Things to Know as a First-Time Dog Owner


Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Jairo Alzate

There are few relationships in this world that can match the bond between a dog and a human. Dogs provide unconditional love, loyalty, companionship and even entertainment to nearly half of all families in the United States. If you’ve never owned a pet before and are thinking it might be the right time to bring a dog or puppy into your household, here are a few important considerations before adopting your newest family member.


Do your research on size, weight, temperament, health conditions, life span, and specific needs for each breed. This will help you determine what type of dog might be best for your personality and your unique situation. Here is a list of dog breeds that are often recommended for first time dog owners due to their temperament, low maintenance level, and other important qualities. If you have children in your household, or if your landlord has restrictions on dog breeds, you may need to take additional considerations when choosing the perfect pet.


There are a few things any first-time dog owner should know about training a new pet. First, your pet’s attention span will be shorter than yours – especially if you adopt a young dog or a puppy. Just as if you were teaching a small child, you’ll need to keep any training sessions short to accommodate your dog’s attention span. As your dog starts to pick up on tricks quicker, you can slowly increase the amount of time spent each day on training. If you’re having trouble teaching commands on your own, it might be time to consider a puppy training class or hiring a professional dog trainer to assist with obedience training.


Yes, some breeds of dogs require grooming. Each breed has its own specific needs, so you’ll want to do some research to determine which breed is right for you.

Shedding and Allergies

Want to keep the little doggie furs off your business suit? Here’s a list of some dog breeds that do not shed – and there are certainly many more breeds out there. Although there are hypoallergenic dog breeds and dogs that do not shed, many of these dog breeds have special coats that require regular grooming. Another consideration here: if a member of your household suffers from environmental allergies, even a hypoallergenic dog can be an issue. This is because, although the dog itself is hypoallergenic, pollen and other environmental allergies can get stuck in the dog’s fur or tracked into the house when the dog comes inside.

Few feelings beat the moment you bring your cuddly new dog home for the first time, and have those sweet puppy dog eyes staring up at you. By taking the time to do some research, you can be prepared to pick the perfect companion to last years – or even decades – to come. By following the steps listed above, you’ll be on your way to becoming the best possible dog parent.

Jessica Brody, Guest Contributor
4023 Kennett Pike
 Wilmington, DE 19807

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