How to Be a Great New Pet Parent

How to Be a Great New Pet Parent

So, you’ve made the decision to adopt a kitten or puppy. This is an exciting time in your life, and while you may be nervous about how the first couple weeks are going to go, with the right preparations, you’ll do just fine. Try to think about what your future looks like for the next 10 or 15 years and what kind of dog you see fitting with your wants and needs. Having an idea of the kind of pet you picture and your lifestyle will ensure you get one that’s right for you. Below, we’ve listed four tips to help you be the best first-time pet parent.

Choose the right breed

If you’ve decided to adopt a cat, you don’t have to worry about the type of breed, but more the length of hair of the cat you’re thinking about bringing into your home. If you have allergies, you should consider buying a short-haired cat over a long-haired cat so you won’t be bothered by shedding.

Adopting a dog is a little bit trickier because you have to determine which breed would best suit your lifestyle. Do you have a big backyard and a lot of space? You should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise. If you live in an apartment with no backyard, a smaller dog that doesn’t require frequent walks may be better for you. If you have children, pick a dog that plays well with children and that isn’t aggressive.

Get your home ready

The safety of your new pet will be your number one priority, and in order to make this happen, you have to prepare your home. It’s important to put away any chemicals, plants, or food that could be toxic to a cat or dog. You’ll also need to tape any electrical wires to your baseboards to ensure they don’t get chewed on and your pet doesn’t electrocute himself. Look out for any small openings that a small puppy or kitten could crawl up into, like in your cabinets. If you see any, block them. You’ll also need to get on your hands and knees to try and look at the surroundings from the perspective of your new pet to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Additionally, go shopping. Your pet will need food and drinking bowls, puppy pads, a crate, scratching posts, a bed, a litter box, and toys. Put these items in visible areas for your new pet so they feel like your home is their home. And if you’re concerned about keeping your new pet from escaping the yard, you may need to put up a fence. Some people opt for an electric fence, which consists of wiring, a transmitter, and an energy source. Keep in mind, however, that the national average cost to install one is $846, so budget for this expense carefully.

Finally, prepare yourself for the mess. Accidents happen, even with older pets who are already house-trained. Pets also shed hair, drool slobber, track in mud and dirt, and get sick. A good vacuum and some pet-friendly cleaning products are a good way to start, but you should also budget for the occasional professional cleaning, especially if you have carpet or rugs that can trap messes and hold onto pet smells. Homeowners in Memphis, TN spend an average of $142 to have their carpets cleaned.

Make time for bonding

Bonding with your new pet is something you should always make time for. When you spend time with your kitten or puppy, they see you as their owner and start to feel more comfortable in your home. Bonding includes more than just petting and cuddling, especially if you have a new dog. With a puppy, you need to start training them on day one. With training, your dog will feel closer to you and respect you more. Training includes both for obedience and teaching new tricks. Remember to take your new puppy for frequent walks outside so that he can get some exercise.

Ensure they’re comfortable

If you’ve adopted a rescue pet, they may feel uncomfortable the first time you bring them around your home. That’s completely normal, and it’s because they’re used to a different kind of environment. It may take them days or weeks to get comfortable, and that’s OK. The last thing you want to do is force anything to happen if they hide under a bed or couch for awhile. Do you work long hours and don’t have time to run home during the day to let your new dog out for walks? Hire a dog walker so your dog gets the exercise he needs to stay happy and healthy. With a variety of mobile apps, like Fido, you can find a dog walker near you easily.

Photo: Unsplash

This is a guest post by Jessica Brody at

Our Story

Our Story

How we got started is quite unique a story worth being told. I (Corey) haven’t ever shared this publicly, with this much detail, so now it is on the record and here for your enjoyment.

With that being said, let me take you on a journey.

Back in 2015 after graduating high school and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life I started selling cars. This was a poor decision, but it led me to where I am today.  

On a slow day at work I was looking at protection dogs online. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted a personal protection dog. But when I saw the 30K price tag and was immediately discouraged.

In my discouragement, I started walking around the car lot and an idea that changed my life ran through my head. The simple thought was, “I can train my own protection dog.”

This one thought is the reason you are reading this right now. Because after thinking this I had another life changing thought, “I can become a dog trainer! That is what I can do with my life. I can train protection dogs!”

Immediately after thinking this, I called my dad, and told him what was racing through my head. And I had his full support!

