Becoming a new dog mom or dad takes more than just picking up the pup from the pound! You’re going to need everything from pet food to the dog bowls to put it in, and missing one of these crucial items is sure to leave your new furry friend wanting. Whether prepping for a new pet is purely routine or a new experience, here are a few tips to help you get what you need to make the new member of your family feel right at home!
Finding a Vet
Before you even buy dog bowls that match your kitchen counters, you need to find your dog a vet. Choosing a veterinarian shouldn’t be a difficult task. If your pet came from a breeder or store, ask if there is a particular doctor that has already seen the animal. If you already have pets of your own, the process may be as simple as making an appointment, but for new dog owners, asking around and checking online will probably yield the best results.
Dogs need stimulation, no matter how old they are. Before bringing the new pup home, make sure you have plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Puppies like to chew so having tougher play objects around helps them to soothe their aching teeth without destroying your furniture. Interactive toys such as ropes and pullers will help foster play between animals, and are great for doggy/parent bonding with a fierce game of tug-o-war!
It’s important to get a set of bowls or plates for your pet that is designed with them in mind. While you certainly can turn to bowls made for humans, they tend to be weighted for tabletop use. On the other hand, dog bowls are generally heavier and set closer to the ground. This prevents overexcited eaters from accidentally flipping food and water bowls and creating a mealtime mess for you to clean up!
Dogs need walks, and you need a way to keep them from chasing after every mailman and squirrel they see! Getting your pet a strong leash will help to make outdoor time much less frantic. When loose-leash training with your dog, you should invest in a slightly longer leash to allow a bit of extra slack when going on walks. This offers you much more control than a retractable leash which may let your pet get too far away when excited.
Perhaps even more important for your dog than its leash is a well-fitting collar. Even the most well-behaved dog may get away from you now and then. Having a collar ensures that you have a place to put important information. Having a tag with its name and phone number is usually enough to let someone contact you if the dog makes a getaway. A strong collar is also essential when taking pets for walks as cheaper varieties may break if the dog gives you a sudden tug when bolting after the neighborhood tabby.
Food and Snacks
While dogs are like people and are omnivorous, they can’t eat the same things that their human parents can. Canine nutrition is a bit different in that, while a purely vegetarian diet is possible, it is not as healthy as having a mix of meat and vegetables. Try to shop for foods with natural ingredients and avoid fillers such as corn, wheat, and oats.
Locating a Dog Park
Lucky new dog owners may have a fenced-in backyard, perfect for letting their furry family members burn off some energy. Even so, without some company, your dog may lose key socialization habits! Going to a dog part is more than a way to let the pup let off some steam. It’s also an important part of a dog’s socialization, making new acquaintances and learning new ways to play. You may even make some new friends, too!
Your new dog is going to find a way to make a mess even in the cleanest of households. Having the right grooming supplies on hand is as essential as needing dog bowls and rawhide! Some of the more essential tools include:
- Stiff-bristled Brush
- Undercoat Comb
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Electric Clipper
- Nail Clipper
- Flea/Tick Preventatives
Try to give your pet a bath once every two weeks, or as needed. It may also be necessary to apply flea and tick medication between baths, so remember to schedule those around your standard grooming regimen.
The most important thing you want to do is make sure your new pet’s home is ready for them. A pet bed in a cozy corner or crate set up for the night will give your dog places it can relax and really call its own. Welcoming a new pet into the family should be a fun and exciting experience. Make sure you have everything you need on hand and you can spend more time focusing on making your furry friend.