New Year, New Dog

It’s 2022! And with a new year comes new beginnings - and in some cases, responsibilities too. Did you get a new dog or plan on getting one soon? In this episode of Talkin' Dogs, we are going to go over three tips for having a new dog and getting through the first year with them.

1. Cost

Dogs make great life companions, but they can also be costly if you aren’t prepared. First, there are the initial costs for the dog. Getting a dog from a breeder can range from $500 to $3000, but you’ll be getting a quality dog. Other beginning costs include food and treats, toys, beds, leashes and collars, bowls for food and water, and grooming tools (like nail clippers, a brush, and dog shampoo). After this, there is the continual upkeep of the dog that requires routine veterinary care, preventative medications and supplements if needed, training classes or resources, dog walking if you hire someone, and pet sitters or boarding. The cost can depend on where you live and varies for pet sitters, obedience classes, boarding, emergency room visits, possible surgeries, and any prescription medicines. 

Another cost to consider is registering your dog with an organization like Continental Kennel Club. With reasonable prices, dog owners get access to multiple resources for everything a dog will need, especially when first starting out!

Most people think that after the initial buying and setting up of a dog is done, then they’re good, but that is incorrect. One thing you can do to help with this is to create an anticipatory budget, cushion your savings, and consider pet insurance.

For more information on cost, you can find the First-Time Owner’s Guide linked below: 

2. Training

Just like people, dogs are at their best with routine and consistency. These two things make training the most effective. It can, and should begin, as soon as possible and be practiced regularly to achieve positive results. You don’t need fancy equipment to teach a dog as long as you have tempting treats and time committed. Here are a few basic commands you should teach your dog: Come, sit, touch, and stay. This will not only be beneficial to your dog to offer them structure within the household, but it will also reinforce the owner as the person in charge. Whether you get a new puppy or an older dog, all dogs need guidance to understand what is acceptable or not and when or where. Training is the best way to do that and it offers time to bond. Check out our Ages and Stages Puppy Training materials for more great information that will give you and your dogs the best possible start to a great life together! Register your dog with Continental Kennel Club to get access to the Ages & Stages puppy training video series.

3. Other Pets

If the first one was so great, a second should be even better! Right? While getting a second pet can lead to double the play, cuddles, and love, you have to take the original pet into account first. They may have only ever been the single pet within the home or have issues with other animals. If these reasons aren’t the case, bringing in a new dog can still lead to territorial issues if not properly introduced, even with the friendliest of dogs.

Other things to consider are the older dog’s physical health and if they can handle an excited puppy. Continue to honor the original dog as the first pet and spend plenty of time with them once a new puppy has arrived. 

If you are bringing home a new puppy and you have a resident cat, make sure the cat has a space of its own (especially for them to get away if needed), make sure the dog has a few basic manners before attempting to introduce them, swap scents, and then slowly work toward bringing them together. This process is further explained in some of our blogs and can make a world of a difference for the peace of your household.

More information about introducing a new puppy to cats and dogs can be found linked below:

Congratulations on your new dog! The New Year is a great time for new beginnings and we are here to help to make sure you start off on the right paw. It can be easy to rush into the excitement of getting a new dog without thinking things through, but these tips will have you covered.

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