After talking to my dad, I started looking up dog training companies here in town, I started calling these companies and trying to find a place to work with dogs. Most of them told me no. Even if they didn’t train protection dogs, I just knew I wanted to work with dogs.

But with persistence and a lot of determination, two days later I started working for who is now one of my biggest competitors as a dog-watcher.

Shortly after becoming a dog-watcher I started working at a kennel in Millington with some trainers for free. This means scooping dog poo, lol. I had to work in order to learn the art of training protection dogs.

Here is a pic of me geared up on my first day and ready to train at the kennel in Millington.


During this time I was spending about as much time as I could at this place. I was a sponge. Just soaking in knowledge each day.

Also during this time I was working a full-time landscaping job during the spring/summer months to be able to afford my costs of living.

My daily schedule was wake up, go to work, go to kennel, go home and sleep, then repeat. Dogs were my priority for sure.

Fast forward about eight months of me training dogs on a field for protection and scooping poo for free, I got my personal dog Mia when my parents were out of town. Kids, if you are reading, I would not recommend this.

Here is a picture of her as a puppy the day I got her.


Shortly after I got Mia I knew I was in trouble. Like I said, I had trained protection dogs in a kennel/field setting, but never to live peacefully in a home setting. So trying to apply the stuff I learned on a field at my home… well, it wasn’t as applicable as you might think.

Mia grew quick and was becoming worse behaved by the day. She was very rambunctious and chewing stuff up like crazy.

There is a dog shaming picture below. Note: my mom took this, and at the time it wasn’t funny, but I guess looking back now they are as I write this.


It wasn’t too long before Mia got kicked out. She had to go live at the outdoor kennel in Millington! As you can imagine, her getting kicked out motivated me to get my butt to work. I started training her daily and spending lots of time with her.

I didn’t know what to do though, or how to train her to live at home. So I started calling trainers I admired from online, reading books, watching videos and DVDs. Anything I could do to learn to train my dog to live in a home setting.

I would say within a month, due to my training efforts, Mia returned home.

It wasn’t long after this that I had an epiphany that changed my life forever.

My epiphany was simple. “Other people have dogs that were acting up as bad, or worse than mine.”

After realizing this, I knew I had to do my part in changing the relationship dog owners had with their dogs.

After my epiphany (and getting screwed over by other local trainers time and time again), I applied to the best dog training school in the country to become a Master Dog Trainer.

Here is a bit of a timeline to save you some reading.


1/9/17 I applied to the school

1/25/17 I was accepted into the Master Dog Trainer program

1/25/17-6/31/17 Work almost every single day serving tables at the #1 restaurant in Memphis each night and parking cars during the day to save money for school.

7/1/17 I arrived at school

7/3/17 First Day of class

7/5/17-12/14/17 Train dogs M-F at school and train Mia on weekends

10/18/17 Started a job at the school (Scooping more poo) from 5:30-9:30-10:30 for $8/hr daily just to get by financially.

12/14/17 Graduated school as a Master Dog Trainer

12/15/17 I moved home, back to Memphis.

12/16/18 Got my first two clients.

1/1/18 I officially started One Dog Obedience Training (which later became Wonder Dog Training, Games & Services)

This first year has been so much fun.

I have worked with so many dogs.

I have gotten to meet and work with so many people and families.

I have grown so much as a person.

I have gotten to bring other people onto my team with me as well.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when starting this business. I just wanted to help people with their dogs and make a living. I had no idea that this would take off so quickly and we would be able to serve so many families. It is truly humbling.

This business is such a blessing and it is with heart and soul that I do what I do. My mission is to help as many people as I can enjoy life with their dogs and we are doing just that.

Next year our goal is to continue growing and serving families and their dogs at the highest level. We plan to continue our growth by creating more jobs and adding to the team we currently have. We will do this by serving and providing the highest quality, humane training in the Memphis market.

If you read this far, thank you.

If you have a dog that is unruly and you think could benefit from speaking with a trainer, I would be humbly honored to take the time to chat with you about your dog.

If you are interested in a free consultation, click the button below this blog and fill out the form.

Thanks again for reading.

Below are a couple of my favorite pictures from my time at dog training school.


You CAN Call a Trainer!


Look… I know dealing with a disobedient dog is frustrating. I’m here today to tell you that you CAN call a dog trainer.

