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5 Essential Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

5 Essential Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

Taking your first dog home is probably one of the most exciting moments of your life. Not only have you given this pup the awesome new home it deserves, but you’ve also acquired a furry best friend and partner in crime who will stick by your side through thick and thin. Although you’re currently in what’s much like a honeymoon phase for new pet parents, you’ll quickly realize that there is a lot more that goes into providing for this adorable little ball of fur than you might have thought.

Owning a dog is a big commitment that comes with some big responsibilities. This little creature now relies on you to be the sole provider of care, nutrition, entertainment, and love for the rest of its life. Although there’s a lot of work that goes into your newfound role as a pet parent, the benefits will far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

Here are a few tips to help you get your relationship with your new dog started off on the right foot!

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1. Pay attention to feeding guidelines

Many assume that you can take a random approach to feeding your dog. The problem with feeding your dog at random is that you risk the chance of under- or overfeeding your pup, which could lead to healthcare issues in the future.

To ensure that you’re feeding your dog the proper amount each day, check out an online guide to find the feeding requirements for your pet according to its specific needs. Pet Food Chat offers up an excellent guide that discusses pet food types and proper feeding portions that can help you come up with a healthy diet plan for your dog.

2. Start potty training ASAP

Although it may be tempting to get a bit lax in your potty training schedule as your new dog gets acquainted with your home, it is absolutely essential that you create a potty training regime and stick to it – especially in the developmental phases of your dog’s relationship with you and your home.

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If you haven’t potty trained a pet before, you’ll want to check out a guide or two to make sure you create an effective training schedule. Pet MD and The Humane Society both have pretty solid guides for housetraining a new puppy.

3. Enlist help when necessary

Sometimes one of the most difficult things for humans to admit is that we need a little help. Although you might think you can manage most challenges your new dog presents, some situations might require a little help from an outside source.

If you’re having trouble with the housebreaking process or are finding that your pup is destroying your house while you’re gone, you might want to look into hiring a pet sitter or a doggy daycare service to help you out. You can use locator sites like FindDoggyDaycare.com or PetSit.com to find pet care help in your area.

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4. Introduce your pup to other humans and animals

Socializing your new dog will seriously benefit you later. By introducing your dog to new people and pets now, you significantly increase its ability to have healthy interactions with others at parks and guests in your home later on.

Many choose to dive right into the socializing process by taking their pets to a park to socialize with other humans and animals right off the bat. However, experts recommend creating a socializing plan to make the process safer and more effective. Nylabone offers a dog training guide that can help you build an effective socializing strategy for your dog.

5. Respect the leash law

Few things are more fun than watching your dog run around and entertain itself for hours on end. Although it’s plenty fine to let your dog roam freely in a leashless dog park or in your own back yard, abiding by the leash laws where they are enforced is extremely important when it comes to ensuring the safety of yourself, your dog, and other people and other animals around you.

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If simply stating that leashing your dog when and where necessary will help you protect yourself and others isn’t enough to convince you to keep your dog on a leash sometimes, I encourage you to check out Vet Changes World’s breakdown of the top five reasons you should leash your dog where the leash law is enforced.

Now that you’ve got the important guidelines down, it’s time to get to the fun part which is watching your dog grow and become accustomed to its new home. If you have any questions or perhaps a tip you’d like to share with other readers, post away in the comments below!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via static.pexels.com

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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