Getting a new dog is such an exciting time and being prepared for their arrival is essential. These big decisions will provide such an array of emotion. Our team have put together a little list to get you started with your new pet preparation!
Table of contents
- Initially, you will need:
- Later on in your dog’s life you will need:
- Early preparations
- Play, play and more play
- You might also be interested in:
Initially, you will need:
A dog bed and/or blankets
Providing a place that your dog knows belongs to them. And a place that they can always return to in order to relax can help the moving-in process.
We strongly encourage you to take your puppy outside as much as possible. Reward them when they go to the toilet outdoors; although we do understand that you will not be able to do this all the time. Puppy pads are essential if you will be leaving your puppy alone indoors and want your floor to stay dry! Dogs often toilet in the same place. So if you are wanting to toilet train your dog, you need to clear up any urine quickly in an attempt to remove the scent.
Buying a collar is essential. Although remember if it is a puppy you are getting, they will grow and may need another collar soon. You should monitor how tight the collar is becoming and make regular adjustments to ensure your puppy remains comfortable.
Having at least one lead is important. Think about the length of lead you will want and how you want the lead to attach to your dog. If your dog is very active, a long extendable lead may be more useful. If your dog is not friendly towards other dogs, having a shorter lead may be more useful.
Getting a harness is an optional extra. But using them from an early age helps to get them used to being walked with it on. Harnesses can make walking strong dogs much easier; there is also much less risk of injuring their necks if they are prone to pulling hard.
Speak to the breeder or shelter to check what diet your puppy is currently on and then buy the same food. Any sudden change in diet will cause stomach upset so any changes should be made gradually after they are settled in.
Food bowl and water bowl
Select bowls that are suitable for the size of your puppy. You could even get matching food bowls. Think about purchasing non-slip bowls so your dog cannot move the bowls around the floor!
Having some treats makes training much easier. If you are worried about your dog putting on weight, you could separate some of their dry food away from their main meal and use that as treats throughout the day.
These are great for when your puppy starts teething and requires something to chew on. Toys are useful, as well as being educational fun for your pup (of whatever age!).
Dog poo bags
Even before you take your dog for walks, you will need to clear up your dog’s faeces from your garden. Accidents will happen, especially if it is a puppy you are buying, so be prepared!
First aid kit
Having an emergency first aid kit for your pet is really useful. If you need advice as to what to do, you can always give your vet a call. Establish a set location for emergency equipment and your dog’s medication, so whenever it is needed you always know where to look.
Dogs should always be secured within the car when travelling, ensuring they can not disturb you whilst you are driving and to reduce the risk of injury in case of an accident. The crate should provide comfort and safety. It can also be useful to use the crate or cage for “crate training”, which gives puppies and dogs a safe place of their own that they can always go to.
Depending on the weather, where you live, and the length/thickness of your dog’s coat, you may need to invest in some puppy clothing. Your vet may be able to recommend good brands to you.
A good vet
Always make sure your new dog is registered with a vet as early as possible – because accidents happen! Finding out which company your puppy has already started their vaccinations with is important and checking they come with their vaccination record is useful – then your vet can tell which vaccinations your dog has received and how long ago it was to make sure they continue the vaccination process.
Later on in your dog’s life you will need:
Different breeds of dogs will require different amounts of grooming. Having dog shampoo and brushes at home will make it much easier to deal with any accidents that may require cleaning!
Investing in pet insurance is a good idea. If you get pet insurance when your pet is young, you are likely to get good financial deals on life insurance for your dog.
Whilst you do not need to do this before you get your puppy, you should think about getting the microchip changed so all details are in your name once the puppy has arrived.
As well as purchasing new things, you may need to think about rearranging your house slightly to minimise the risk of accidents happening. Food should be kept out of reach from your pets and potentially removed from kitchen surfaces if your new dog is likely to jump up and steal it. Loose or trailing electric cables should be removed or covered in case they are chewed. Ornaments, plant pots, and any other smashable decorations should be moved to a place where your new dog cannot crash into them, as this could result in wounds. Watch out for anything poisonous as well! As you learn about your pet’s natural behavioural habits, you will realise which items need to be moved.
Play, play and more play
We recommend playing with your dog a lot when they are young. The more you play with your dog, the more they will become used to the contact. Be sure to play with their feet and practice opening and closing their mouth, as these are often body parts dogs don’t like to be touched if they are not used to it. If you practice these, it will make situations later on in life much less stressful for example, having their nails clipped or receiving a dental.
One really useful “game” to start early on is to begin tooth brushing. Making it a fun game from a young age is a great way to improve your pet’s dental hygiene, helping to prevent the need for dental treatment later on in life. Dental disease is very common and it is much better to prevent this disease than to attempt to treat it. If you regularly open and look into your dog’s mouth in order to check and clean their teeth, you will notice any sudden changes which might be important. To provide tooth brushing, you should buy dog toothpaste (never use human toothpaste) and canine toothbrushes.
Bringing a new dog into your life is an exciting and rewarding time – being prepared for everything it entails will reduce the worry and allow you to enjoy every moment!