Becoming a dog owner for the first time is exciting. Still, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in being the parent to a furry friend that you lose sight of the big responsibility that comes along with being a pet owner. 

Owning a puppy is fun, but it does come with challenges. It’s a good idea to research and prepare before bringing your puppy home to help avoid as many mistakes as possible. 

How Difficult Is It to Raise a Puppy?

It depends. Some people take one look at a cute furry friend and are instantly convinced that they’d be great dog parents. And most people are. But the truth is, owning a dog is hard work. So before taking the plunge to adopt a puppy, take a moment to look past the cuddles and the cute puppy eyes and take a closer look at what it really means to be a dog owner. 

Becoming a first-time dog owner can be difficult for several reasons:

  • Researching the breed of dog to adopt can be stressful. 
  • Training a dog takes time.
  • Caring for a dog can be exhausting. 
  • Dogs can test your patience as they adjust to their new environment and learn new people and animals. 
  • Owning a pet can be expensive. 
  • You may have to dog-proof your home. 
  • Dogs can have bad behavior sometimes, just like humans.
  • If you travel frequently, you may have to consider making arrangements for your pet when you travel. 
  • Dogs can have unexpected medical emergencies.
  • Dogs need to be taken out, no matter what the weather’s like outside.
  • You’ll have to clean your home more often as a pet owner. 

Having a clear understanding of challenges like these is important when making the decision to become a dog owner. 

Read on to learn about the 10 most common mistake a new dog owner makes

Ready to reserve your puppy? Get Started

What Are Some Common Mistakes New Dog Owners Make?

New dog owners can become easily overwhelmed, but that’s often because they failed to do a bit of research before making the decision to bring a new pet into the home. Save yourself some heartache and possible regret by investing some time learning about the process of becoming a dog owner and what to expect as your puppy grows and develops.

Here are some common mistakes new dog owners make:

1. Not Doing Enough Research

Choosing a puppy to add to your family is a big deal. That’s why the first step in Central Illinois Doodles’ reservation process is research. You want to ensure the puppy you select is a good fit for your family.  

Doing proper research allows you to learn more about various traits of the puppy, which will help you determine if it’s the right puppy for you. You can learn more about the puppy’s diet, life span, body language, potential illnesses and other characteristics to help you decide if you can adequately care for the puppy for years to come. Some additional questions to consider include:

  • Is the dog child-friendly?
  • Will the dog fit in with all my family members?
  • Should I get a puppy or an adult dog?
  • What lifetime costs can I expect to incur with this dog?
  • Is there enough room in my home for this dog?
  • Does this dog fit with my current lifestyle?
  • What kind of grooming will this dog require?
  • Does this dog’s personality fit mine?

2. Not Budgeting Accordingly

A common mistake many first-time dog owners make is underestimating the expenses of owning a dog. The cost of caring for a puppy can add up very quickly. Food, training, grooming, veterinarian visits, medications, treats and toys can take a toll on a budget if owners don’t plan for them in advance. New pet owners often run into trouble because they don’t consider costs outside of those associated with adopting the puppy.  

3. Picking the Wrong Dog

Many dog owners admit to choosing a dog quickly rather than learning about the dog’s personality traits and temperament. Some dog owners have even admitted to choosing dogs based on looks rather than considering the potential size. 

As a first-time pet parent, take time to learn as much as possible about the puppy you want to adopt. This will help you avoid some common pitfalls that can lead puppy owners to regret their decision. 

4. Skipping Dog Training

Obedience school not only teaches your puppy to obey commands, but also helps establish a bond between you and your new pet. Skipping obedience classes is one of the mistakes dog owners make that causes both the puppy and the dog owner to miss out on many benefits. 

Many dog owners make the additional mistake of thinking they can train their puppy themselves instead of hiring a professional dog trainer. However, most dogs really benefit from professional training. While it’s possible to train your dog yourself, hiring a professional may save you some time and frustration. 

