Tips for the First-Time Dog Owner

The decision to adopt a dog is a long-term commitment that you will love for years to come. Yet, as heart-warming as a new pet may be, let’s not forget it’s also a great responsibility. Transitioning into a dog owner requires lots of effort and there are a few things to consider prior to bringing your dog home.

1.) Ensure You Have Time
Dogs, especially puppies, require loads of time, attention and affection from their humans. Most dogs need to be walked at least twice a day for ample exercise and to relieve themselves. Additionally, they’ll need to be taken out in the early hours of the morning and 1-2 times in the evening. If you were not a morning person prior to owning a dog, be sure to mentally prepare yourself for this transition!

Your dog will also enjoy time to simply be in your presence. After all, you are their best friend. Each time you walk through the door, be prepared to be greeted as if they haven’t seen you in years! Dogs love to lay around with their owners and play games like frisbee or catch outdoors. Be sure to incorporate this into your day-to-day routine. If you’re like most of us and have a busy schedule to adhere to, consider recruiting outside help to adequately take care of your new pup.

2.) Seek Dog Services for Help: BarkZone Has You Covered!
Most people work away from home, which means they aren’t always able to provide the attention and exercise their dog desperately needs. To make sure your dog is healthy and happy, look no further than BarkZone. BarkZone offers drop-in doggie daycare, overnight boarding and full-service grooming with four convenient locations in the Portland-Metro area.  Discover which BarkZone location is nearest you! 

By relying on a professional pet provider like BarkZone, all your dog’s needs can be met under the same roof. You can rest assured that your dog is in good hands with caring handlers, safe & clean facilities and highly-trained groomers. To top it off, your playful pup will release lots of energy interacting with their new BarkZone pals and you’ll have a more relaxed pooch at the end of the day!

3.) Purchase Pet Supplies in Advance
Once you have the schedule and professional support your fur child will need, it’s time to get your necessary supplies. You will need to purchase a leash; whether it is retractable or not is solely up to your discretion. A collar and ID tags are also great purchases to make. You may also consider getting your dog micro-chipped, in case they stray away from home or get lost.

You will need food & water bowls, safe/entertaining toys, and quality dog food. It is important that you do not feed your dog table food, as it could lead to major health issues. If you’re unsure about what type of pet food to get your dog, an associate at the nearest pet store will be knowledgeable enough to point you in the right direction. You may also want to purchase disposable waste bags for your walks and puppy pads if your dog is not yet house-broken.

4.) Research Local Veterinarians
You will need to select a veterinarian and make sure to get your dog the proper vaccinations, parasite prevention, and grooming. Of course, you’ll also need someone to turn to if your dog becomes ill or injured. If cost is a concern for you, be sure to look into pet insurance and the benefits it may provide. Choose a vet you feel comfortable with —after all, your dog is now a family member!

Few things compare to the unconditional love and adoration that come from a dog. The best way to honor your pet is to be prepared to care for them and offer an overabundance of love. The bond between human and dog is inseparable and as an owner, you will create memories with your dog that will last a lifetime!

Ready to take the leap?
Check out
Street Savvy Dog Rescue for local dogs searching for a loving home.

Our Best Friends

Guest article written by animal blogger, Jessica Brody, from OurBestFriends.Pet. Jessica has been a pet owner for decades and the love of pets has brought infinite joy to her life. She hopes these tips will encourage first-time pet owners to adopt, ease their anxiety about caring for a pet and enrich their lives with more love.