When your lawn is bad, you call the landscaper. When your sink is leaking, you call the plumber. When your fence is broken you call the fence guy, right?

Most of the time, people use dog trainers as a last resort. They try to train the dog themselves, or they just deal with the bad behavior. It isn’t until something truly bad happens or the owner has had enough that my team gets called... and that just isn’t how it should be.

Calling a dog trainer should be proactive, not reactive. See if you are one of the three types of dog owners below.

1.     First-time dog owner

Congrats! How cool to finally be a dog owner, right? With an awesome dog comes a lot of responsibility.

Being a first-time dog owner is so cool. You just got this awesome fluffy (maybe not fluffy) dog and you’re enjoying him so far, but there is a lot you don’t know.

A lot of first-time dog and puppy owners struggle with their dog pottying, nipping, jumping and just flat out not listening. Sound familiar? If so, it is totally okay! You don’t know what you don’t know. There is A LOT to learn, am I right?

If you just got your first dog, click here.

2.     Puppy Owner

Having a puppy is SO fun, but it comes with A LOT of work! Puppies need to learn how to NOT chew everything inside, potty training, house manners and obedience.

Teaching a puppy is a lot of work and there is a lot to learn. You can definitely do it yourself, but that means reading books, watching videos, asking questions in FB groups and not to mention hours and hours of training.

If you can do all of that, then awesome! But… if you want to shortcut your success a bit and work with a Master Dog Trainer, then click here. Lets get your dog trained and lets get it done quickly!

3.     Disobedient Dog Owner

Your dog isn’t a puppy and this isn’t your first time owning a dog (maybe its your first time and your dog is disobedient) but your dog is kind of bad.

He doesn’t come when called. He won’t do any of his commands without a treat. He pulls on the leash. He jumps on everyone and has excessive energy. But he is really sweet and loving, so at least he has that going for him, right?

Look, dog trainers aren’t just for people with dogs that bite kids and other dogs. We’re here to help everyday people with everyday dogs. Dogs like yours.

If your dog is disobedient or you think your dog could just do a bit better, then click here.

Owning a Dog Is Supposed to Be Fun

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring — it was peace. Suspending moral judgment is not the immorality of the novel; it is its morality.

If owning your dog is more of an inconvenience than fun, it may be time to call a trainer. Dogs are mans best friend, right? My dog is my best friend and the reason I am a dog trainer, and I want you to feel the same way about your dog.

So if you dread going to the vet or having to take your dog out in public, then it may be time to seek help. If so, click here.

Has Your Dog Bitten Someone?

This is normally the last straw and rightfully so. Normally after a bite the dog has a couple of options. They normally get training or they get put to sleep/end up at a shelter.

If your dog hasn’t bitten someone yet but you think it’s possible, get proactive and call a trainer before it is too late. Click here to get a free consult.

With the right training, you can get your dogs aggression fixed.

Call A Trainer

I want every dog to be trained. I want every dog to be happy. I want every dog owner to really love their dog the way I love Mia.

My life mission is to help as many dogs and dog owners as I possibly can! So I urge you to call a trainer. Whether you call Wonder Dog Obedience Training (Our Company) or another training company, I want your dog to be trained and you to enjoy life with your dog.

Call a trainer and enjoy life with your dog! If you are interested in a free consultation with a Master Dog Trainer, then click here.

Happy Training. 

YouTube Video discussing this topic:

Danger! Should Babies & Dogs be in the Same Spaces?


You have a dog… now you have a baby too. How do you ensure that they hit it off?

The first-time meeting is critical.

General Commands & Lessons

Teaching your dog some of the general commands, like sit and stay, will help tremendously. One tendency that dogs are prone to fall into is jumping. This is a big no-no, especially around babies. Giving your dog the proper training and lessons to learn before meeting the baby will make the interaction just what it needs to be to create a strong bond between the two.

Preparing for the big change is very crucial, so doing it the right way will make all the difference. You don’t want to leave your dog high and dry by not transitioning them into this new season of life, so learning how to train your dog will do wonders for everyone in the end.

The Perks of Dog & Baby Interactions

Pets are known to cause a large improvement on emotional health in many ways, so when debating whether or not your dog would be suitable to have a gentle and kind relationship with your baby, don’t worry one bit. Teaching your dog the proper etiquette of interacting with your baby can either really change the relationship.

