Sep 20, 2021 4:44:14 PM
In this instalment of our blog, we are going to be discussing the very exciting prospect of your first dog!
The shelves are lined with lots of helpful books and there are some excellent websites providing advice on various aspects of dog ownership but, here today, we will touch on some of the most important areas that will leave no stone unturned when it comes to being prepared for your new arrival! Going out to buy all the ‘firsts’ such as a new bed, harness, toys, food and treats is an exciting time, and our Trophy Nutritional Advisors have put together a range of topics you may not have considered…
Choices, choices, choices…
Depending on what stage you are at in making that leap into first-time dog ownership, you may have already chosen your breed, or you may still be pondering between a few that have caught your eye.
If you are yet to make your choice, there are several important considerations including:
Firstly, size is important to consider as, the bigger the dog, the more space is often required. Of course, this runs on a sliding scale with energy requirements, as a smaller, more energetic Spaniel for example, may require more space than an older Greyhound who is satisfied with a daily 20-minute walk.
Coat type is a factor to consider too, with some breeds having a short single coat, to others with long, double coats that require more maintenance and grooming, as well as shedding, which may increase your home cleaning requirements. Some specific breeds such as a Poodle, a Bichon Frise and the Afghan Hound require professional grooming attention which can be costly across the dog’s life.
Next, we will chat more about energy. There are certainly breeds or breed groups that have generally higher energy levels; it is important to note the generalisation here and, of course, this can vary from dog to dog. It can be suggested that breeds such as Spaniels and Border Collies are more widely known for their higher than average energy levels, yet it is a common misconception that breeds such as Labradors and Poodles do not also require plenty of exercise. A common trait here is the traditional working ‘use’ of the breed and it can be easy to forget this heritage especially with the more modern cross-breeds that we are seeing today, for example, the Cockerpoo is actually a cross of two traditionally high energy dogs. As well as physical exercise, dogs require plenty of mental stimulation which could include the use of puzzle games, scent work, reward-based training and other activities; this will prevent your dog from becoming bored and potentially destructive.
Tips for first-time dog owners
Of course, you may already have your first dog and be reading this article wondering what could benefit your new companion the most: we have put together a few tips:
Tips from our Nutritional Advisers:
“…animal welfare organisations have been warning that pets who have never known anything other than their humans being around all the time could struggle to adjust when owners return to the workplace post-lockdown.” [The Guardian, July 2021]
There’s no feeling quite like the excitement of getting your first puppy. To make sure they have the very best start with you, you’ll need to prepare for their arrival, covering off a few essentials: play, food, sleep, house training, medical care, exercising and socialising.
With our ever-changing, eclectic British weather we have to be on the ball when it comes to looking after our dogs. What is an ideal environment in the morning can have changed completely by the afternoon so we have to be mindful of making sure our pets are going to be comfortable – whatever the weather.
This year’s summer holiday period is quite unlike any other as many families choose to holiday right here in the UK as we continue to face travel limitations and concerns about venturing abroad. Also our dogs have become quite used to having us around 24/7 so you might feel less able to leave them behind this year. So if you are looking to enjoy a break in the UK with your dogs, what are your options and considerations?