Getting your first dog is definitely an experience. Whether you bought, adopted, inherited, or found your dog lost and shivering … getting used to sharing your home and even your life with your very first pet is a challenge. It can be the hardest thing you’ve ever done, but ultimately the most rewarding.
Your dog is your best friend, but before that your dog is your baby. Owners have to deal with the craziness that comes with trying to transition into a relationship with their new dog.
1.) The First Sleep
The first night with your dog is often a struggle. And that’s putting it mildly. Sleeping in your home is a new experience for your dog, and sometimes that means that no actual sleeping happens. That first night with all the crying and whining and you saying please be quiet I need to sleep is probably a pet owner’s least favorite memory. Regardless, it’s a challenge that you must overcome. If you can survive sleep deprivation at the hands (or paws) of a small four legged fur ball, then you’re on your way to a very special friendship!
2.) The First Cuddle
With negatives, come positives. And cuddling is definitely one of the positives that come with being a dog parent. After the first night you and your dog will be tired enough that you’ll probably end up cuddling for an afternoon nap at some point. It’s a moment of pure togetherness that begins the formation of the bond with your pet. That first cuddle is one of the most amazing moments of having a dog, and you’re reminded of it with each cuddle that follows
3.) The First Mess
Walking in to that gigantic mess is one of those stomach dropping feelings that no one particularly enjoys. It may take some time to get over whatever pillows, shoes, clothes, or pieces of furniture your dog chewed through … but you will. And the sooner you accept that dogs are dogs, and that dogs make messes, the easier it will be. Remember, patience is a virtue. Even the cutest of the cute dogs make mistakes.
4.) The First Bath
Movies like to paint this experience as pure fun, but that’s not always the case. Just like children, dogs don’t awlays enjoy bath time. And sometimes that can mean a trail of soapywater throughout the house. But this struggle is just another opportunity to earn your dog’s trust. Your struggles will pay off!
5.) The First Separation Anxiety
Leaving your dog alone for the first time is heartbreaking. You feel as if you’re their whole world. What are they going to do without you? Will they cry all day? Will they run away? Will they destroy the other side of the couch? Chances are your pup is going to spend the day sleeping and waiting for you to get home. Breathe. A little separation is a good thing.
6.) The First (Sometimes Uncoordinated) Leash Walk
The first walk can be a little challenging, especially if your new dog isn’t used to a leash. But don’t worry, your pup will eventually get the hang of it. Getting your dog on the leash for a first time is an adventure. The area you walk them in will undoubtedly be very new to them, so you get to experience it through their eyes, as you both trudge along the sidewalk. This is what being a pet parent is all about. Watching, loving, and adjusting your life to the needs of your new best friend.
7.) Successfully Teaching Them Their First Trick
They’re learning! And you’re helping them. Whether it’s learning to sit, shake hands, or even something as simple as learning to wait by the door when they have to use the bathroom …it’s all proof that you’re a teacher. This is one of those proud parent moments that sometimes calls for a photo, as well as a cheerful facebook post. Enjoy it. There are plenty more to come!
8.) The First Vet Trip
The first trip to the vet is the ultimate test of trust. No dog particularly enjoys going to see their doctor, but it is necessary. Being by your pup’s side and helping him your to stay calm during his first trip to the vet is an experience. A loud, chaotic, and sometimes messy experience. Don’t fret, your vet is used to this, and will help you along the way. Plus, it’ll only take a treat or two to get back on your dog’s good side.
9.) The First Introduction
Whether it’s your parents, significant other or even best friend … introducing your new dog to the important people in your life is one of the best pet firsts. Your dog tends to sense when people are important to you, and therefore will love them as much as you do. Watching your dog become best friends with your best friend is definitely a moment that may call for tissues.
10.) The First Love
Saying I love you is not unusual for most dog owners. It’s just a common phrase. But that first moment where you can look into your dog’s eyes and feel the unconditional love is a powerful one. No matter what shoes they chew or how late they keep you up … this is your dog and you are your dog’s human. It’s an amazing experience, so buckle up because it’s an awesome ride.