20 Ultimate Best Tips For New Dog Parents

Dogs are a great addition to a family. But trying to learn everything you need to know as a new dog parent can be a bit daunting. Especially if you’ve never been a dog owner. Like with anything in life, it helps to do a little research. Otherwise, we end up learning from our mistakes. In this article, I’ll share with you some of my most helpful articles for new dog parents. I’ve basically done a lot of your research. Yep, I’m a research nut. So, sit back and enjoy reading about some of the things you need to know about your dogs in this ultimate tips guide for new dog parents. 

*Updated: October 23, 2023

new dog parents take their rescue to the lake
disclaimer note
Budget Tip:

A new dog is a big commitment. Preparation is key. When you're prepared you can avoid the pitfalls that may arise later on as your pup settles into life with your family. This is how you can save money or get added value. I'm a firm believer in preparation. It added value to my adoption of Henry. I was able to get him into the vet immediately. That was huge. The vet found Henry had a chip, which his foster said he did have yet. Thus, that saved both Henry and me. I just needed to update the information.

What if I’m still looking for a dog?

If you’re still trying to find your furry friend, then I recommend checking out your local shelter. You can also look online at different pet organizations in your area. Or check out these fabulous dog rescue sites:

Also, you may want to check out this article on finding the dog that fits you best.

Additionally, you may want to look at this article on how to ways to find your future dog.

1. Dog Budget

Did you create a budget before you got your new dog? If not, don’t worry about it. In this article, I show you how to create a dog budget. This is really critical to know, especially if times get tough. It will allow you to know if you can cut and minimize anything on your dog budget. Remember if you don’t know it, you can’t do anything about it. As the old saying goes, “knowledge is power.” In this article, you’ll master how to build a dog budget whether you have a new dog or if you’ve had your dog for many years. 

2. Veterinarian 

Have you found a veterinarian for your new dog? Do you know how to find a vet? In this article, I walk you through the process of finding a vet, including the questions to ask and places to look. Some of the questions will surprise you, but they are essential in order to find a veterinarian that is a good fit for you and your new dog. 

3. Dog walker

You may not think you need a dog walker. But, you may be surprised. Sometimes life happens in the most unexpected way and you need someone to walk your dog. There may not be any family or friends available. This is why it’s important to have a dog walker in your book of contacts. In this article, I guide you through the process of finding a great dog walker. I tell you the secret questions to ask and things to know. 

4. Doggie daycare

Again, you may think this is not necessary. Doggie daycare is good for your dog because it will give your pup skills you can’t provide by yourself. He/she will be able to play with other dogs in a controlled environment. Plus, it gives you a day to do things you might not be able to do if you need to worry about walking or taking care of your dog. You just never know when life will happen and you will need a doggie daycare. My dog, Henry, personally loves a day at doggie daycare. It’s like going to Disneyland for him. In this article, I show you how to find a great doggie daycare.

5. Naming your dog

You may still be pondering and testing names. However, do you know that a dog can have a say in the naming process? In this article, I show you how my dog, Henry, named himself and how your dog and do the same. 

6. Dog park rules

You’ve probably been to the dog park already, but do you know there are unwritten dog park rules? Again, you may be surprised to learn about them. In this article, I expose these rules so you and your dog will rock the dog park.

7. Dog bark meaning

Your dog might be barking and you are wondering if there is any meaning to the barks. Yes, there is meaning. In this article, I talk about the different meanings of a dog barking. 

8. Dog bonding

You might want to know how to bond with your new dog. In this article, I walk you through some action steps to bond now with your dog. 

9. Dog teeth cleaning

If you are like me, you might be dreading the thought of brushing your dog’s teeth. Don’t worry. There are other, very effective, options. In this article, I share how I’ve been cleaning my dog’s teeth since I adopted him in 2017. He has not needed a professional cleaning yet, which is the goal.

10. Smelly dog

Sooner or later your dog will be smelly. What can you do about a smelly dog? How can you contain it and remedy it without having to give your dog a bath? In this article, I address these smelly dog questions. 

11. Dog groomer

Certain dogs will need to have their coats cut regularly, such as Cockapoos, Yorkies, and Shih Tzu. Other dogs may just need a bath that’s easier done by someone else periodically. This is where a dog groomer steps in to help. In this article, I walk you through how to find a great dog groomer, including the questions to ask and where to look. You will be surprised by some of these questions. 