In addition to obedience training, you should also invest in crate training for your puppy.

5. Not Being Consistent With Rules

Not being consistent with rules is another common mistake dog owners make. It can be tempting to allow your cute new puppy to run wild in your home as everyone gets to know the new family member. However, failure to maintain consistency with house rules can lead to trouble in the long run. Be consistent if you want a well-behaved new pup. For example, if you’re not going to allow your puppy to sit on your furniture, establish and maintain that rule early. Going back and forth confuses the puppy and makes it difficult for it to adhere to your expectations. 

You’ll also want to speak to a professional when you’re choosing your animal companion to make sure you’re choosing one known for good behavior. Central Illinois Doodles is a family-owned breeder of Bernedoodles and Goldendoodles. We’ve worked hard to build our reputation as one of the best doodle breeders in the Midwest. Take a look at the puppies available on our website and let us know if you have questions. 

Learn the tricks you need to not let your new puppy make your house his playpen…

First though, you need to reserve your Bernedoodle or Goldendoodle…

6. Lack of Socialization

Protecting your new puppy is a natural instinct, but not allowing your dog to socialize can be detrimental to its development. Dogs need to be around other people, dogs and animals to learn to behave appropriately. If you don’t have other pets in the home, it’s very likely your dog won’t get to see many dogs if you’re not intentional about it.

Puppies that don’t socialize enough tend to struggle with aggression, fear and other bad behaviors that may cause problems for owners over time. Find ways to expose your new puppy to other humans and pets as often as you can to help them learn appropriate behaviors. Take walks outside, schedule play dates with other pet parents or visit a dog park to make sure your puppy is getting proper socialization.

7. Skipping Visits to the Veterinarian

Regular visits to the veterinarian are important to maintaining your puppy’s health. Many new puppy owners underestimate the number of times puppies must be taken to the vet for vaccinations and checkups. Maintaining your pet’s medical care is important, but it can be expensive.

As a part of your research, include your new puppy’s routine wellness exams, and remember that those recommendations may vary by breed. It’s also very likely the number of required well visits may decrease as your dog gets older. 

Don’t forget to factor in vet visits that may occur due to illnesses or injuries. You’ll also want to make sure your pets are fully vaccinated to prevent diseases.

8. Improper Feeding

Knowing what and how often to feed a puppy is another mistake first-time dog owners make. Owners sometimes fail to educate themselves on the diet their dog needs to develop properly, making the mistake of feeding their dog human food when that’s often not the best choice.

Feeding your dog the wrong dog food or feeding too often (or too little) can lead to obesity, diarrhea, pancreatitis or other painful conditions that can be detrimental to your dog’s health and costly to you. Making good decisions about feeding can keep you from having an unhealthy pooch.

9. Lack of Exercise

Just as humans need exercise and activity, so do dogs. Many new dog owners forget to factor in time to take dogs on walks or extra time outside to run and play with humans and other dogs. Fresh air is good for the dog’s mental stimulation and can also help with aggressive behaviors. Additionally, regular exercise helps prevent health problems. The amount of exercise your dog will need varies depending on the breed and size, so do your research to ensure you’re planning for adequate exercise for your new furry friend.

10. Forgetting To Microchip Your Puppy

Adopting a puppy is a big investment. Millions of dog owners across the United States report a lost or stolen pet each year. Microchipping your pet is a way to help locate your pet should it get lost or stolen. In general, microchipping is a safe process that involves implanting a tiny device under your pet’s skin so its location can be tracked. The process is quick and simple and could make all the difference in your pet being returned safely if you get separated for any reason. 

Are You Ready to Become a Dog Owner?

If you’re still reading, you must be ready to make that leap to become a puppy owner. Most common mistakes that result in bad behaviors can be avoided with research and preparation before committing to the serious responsibility of dog ownership.

If you’re ready to get your first dog, let Central Illinois Doodles help you with the process of getting a new canine companion. Contact us to see if one of our puppies is perfect for you and your family.