Adding a furry, four-legged friend to your family is a big deal! A new dog needs lots of love, care and attention to make sure they adjust well to their surroundings and schedule.
Making sure your pooch’s transition from a shelter or breeder into your home goes smoothly may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. A few simple steps can ensure that you and your house are prepared for your lucky new pup to feel right at home.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you prepare for bringing a new dog home.
1. Buy Supplies — But Don’t Overbuy
Get just what you absolutely need before bringing your dog home, and then decide what other toys and supplies you’d like as time goes on. Some items you’ll definitely need and can buy upfront include food and water bowls, a collar, a leash, poop baggies and a pooper scooper, a brush and a crate. However, when it comes to something like food, you may want to start small. Try a small package out before buying in bulk and make sure it works for your dog. The same goes for toys, since each dog will have its own preference about what it likes to play with. Ask your breeder or someone on staff at the shelter or a local pet shop what they recommend and go from there.
2. Prep the House
If you’re bringing home a puppy, be prepared for accidents. Puppies take time to be fully potty trained, so you’re going to need a heavy dose of patience and a package or two of puppy pads. You may also want to roll up and put away any nice rugs in your home temporarily while you wait for your pup to get out of their accident stage.
You can puppy-proof rooms that you don’t want your dog to enter with baby gates. In general, remember that dogs — especially puppies — are prone to get into things. Keep your things off the floor and out of reach unless you want them to become chew toys!
3. Find a Veterinarian
Your dog’s health is important! Not only will they need vaccinations and some regular visits to the vet, but should a health emergency ever arise, it’s important that you can go to a doctor you trust. Reach out to other dog owners in the area to find out who they recommend. Do your research on clinics in the area to see where you feel most comfortable bringing your four-legged family member. You can also consider investing in pet health insurance, especially if you’re adopting a dog with known health issues or a breed that often faces health problems.
Keep these tips in mind and your dog will be feeling at home in no time!