So, it’s decided! You’re bringing home a new puppy or perhaps that adorable doge you recently rescued and want to adopt. As exciting as it is, you’re now wondering how to go about procuring all the essential items you need to make your new family member feel at home.
We have you covered. Here’s a checklist to help you remain mindful of all the important items you need to make your beautiful home comfortable for your new pet!
A dog bed
Whether you choose to purchase one or DIY, make sure you get a comfortable, soft, and cosy dog-bed ready for your new furry friend. In a brand new environment (your home), your new dog is likely to truly appreciate a warm spot that s/he can call its own. If you’ve already gotten a bed and realise that it’s a little too large, you can always get some cosy baby blankets to make it a tad more snug.
Puppy Training Pads
Puppies take a while to get trained with regard to pooping and peeing. On the first couple of days, you’ll notice that they’ll find a spot to pee at. Watch out for these spots, and lay a training pad for the next time they need to ‘go’. It’s always preferable to use these instead of newspapers, because training pads soak better, protect your carpets and floor, have a distinct smell that works for puppies, and don’t get soggy or drippy. As your pup gets acquainted with them, gradually begin to move them (a little at a time) to a spot you prefer. Over a course of weeks, until your puppy is ready and old enough to be taken out for walks, puppy training pads can be an immense help in saving you effort and anxiety. :-)
Collar & Leash
Choose any colour or pattern you like, but only make sure that once fastened, you should still be able to comfortably push in two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck. It is also important to get new collars as your puppy grows. If you still need to train your dog to walk on a leash, get a smaller leash so that, during walks, you have complete control. Gradually, once they are comfortable walking alongside you, switch to a longer, more comfortable leash. If your furry friend is a medium or large dog, we always advise that you get them a harness, so they don’t hurt their neck.
Grooming essentials: Brush for their fur, gentle shampoo, nail clippers, dental chew-sticks
Most of these are self-explanatory, and we completely trust that you’ll get the best brands for your doggo. However, please try to be careful when clipping their nails for the first time. Be slow and gentle, and if possible, get trained on how to clip dog nails. And be sure to have many treats handy in your pockets!
Poop baggies and dog-walk carrier
Poop baggies because we like to clean up after our dogs poo at the park. And a dog-walk carrier to hold the baggies, treats, your phone, keys, some cash, or whatever little essentials you like to leave your home with.
Food Bowl and Water Bowl
Get two separate bowls. Steel is great – easy to clean. However, ceramic ones are slightly heavier and puppers usually find it hard to push them around on the floor. Ceramic bowls are just as easy to clean too and look great. Make sure to wash them with dish-soap and hot water every day, so they’re nice and squeaky clean at all times.
It should always have your pup’s name and your phone number. Preferably your address too. But if there’s no space to put so much in, ALWAYS have your phone number in there.
When teething, dogs need something to chew on. Teething toys can be purchased or you can also DIY them! You will also need to get some play-time toys, because if you don’t, s/he is likely to go ahead and chomp on your expensive boots or pumps. . . and we definitely don’t want that :-)
Dog Food Supplies and Treats
Treats act as positive reinforcement for your dog/puppy. So, everytime they do something you appreciate, thank them with a treat. If you’ve been trying to potty-train her, and she goes correctly, give her a treat! If she succeeds with that first high-five, give her a treat! If you say “sit”, and he sits, that’s right! A treat! Regardless of whether you prefer to serve your dog raw meats and steamed vegetables, home cooked meals, or puppy chow, ensure to stock up, and store them as needed so they don’t spoil.
It's not on the checklist, but before the scheduled arrival of your pet, make sure you find a good vet in your neighborhood. Pets are like babies, and regardless of how well we care for them, they will undoubtedly have little ailments now and then. I never appreciated my mother's words when I was younger, but I do now, and would like to tell you the same: "Always remember, if you cannot afford a good vet, you're not ready for a pet." :-)
Once you've stocked up and gotten everything your new furry friend needs, you're now all set to enjoy warm snuggles, give countless belly rubs, and receive unconditional love. :-)