12. At home dog massage

This is a great way to bond with your dog. It’s always a perfect way to know how your dog is feeling and if there’s anything hurting him/her. In this article, I walk you through the process of giving your dog a simple at home dog massage. 

13. Winter activities for dog

If you got your dog during the winter, you might be stumped by how to entertain your dog. In this article, I offer fun activities you and your dog will enjoy during the colder winter months. 

14. Great summer exercises with your dog

Summer is a perfect time to get fit with your dog. However, you can easily get in a rut with walks or hikes. In this article, I reveal out-of-the-ordinary exercises you can do with your dog that will energize both you and your dog and have you looking forward to more. 

15. Play with a dog who doesn’t like toys

You may have discovered after you got your new dog that he/she doesn’t care for dog toys. This isn’t that uncommon. The question then becomes how can you engage your dog in play without toys. In this article, I talk about this and use my dog, Henry, as an example. 

16. Dog travel checklist

You might be dreaming of traveling with your new dog. However, you could be surprised to know that it takes a bit of planning. In this article, I walk you through how to properly plan ahead for a trip with your dog. I even include a printable dog travel checklist. 

17. Aggressive dog

Are you worried your dog might be aggressive? Maybe you are not sure what to do? Don’t fret. There are a few things to do. First, find out if your dog is aggressive and what are the triggers. In this article, I walk you through the science and the current recommendations. 

18. Colorblindness in dogs

Worried your dog can’t see any colors? Not sure what your dog sees? You will be shocked to learn about your dog’s vision. It’s much different than you imagine. In this article, I describe what your dog sees. Plus, there’s a quick test to give your dog, which allows you to discover your dog’s favorite color. Spoiler…my dog, Henry’s favorite color is red. 

19. Dog severe anxiety

Does your new dog show signs of anxiety? Or maybe your new dog has separation anxiety? Are you worried about how to solve the issue? I was in your exact shoes. But I found a cure for my dog, Henry, and I couldn’t be more satisfied. In this article, I share with you what has been working so well for Henry. It’s a remedy I hope will work as well for your dog. 

20. Dog backyard

You may be looking at your yard and thinking it’s just not dog friendly. That’s okay. You can create a dog-friendly backyard on a budget. I know, it sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. In this article, I walk you through the process of creating your dream dog backyard.

Bonus dog parenting tip

This is one more tip, I always share with dog parents, whether they are new or established. This is dog training. It’s key for great dog ownership. It gives your dog a sense of self-esteem while building a better relationship between you and your dog and giving your dog better skills. My dog comes to life when he knows we are going to train for anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s a trick or working on an obedience issue. He thrives in a training environment. In this article, I share how to train your dog on your time and for free!

You may be thinking that going to an in-person dog training class is out of the question in our current environment. I always say, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I encourage you to check out the many dog training classes on youtube. They are free. Some dog trainers are even offering online training classes. 

It doesn’t take a lot of time to get the benefit of dog training. However, if you don’t do it, then it is crushing to the dog and your relationship. 

If your dog is already well-trained, then learn a new trick. There’s always something to learn. Think of it from your perspective. When your brain is engaged in learning something, you do feel more alive or more bored and disengaged? The same holds true for your dog. 

Related articles:

Summary of 20 Ultimate Best Tips For New Dog Parents

While it can be exciting and fun to become a new dog parent, it can also be daunting not knowing what is needed for this new dog. It may seem easy looking from the outside in, but it does take a bit of work to have a great bond with your dog. Your family needs to do a little bit of work. But oh my, is the payoff big! The research for some of the needed things can take a bit of work, such as looking for a veterinarian or dog walk. However, I’ve consolidated all the questions to ask and things to look for each person. I’ve even included how to obtain your dream doggie backyard. 

new dog parents look lovingly at their new black and white dog

What sort of things do you plan to do with your new dog? Have you come up with a name for your dog? 

About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

2 thoughts on “20 Ultimate Best Tips For New Dog Parents”

  1. I’m not a pet person and fear dogs. Won’t be having them as pets haha. But your content for dog owners and pet lovers in general is very thorough and helpful. I didn’t know most of the things I read in your two posts recently. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger

    • Oh, I’m so sorry you have fear of dogs. I had a young student once who was very scared of dogs. She meet, my dog, Henry and discovered that not all dogs are scary. I really hope that will happen for you as well. I really appreciate your feedback. Sending you hugs! 💞


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