The decision to adopt a dog, whether you have a family or live alone, is not taken lightly but comes with great benefits. There are obvious benefits like snuggles on the couch, companionship, and even health benefits to having a pet. Bringing a new dog home is exciting, but it can feel overwhelming if you don’t have all the essentials you need to make life comfortable and easy for you and your new pup. They say that luck favors the prepared, so keep reading to make sure you have all the items you need before bringing your new four-legged family member home with you.
You’ll want to have a reputable vet lined up before signing the adoption papers for your new dog. Like you have a regular GP for yourself or a pediatrician for your kids, a veterinarian who knows your dog’s health history, temperament, and any other important details can become an invaluable asset to you throughout your dog’s lifetime.
Safe Sleeping Spaces
As humans, we spend one-third of our lives asleep, but dogs spend even more time catching z’s, so having a safe space for your new pup to sleep is essential. Crate training has major benefits for dogs, but even if you don’t crate train, crates make excellent spaces for dogs to relax and sleep. You may opt for a balanced bed or a cozy, overstuffed dog bed too, but one thing is for sure – your dog needs a place to lie down, unwind, and get their sleep.
Healthy Meals and Snacks
Just like nutrition is the cornerstone to a happy, healthy, and long life for us, what your dog consumes in the form of food and treats is key to their overall health and wellness. Decide before adoption whether you want to feed your dog a raw diet, dry kibble, or wet food, order through a subscription service, or shop locally. Having a plan in place can make sure you’re always stocked on their favorite and healthiest foods to ensure a long and healthy life for them. Some dogs have food allergies, just like humans, so be prepared to deal with that with your veterinarian’s help. It goes without saying your dog needs food and water bowls, but include that on this part of the checklist, lest you forget!
You may opt to take your new dog to the groomer once a month or quarterly, but there will be times when you need to groom them at home too. From getting dirty in the yard to clipping toenails, a basket of grooming items is important for plenty of reasons. It would be best to stock the basket or bin with items like nail clippers, dog wipes and shampoos, dog toothpaste, brushes and sprays, and plenty of treats to keep them occupied and rewarded while you groom them.
Collars and Leashes
Exercise is critical for dogs, even small breeds. Dogs are instinctually packed animals, and most are genetically predisposed to hunt, protect and run. Fulfill this need in them through plenty of regular exercises, for which you’ll need items like collars, leashes, and harnesses. Depending on your dog’s size and breed, you’ll want to consult with someone at the pet store or your veterinarian about the best options. Include tags for your dog in this category since they go on their collar. Tags should include important contact information about you, the owner, in case you and your pet get separated.
Toys for Play and Toys for Chewing
All dogs love to play; that’s one of the joys of owning a dog – playing with them! But depending on your dog’s breed, you’ll need different types of toys in both size and durability. While some opt to have their dogs professionally trained, even if you don’t, you can avoid plenty of destructive behavior by supplying your new dog with toys they’re allowed to chew on. Toys that are hard to destroy provide hours of fun for your dog and fulfill that instinct to chew, protecting your shoes, furniture, and other belongings.
Adopting a new dog is a thrilling experience, and you should consider your home’s size, access to outdoor areas, and your work schedule to influence which breed best fit you and your family. But you won’t regret it; prepare to make a lifetime of memories with your family’s new addition!