I’ve recently had the pleasure of bringing home my first dog, a seven week old Golden Retriever named Bruce Wayne who I call B-Dubs for short. My girlfriend and I took 6 months doing our research on breeders, making sure we picked out the right one, visiting various people, asking questions and bordering on annoying to make sure we got the perfect pup.
The day finally came where we got to take home our new baby. We loaded the car with B-Dubs and his blanket ready to make our drive back home, then it hit us. Uh oh… WHAT NOW?!
I’m sure I’m not alone in this panicked, first-time puppy parent feeling. So, I’ve put together my own personal choices of the best online resources for dog owners to help you avoid this same feeling I had.
From picking out the right type of dog breed for your family, to training your new addition, the American Kennel Club website is full of valuable information. Their organization is most well known for their registration process for purebred dogs but the website is devoted to so much more than that.
The section I like best about this site is their extensive info on every breed imaginable. Select a breed you’re curious about and you’re presented with a brief history of why the breed came to be how it is and a short excerpt to decide if this is the breed of dog for you. I see many people who get their dog then say months later that “If I had know this dog would be like this, I would have never gotten it’
Don’t fall into this category. Do your research. Find the perfect dog for you and/or your family.
The online dog owner’s guide is just that, a guide, from start to end, on owning a dog. Here, you’ll find the best collection of articles online that will make sure you’re informed through every stage of your puppy’s life.
My favorite section, that ultimately saved me from panicking once I got my pup home, is titled “He’s here! Now what?“. My thoughts exactly. This section helped me know what to expect when my new guy entered my home from the first minutes of exploration, to first potty time and first training.
I can tell this is a critical resource that I will be coming back to as B-Dubs starts to grow and mature.
It is inevitable as a first time puppy parent that the first time the dog starts to throw up, you’re going to flip out. I did. I immediately thought “Oh no! My dog has Parvo!”
I started rushing around trying to find numbers for my vet, calling the breeder and asking my friends if their dogs had ever done this. Looking back, it was just an upset stomach but I didn’t know the difference.
Enter PetMD. Had I known about this site beforehand, I could have simply typed his symptoms into their large database of everything related to your pet’s health. I was presented with a large list of issues that my dog could have, all of which had way worse symptoms than my dog currently had.
I realized very quickly that I was overreacting and now I know where to go if I have any questions related to its health.
I am a very visual learner. There are only a few things that I can pick up from reading article after article about puppy training and becoming a puppy parent. That’s why I love Eukanuba’s web site.
They present you with the standard articles for picking out your puppy, preparing your home for your new addition and other important information but where they shine is in their.
I was able to sit back and watch a video on what I’m supposed to do with my puppy which my fellow visual learners will appreciate. They also make a handy reference to go back to because there’s no way you will remember this info the first time through.
A few other places to check out videos like this would be YouTube and . When I searched ExpertVillage for dog training, I was presented with over 8,000 videos.
After I brought B-Dubs home, I found out very quickly that my free time has been quickly depleted. All of the extra duties of owning a dog, although fun, are time consuming. Going out to each of these sites and searching for articles and then taking the time to read them may just be more time than you find yourself with after having a puppy.
Purina has recognized this and created their Complete Puppy Care Program. Entering this program is as simple as entering in your email and some simple info about your new puppy.
They take the guess work out of finding the right information by sending you an email each month with links to helpful videos and articles that are specific to your puppies age. You will also get access to their entire library of videos to help address most questions you’d have about your puppy.
They also provide a handy iPhone application to take with you on the road in case you aren’t around your computer, like say, out at a dog park. (maybe meeting up with your friends you met on ZooToo)
I don’t know where I’d be without these five resources. I have already ran to them multiple times each to answer all of my first time puppy parenting questions because trust me, there are a ton! Good luck with your new addition! Don’t have a new addition? You can still see plenty of cute animals on the net at any of these six sites Simon mentioned.
Have you found a great resource for dog owners? Let us know about it in the comments.