Having a dog can be fantastic, but it’s important that you understand how to care for another living being. If this is your first pet, it’s time to learn everything you need to know about taking care of your dog. Here are the basics.

You have to consider your dog pretty much all the time

Congratulations, you have a new family member! Just like with any human family member, you’ll have to consider your pet all the time. Are you trying to plan a trip to visit a friend across the country? Start thinking about where your dog will be during that time. Do you want to go out with friends after a long day at work? Make sure you let them know that you have to stop home first to check on your pup.

Depending on your new dog’s age, you’ll have to walk him or her anywhere from every hour to every six hours. Make sure you have a consistent routine with your pet and understand when he or she needs to go out or eat. Dog owners think about their pets frequently because they know their animals rely on them. You are your dog’s everything, so don’t neglect him or her. Factor your pup into your plans and keep as consistent a routine as possible.

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You’ll want to get your dog the very best

When you love your dog, you want to get him or her the best. Do your research to find the best food, bed, and other supplies for your pet. Don’t just buy any old leash. Get your animal the best dog harness on the market. A front-clip harness is more comfortable for your dog and the two clips make it easy to take on and off while still maintaining a perfect fit when it’s on. Plus the reflective material will keep you and your dog from getting into any accidents during a late-night walk.

High-quality supplies are absolutely worth the cost. The more you get to know your pet, the more you’ll want to give him or her the very best. Talk with your veterinarian about what nutrients your dog needs and look for food that includes all of them. When you’re a dog owner, you’re pretty obsessed with caring for your pooch and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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Your house isn’t yours anymore

Adopting a puppy is just like inviting a friend or family member to come live with you. Your house is now shared with another living being. Keep your pet in mind when you make any purchases for the home. You might need to add a fence to the backyard so your pooch can roam. If your doggy loves to sleep, you might have a puppy bed in every room. Toys will take over your living room and you might want to put your Adam Hamilton books on a higher shelf so your dog can’t destroy them.

If you have a room that holds more dangerous or fragile items, put up a doggy gate so your pet can’t get in. Remember, you want to keep your pooch safe so don’t leave anything on the ground or a low shelf that he or she might get. Chocolate should always be kept on a high shelf and other toxic items should be out of your pet’s reach. Learn everything you can about what’s dangerous for your animal so you can keep the home safe.

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With time, you’ll become an expert dog owner. Trust that you can do what’s best for your pet and get him everything he needs. Your puppy will pay you back with endless love.