much easier and you don't have to pay upfront and then claim the money back.

I also have pet plan at my vets where for a small monthly fee. Al my dog's vaccinations flea and tick treatments and check-ups are all covered. It is worth checking if you vets offer this. This also included vet nurse visits to do nail trimming and anal glands. If you dont know about dogs bums you will soon. 

Worry 
It is ok to worry. I worried a lot about my dogs they can not tell you how they are feeling and you will do a lot of guessing. If you are at all worried about your dogs call your vet or some pet insurance offer free calls to vets or vet nurses. Try not to worry too much and enjoy your time with them. 

What do you feed your dogs?
Well, Millie has mild hip dysplasia. So her diet needs to be watched as being overweight is bad for her condition. When we first realised she had this condition, we were obviously slightly concerned, wondering can a dog live with hip dysplasia or not. However, of course they can, you just have to monitor her and makes sure she keeps fit and healthy. 
Millie also will not drink. So her morning biscuits and her evening ones are covered in water. I mean floating. I was actually told a good way to see if your dog food is any good. Ie not full of rubbish is when they are covered with water do they expand? If the answer is yes they are not good quality. You wouldn't eat rubbish your self why would you feed your dog rubbish. 

Mylo Oh Mylo, He is a Dalmatian as I mentioned. Which means a very sensitive tummy. I mean super sensitive.  We tried a lot of different food but we have to get super sensitive dog biscuits and organic sensitive meat. My nightmare is Mylo off his diet. He is a bit of a softy, and he needs a lot of attention anyways but with a sore tummy, its mummy cuddle shat on me.



Exercise 
Every dog has different requirements. This will all depend on breed, age and size. With millie, we have to be careful not to let her over-exercise as this can cause hip issues. Mylo can run for miles but again I restrict this with him. I actually took lots of advice from our vet with Mylo as he is a trail dog and runs with our bikes. My vet recommended introducing him slowly to the bikes and starting slowly on small trails after he was fully grown. Which for Mylo were 18 months. You vet is the best person to ask. 


What has changed in your life since having a dog? 
I could bore you all day with why my dogs have changed my life. I strongly believe I would not be here if it wasn't for Millie. My husband and Millie saved me from crippling anxiety and depression. They are a constant source of love. We got Mylo due to millies condition we wanted a biking buddy.
My grandparent bred shorthaired pointers and I was never allowed one. I loved their pointer. when we were looking there were no Pointers available but there was a Dalmatian and I fell in love.

Negatives
Our plans revolve around our dogs. We don't travel as much as we used to due to the pups. This is not their fault but I am funny about putting them in kennels. We have built a van conversion so we can take them on more holidays. When we do go away but stay in dog-friendly hotels or have a friend look after them. It's not really a negative as they mean more to me than anything else to be completely honest. 

Dog poo.
There will be a lot of this in your life. There is no getting away from it. Bag it and bin it. Do not tie it to trees or leave it lying it is your dog your responsibility.  There is no Poo fairy who comes to clean it for you.

I hope you enjoyed this little post and it gave you some ideas about how to introduce a new family member to your life. 









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