Whether it’s finding a dog trainer to help you with the transition, or trying out some tips on your own, your dog will appreciate the time you spend on them to make everyone happy when the time comes.

Below, we have broken it down into what to do before the baby arrives, when the baby arrives and what to do as the baby gets older!

Before The Baby Arrives

1. Decrease the attention you give your dog in preparation for the baby.

Lessening the amount of play time with your dog will help him learn that there will be time you have to spend away with the baby. Whether this means only taking your dog on a walk once a day or a shorter session of fetch. He will learn that not all of your time is his. You can still spend some quality time with your dog, just not every waking minute of your day will be devoted to him.

2. Adjust your dog to the new smell.

Introducing your dog to scents like baby powder, baby lotion, or letting him smell a burp cloth will do the trick. The smell of a baby is like none other, so letting your dog have a little exposure to it will help him be comfortable and familiar before the baby comes.

3. Set your boundaries with baby gates.

This will be especially important in the nursery. While the baby is still young and naïve, it can be frightening to have your dog jump up on the side of the crib or run all around you when you are trying to change their diaper on the changing table.

This could also be applied for a playroom, where the child’s toys and swings are held, or any room you would like dedicated to just the baby and other humans.

Placing a baby gate in the doorway to those rooms and letting your dog know that the gate means to not enter will establish great boundaries for any dog who likes to put their nose in just about everything.

4. Find a spot for your dog to claim as his place.

Dedicate a spot in the house for play time and a time for relaxing. When the company or activities get to be too chaotic, this will give your dog an area in the house where he can go calm down and take a breather. This will also keep the stress away from you to refrain from the dog being caught under your feet whenever you are trying to walk around.

When The Baby Arrives

5. Approach the dog alone before bringing the baby.

When the newborn is brought into the house for the first time, all of the excitement can overwhelm the dog and cause him to get hyper. When entering the house with the baby, walk to the dog alone to let him know that he will get attention, but he also needs to be calm. This will set the right tone for the baby to come into a safe environment.

6. Keep the dog on a leash during the first-time encounter.

This will help make sure that in case of any random jumping, the baby will not be scratched. Once the dog is sitting and calm, the leash can be taken off.

7. Supervise your dog and baby’s interactions.

For everyone’s safety, keep an eye on both the baby and dog whenever they interact in the early stages. No matter if your dog is trained or not, it is a good idea to always watch the two interact to keep a safe environment.

8. Find ways to help release your dog’s energy.

Instead of letting your dog bounce off the walls around the baby, find other venues for him to let out all of his energy. This could be taking your dog to the park, going on a walk around the neighborhood, or playing fetch in the backyard. It’s better for your dog to learn that there is a time and a place for rough-housing, as well as taking it easy and calming down. Upon bringing your dog inside from playing and running around outside, show him that once he reaches the front door, he needs to settle down for the relaxing environment inside the home.

After The Baby Has Been Around For a Bit

9. Adjust the baby to the dog as they get older.

As babies grow up and begin to crawl, they will show fascination of dogs. They are realizing that dogs are not the same as humans, and they are actually comical. They have tails that wag, they walk on four legs, and they are covered in fur. But it is important to show your child that dogs are not to be treated wrongly, like pulling their tails or grabbing their necks and ears. If this happens, your dog could get upset and potentially snap at your baby.

10. Don’t forget about your dog.

While it is important to show your dog that there is a new child in the house that needs a great amount of attention, he should still be able to get some kind of love and affection. While the baby is taking a nap or in the care of your spouse, relative, or friend, make sure to show your dog that he is not forgotten. There area lot of new changes in the house, but your dog will always have someone to love him

Training Will Increase Your Dog Affection for Each Other

Showing your dog the appropriate measures when interacting with your little one will give him the obedience and understanding in the future when he meets another baby of yours or any other child he sees in passing.

Training is essential to the bond between your dog and your baby. It is also essential that you know that it takes time and effort for this bond to grow. As your child grows, they will need to learn new boundaries and rules when it comes to their interaction. As your dog grows, he will most likely become less and less energetic. The natural progression of growing up will benefit them both in the future, but taking these precautions in the beginning when thinking about having a dog and a baby together will ultimately create a safe and healthy environment for everyone. It will all be worth it.

If you are having a baby and needing help introducing your pup, give us a call and lets do a FREE consultation. Click Here to schedule your free consultation.