Are you thinking about getting a new dog? Maybe you’re just beginning your journey to doggy parenthood. You want to prepare for the good and the not so good of being a new dog parent. There are a few preparations to make before bringing your dog home. Doing these ahead of time will make your new venture much easier for both of you.
If you haven’t chosen your new companion yet, be sure to read last week’s post, 8 Things to Consider When Choosing a New Dog.
Just like bringing a new baby home, there are several things to do before bringing your new dog home. You will want to make sure that your house is safe and you have the needed equipment and supplies ready.
Let’s get started!
1. Decide where your dog will spend most of her time.
In the beginning she will need a quiet place to retreat while she gets acclimated to her new home. This place should be away from children and too much activity. Having a “safe” place for her to relax the first few days to a week is best.
2. Purchase a Crate.
A wire or metal crate is preferable. Make sure that the crate is large enough for your dog to stand and move around comfortably. A crate will also come in handy if she is not housebroken. In the next few weeks I will have a post on Crate Training. Take into consideration that your dog may grow if she’s not a year to a year and a half old so purchasing a crate that “grows with the dog” is a good idea.
3. Buy at Least 2 Food Bowls
Buy one for food and one for water. I recommend a bowl with some weight to it to keep it from moving around or getting tipped over. You may want more than two so that you can keep water in more than one room.
4. Research and Purchase Dog Food.
Try to stay away from the normal commercial brands. In most cases, these are not as nutritional as they should be. They also contain many fillers that are unhealthy. A great place to research is Dog Food Advisor.
5. Purchase a Collar, Harness, and Leash.
If you decide you want a different color later, you can always buy a different one. Choose a snap release collar. These are the safest and most reliable. A standard harness is usually fine. If you are familiar with the dog and you suspect she may be a puller, consider the Easy Walk or Gentle Leader harness instead. A 6 foot leash is the preferred length for walking your dog. Retractable leads are NOT recommended. These are unsafe for you and your dog. For a larger dog, you want to consider a wider lead.
6. Get a Good Bone That Will Last.
It is in a dog’s nature to chew. Some chew more than others and bones can be expensive. I like to invest up front and avoid running out. I recommend the NylaBone brand. These come in different sizes and flavors and last a very long time even for the most aggressive chewers.
7. Find a Bed That Works for Your Dog
Wait until you “know” your dog before spending a lot of money on a bed. If you buy an expensive bed and find out that your dog has a chewing problem, you’ve wasted a lot of money. I recommend an inexpensive crate pad that can be used as a bed outside of the crate. Check the manufacturer sizes on the bed to ensure that it is the right size for your dog.
8. Buy a Car Seat Cover
Unless you have a vehicle that you don’t mind getting slobbered and shed on, a car seat cover is invaluable. There are many different kinds. A great simple cover that stays in place is this cover by Epica. If you want to make sure your dog doesn’t try to ride up front, this cover by Taotronics is a great affordable option.
Enjoy and love your companion!
If you have any questions about Preparing for a New Dog or would like to schedule a consultation, call or contact me today at 762-218-3708. We currently serve the Evans, Martinez, and Grovetown areas.