How To Bond With Your New Dog

{Wearing: Bathing Suit: Hampton’s One Piece c/o Modcloth. Hat: You Me and the Sea c/o Abaco. Photographed By Jorge Camaraza}

It’s no secret I love animals. This is me with my bestie, Shadow. I adore her. I recently got to spend time in Turks and Caicos with dogs available for adoption, too, but more about that to come. If you’re thinking about bringing a four-legged friend into your home, just got a pet or are wonder what pet ownership entails, read up:

Welcome to the exciting world of pet ownership! Now that you have your pup, you’re likely feeling thrilled to have found your new best friend… or maybe not. While pets and their owners often form a strong bond as soon as they meet, sometimes it’s not so easy. If you’re surprised to find that your dog is timid and shy – or even aggressive – around you, here are some tips that may help.

Give him plenty of attention.

As long as your dog seems receptive, give him or her plenty of attention. In fact, during the first few days together, you may feel like you’re going overboard with love and affection, but your dog is barely warming up to you. Offer your pup treats and plenty of petting in the early days. When you’re feeding or petting your pet, make sure you make eye contact and talk soothingly to your pet. You and your home are completely new to them, so they need all the affection they can get before they’ll feel at home.

Make time for fun together.

You’ll need to schedule plenty of “fun” time for your pet if you want to bond. Spend time hiking or fishing together, or just take a long stroll at your local park each day. With each new excursion, your pet will feel closer and safer than before. The amount of fun time will vary from one pet to the next, but it’s good to shoot for at least 30 minutes together each day. If your pet is high energy, they may need more. If they’re shy, they may need a little less. Just pay attention to your pet’s cues and go from there.

Be consistent.

Your new pet needs to know what to expect if you want them to feel safe. That’s why you should always be consistent. Try to set a schedule and stick to it from Day 1. Walk your dog, feed your dog and groom your dog at the same times each day. Also, try to be consistent and firm with your training. If you say “no” to an action once, make sure you say “no” each and every time after. Consistency is key to making a dog feel loved and protected.

Stay calm and lower your expectations.

Don’t expect too much from your pet in the beginning. Your dog is new to being your pet, and he doesn’t know what you expect from him yet. When your pup makes a mistake, be firm but don’t overreact. While you should spend as much time together as possible, also realize that your dog may need a little alone time to relax and recharge. Give him space when he needs it by reading his body language. If he averts his eyes and tries to retreat from the room, give him a little time before you attempt to socialize again.

Keep your pet healthy.

You may be tempted to skip vet visits for a timid pup, but it’s important that you keep your pup healthy from the start. Regular checkups and vaccinations make sure your pet stays well. You should also give your pet preventive flea and tick medications like Nexgard. A product like Nexgard will help to improve your dog’s health and prevent any flea and tick infestations that may occur.

With plenty of love, affection, attention and consistency, you’ll form a lasting bond with your dog over time. Pretty soon, he will be your best friend and you’ll forget all about the first few days of worry.

— Lannie, writer for Allivet

Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications, all of which can be purchased online.