We love to be loved unconditionally and it is said that one can not experience unconditional love unless he/she owns a dog. Dogs are loyal, lovable and always by your side.Though the prospect of bringing a furry friend home, sounds exciting, it brings in lot of responsibilities.

In order to guide you through this, here is a Pre-parenting Checklist for you. These are helpful to make sure you enjoy a hassle free parenting experience and have a healthy relationship with your dog.


1)Be Sure Before Welcoming a New Member:

You certainly want the love and companionship, the security and loyalty that a dog can give you. But before you get your dog, think about why you want to do so. You want a dog only as a companion or do you want to take part in Dog shows in future? Would you like to have a highly trained protection dog ? It is important to be specific and clear with your requirements. Some people have large breed dogs to show off their social status. Some get one because their kid ( who obviously  is completely unaware of the responsibilities involved ) saw a puppy somewhere and now insists to get a puppy to play with. This doesn’t work out very well. Because it can be difficult for both dog and owners to stay committed to each other’s needs. Being sure in your mind should be on top of your Pre-parenting Checklist


2)First Decide whether it’s worth it:

Owning a dog is definitely not a cake walk. It involves a lot of time, energy and commitment from you. And it’s not cheap either. First, there’s the upfront cost of getting and registering your dog. You will also need to bear with the cost of food, and regular vet check-ups. Just like human beings,as dogs grow older, they tend to need more of your attention  and time. Overall, owning a dog is a big responsibility, and involves physical, emotional and financial investment. You need to decide whether the rewards outweigh the costs. But if you’re a first-time owner, this can be difficult to do. Take an informed decision before you get into it.

Decide whether it is worth


3)Do Your Own Research:

Without first-hand experience, it can be difficult to figure out everything that  it takes to own and take care of a dog. Luckily, we have the internet! All the information you need is out there, all you have to do is find it. Also, speak to friends, family, or even acquaintances who have dogs, and ask them for their experiences. Find out the basics of dog behaviour, how they think, and how to go about training them. It is also important to decide what kind of dog is best for you. Each individual dog will have its own personality, and different breeds have different sets of shared characteristics.

4)Be Patient:

Like I said before, having a dog is no cake walk. It is important that First Time Dog Owners realise that apart from being  cute and cuddly, dogs do need to be brought up properly. They are born only with instinct, everything else needs to be taught to them with patience. And like with a child, expecting a dog to miraculously behave perfectly and know all the right things without being taught is unrealistic. Without a patient training, a dog’s instincts will assert themselves in ways that you probably wouldn’t want. The protective instincts of German shepherds can turn into aggression towards strangers, the retrieving instincts of Labradors can make them bring dead animals into the house and so on.


5)Some Basic Trainings:

Once you get your pup, he or she will need to be potty trained, which most dogs learn quite quickly. Allow some time for the puppy to get accustomed to this new habit. Expect some instances of house-breaking during the training phase. Do not get upset or scold your puppy for a few mishaps.

Something that is harder to do is stop them from chewing up your shoes and furniture. Chewing is a way for them to relieve the itch of their teeth growing through their gums. Be warned, every pup will go through this phase to some degree. Buy some sturdy chew toys, keep your favourite shoes out of reach, and cover up those chewed up sofa legs as best you can later.

6)Playful Bites:

Pups also tend to bite playfully. They don’t know that your skin can be damaged by their sharp little teeth. They need to be taught to stop doing this, but it needs to be done gently. And be prepared: pups can take up to three years to grow out of their rowdy and unruly behaviour. Have patience.

You might want to consider adopting an adult dog instead of a puppy if you are too particular about this. Lots of shelters house both purebred and mixed breed dogs that have been abandoned by their owners. These may come with some emotional baggage, but they’ll probably not need to be potty trained and will have outgrown their chewing phase.

Be Patient

5)Be Firm, but Gentle:

An important part of training your dog is to show him or her what’s allowed and what isn’t. I’ve seen that rewarding dogs for good behaviour is more likely to show lasting results than punishing bad behaviour. Usually, all that’s needed is a sharp ‘no!’ when your dog’s out of line. That snaps him or her out of the state of mind that’s causing the behaviour. And rewarding your dog with affection and a treat when they do something right will go a long way to make sure they do it again.

