First Time Dog Owner Guide

Welcoming a new dog to your family is always a big deal. It doesn’t matter if he is your first dog or your next dog; we know every home-at-last experience is unique and maybe even overwhelming for both of you.

As you settle in together, you’ll form a bond through everyday things like neighborhood walks, behind-the-ear rubs and sharing the sofa. Proper attention to your dog’s health is another way to show your love. By focusing on how we as dog owners can help protect against threats that distress and harm our pets, we can make a positive impact on a lifetime of health and happiness together.

Bayer dog with first time owner

It’s the little things

What you don’t see can still affect your dog. Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes may be tiny, but just one bite from the wrong one can cause discomfort or even pass diseases, some of which come with lasting difficulties. It doesn’t matter if she’s a puppy, a senior or mischievous teen, exposure can happen at any age and in a wide range of environments.

  • Fleas can cause flea allergy dermatitis (FAD), an allergic reaction that can lead to constant scratching, severe itching and hair loss
  • Heartworms can grow to be a foot long and invade the heart and lungs
  • Sarcoptic mange, caused by a specific mite that can burrow under the skin, can lead to intense itching, hair loss and lesions

Make it routine

It’s not too early to establish a wellness routine to stay ahead of flea, tick, mosquito and heartworm issues that your dog may encounter. When you’re making your new dog shopping list, select prevention and treatment products that best fit your dog’s lifestyle. Then create reminders for ongoing protection that help you both more fully enjoy your lives together.

The right fit

Collars, topicals, chewables, sprays and shampoos. New dog owners have many options to guard against fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and heartworms. While all can be effective, none will work if they don’t get the chance! Proper application and administration makes all the difference. Your preferred prevention method should make sense for you and your dog.

  • Collars: As simple as wearing a collar, this is an easy way to deliver the active ingredients needed to kill and/or repel fleas and ticks. Collar technology has come a long way, with new innovations in design and delivery. Some collars provide continuous protection for months at a time, making this a good option for busy families. Choose a collar that is non-greasy and odorless so you’ll be more likely to keep it on your pet.
  • Topicals: Applied to the skin, monthly topicals can’t be lost, chewed or spit out. Topicals can also go the extra mile, providing broad-spectrum protection against external threats (think fleas, ticks, mosquitoes) and internal threats (think heartworms, hookworms, roundworms and mites). Check the product label for indicated parasites.
  • Chewables: Taken orally, chewables are convenient and easy to give. Keep an eye on your dog to make sure she doesn’t spit it out or throw it up after eating it.
  • Sprays and shampoos: More reactive than proactive, sprays and shampoos allow you to treat your dog as needed. See fleas? Kill the fleas. After you have killed fleas on your dog, choose a collar, topical or chewable preventive to help protect your dog from reinfestation.

A big impact

We love dogs and want the best for them. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and heartworms can cause discomfort and disease, and that is no way to spend your time together. Products that help offer parasite protection are easy to find and purchase, simple to administer and an effective defense against these troublesome trespassers. Best of all, it only takes a few moments to start making a difference in your dog’s life.


Related articles:
How Shelters Prepare Your Dog for Adoption
Compare Types of Flea Products
Tick Diseases in Dogs
Heartworms in Dogs