There is nothing that is more exciting than bringing home a new dog. Am I right!?
Around this time, you may feel overwhelmed with your to-do list on what to get and how to prepare. You've probably been reading tons of articles that make you think you need a shopping cart of supplies in order to be ready for your new best friend.
Well I'm here to let you in on a secret: dogs are actually pretty simple!
With this list of 5 must haves you will have exactly what you need to bring your new dog home.
Let's be real, you're new dog has no idea where he is or even who he is at this point. That's why an ID tag with your contact information should be one of your first priorities when you get a new dog.
Most pet stores have the machine towards the front of the store so you won't miss it! First, you choose and pay for the tag at the register and then your receipt will have a code that will allow you to customize your tag at the machine.
The RIGHT Collar
Your dog's energy level is the first thing to consider when picking out a collar. Most dogs use the common buckle collar, but we recommend a martingale collar.
This collar has two loops giving you the option to use it as a regular collar or as a collar that tightens as the dog pulls. The martingale collar tightens just enough to stay snug around the dog’s neck so they can't slip out and it does so without choking them. It's also a great training tool because once the tension is released the collar loosens again. This discourages pulling in most dogs.
So for those of you thinking.. this option sounds awesome but my dog pulls me like he's running a marathon so I need something else. Well I'm right there with you!
If your dog pulls like they are training for the Olympics than I would definitely check out the Gentle-Leader or Halti for head collars. If collars simply aren't your thing check out the Easy Walk Harness!
I promise once you find the right collar or harness for your dog it will be a walk in the park every time you are out with them. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog so the more adventures you have the more relaxing your life will be with your dog. This all starts with the proper walking gear!
I know what you're thinking.. I don't want my dog to be in a cage. Well I have some news for you.. Dogs think differently than humans!
When crate training is done properly, the crate becomes their own private and safe place kind of like a kid and their bedroom.
Make sure to do your research on crate training before beginning, because if done wrong your dog will reject it. When you're confident in your research, slowly introduce your dog to the crate in small increments starting with just 10 seconds and increasing times with breaks in between.
Crates come in three types, but we always recommend wire crates since they have great ventilation and are easy to clean.
If you have a puppy who's potty training make sure to buy a crate that is big enough for when they are full grown. When you do make sure it comes with a divider so that you can adjust how much space they get overtime.
A Variety of Toys
Playtime is the best time! Make sure to get a variety of toys so you can learn your new dog's favorite type. Toys keep them busy when you can't so you'll want a ton of options to keep your pup entertained.
Always keep in mind your dog's size before bringing home a new toy. For instance, large dogs shouldn't get really small toys that can be easily swallowed.
Throw toys and interactive toys are the best for social development and keeping them busy.
If you opt for a plush toy, make sure to look out for parts that come off like plastic eyes and noisemakers.
Do not leave your new dog unattended with any toys until you know if they have any bad habits.
Side note: Try to steer away from playing tug-a-war with your pup. Most trainers claim it is a challenge of dominance and suggest pet parents play other interactive games like fetch or chase.
The RIGHT Food
We recommend talking to your local pet specialty store regarding what food would be best for your dog's needs. Spoiler Alert: I'm not talking about your local Petco or Petsmart.
These pet specialty stores are able to give you honest advice on which brands are best for your dog's lifestyle, breed, and any other special dietary needs. They are trained to educate dog parents on a number of different options for your dog whether that be kibble, freeze dried, or raw.
The best thing about it is that it's FREE! They are paid to give you the knowledge to help you make the best decision for your dog. So you can go in there and talk your head off about your dog and they will give you a solution. I mean, it sounds too good to be true but it's not.
The root of most health issues in dogs is caused by feeding the wrong food. If your dog is on the right food it will save you both the hassle over the years.
Also, don't give table food. No table food, no problems!
With these five must haves in the bag you can sit back and relax until your new dog arrives. If you already have them tugging at your feet then get to playing!