First Time Dog Owners may think that they have no choice but to smack their dog. However, according to experts and trainers, it is not advisable at all. The sound, more than the pain, is what acts as a deterrent. Never hit your dog around the head, beat them continuously or inflict significant pain on him or her. Not only is it cruel, it can make your dog fearful. And a fearful dog is more likely to bite in self-defence. If your dog constantly does things that you don’t want despite your best efforts, consider that he or she might just be bored and frustrated. Which brings me to my next point.


6)Get Ready to Stay Active:

Every dog needs exercise. Without exercise, your dog won’t just be unhealthy, he or she might get bored and destructive. In my experience, most bad behaviour in dogs stem from not getting adequate exercise. Imagine how frustrated you would be if you had to sit around all day with nothing to do! It is recommended that you take your dog for a walk for at least 15 minutes every day. But the good news is that you can give your dog just as much exercise inside the house. A good game of ‘fetch’ will have him or her tired and happy in no time. And you can come up with your own games at home to keep your dog physically and mentally stimulated.

Stay active

7)Get Family and Friends Involved:

Bringing a dog into your home is like suddenly having a new member of the family. Just like a family member, they’ll share your home, your time and your resources. To make sure you integrate your dog properly, involve the rest of the family too. If it’s only you who feeds, grooms, trains and otherwise cares for your dog, he or she will treat other family members differently. Your dog might not see them as part of its ‘pack’. Instead, involve everyone in the immediate family in training and caring for him or her. That way, your dog will love and protect everyone equally. Make sure that everyone train and correct your dog’s behaviour in the same way, or your dog will get confused.

Sometimes, a dog that isn’t used to seeing other people in the home can be fearful or aggressive. A great way to get your dog comfortable with other people is to regularly get friends and other family members to meet him or her, both inside the home and outside. And if you can get your dog to meet other dogs in neutral settings like parks, that will keep him or her from becoming fearful or aggressive towards other dogs as well.

Family involved

8)Be Prepared for a Curious Baby:

Just like human babies, dogs are very curious as they grow up. They would want to explore your entire house and be familiar with every unique smell and touch. Be careful to not have anything on the floor that may tempt the dog to chew on. It not only  may lead to a health emergency for your dog but also may cause you a financial loss. Even If anything unpleasant happens despite that, please do not scold or hit your dog in grief. This may damage the bond between the two of you. They are as innocent as babies and it is your responsibility to make sure no such object is accessible to your pet. So make sure to be very mindful about such instances and be patient and tolerant with your dog.

Curious Dog


Lastly, Please do not abandon your dog.

The number of dogs abandoned at shelters or simply left on the street is increasing every year. Most pet dogs do not survive on their own as they  do not develop the ability to fend for themselves in a domestic environment. The ones that do, then contribute to the growing number of strays on the streets. Most shelters are overburdened and underfunded, and are forced to euthanize dogs  due to lack of adequate resources.

Remember Every dog can give their owner the affection and loyalty they need, regardless of what breed it is.

Wish you a very Happy Pawrenting!


You can refer to this video  for more tips for First Time Dog Owners.


FAQs for First Time Dog Owners:


Why should I consider adopting a dog?

Answer– You should always consider adopting a dog first as there are lots of abandoned dogs out there in shelter homes. Sometimes the dog owners abandon their pets once the ‘cuteness’ factor is ‘reduced’ according to them as the dog grows up. This is more common with large dog breeds. Isn’t it heartbreaking to witness such a tragic end when man’s loyal friends are treated like this? If we can help by taking care of those poor souls who lost the trust due to abandonment, we should consider that for sure.



Are dogs long time commitments?

Answer– Bringing home a dog is surely a commitment for  lifetime. Taking care of a dog is no less than taking care of a member of your family. The purpose of this Pre-parenting Checklist is to remind you of what all responsibilities lies ahead of you once you get home a fur baby. Do not go for it unless you are fully prepared.