Regardless of the age or breed of your new family member, here are nine items you will need to welcome them into your home.
Before you bring your new friend home, consider having a microchip placed. It is a relatively painless procedure, and should your dog get lost, it will enable a shelter or vet to recover your contact information and reunite you.
Collar and leash
For safety and security, a collar with reflective tape and the space for your contact information is best. Then, consider the personality and breed of the dog. Does your dog have issues with taking walks? You may need a training lead. Does your dog have breathing problems? You may want to use a harness instead.
Food and water bowls
There will be a variety of sizes available depending on the size of your dog. You may also want to get bowls that are on a stand so that your dog doesn’t have to lean over very far. There are also bowls that help fast eaters slow down.
High quality food
As with humans, the better the quality of the food, the better the health of the dog. Do your research (websites like Dog Food Advisor offer advice) and help your furry friend live as long and healthy a life as possible.
Lots of pet owners give their dogs supplements like glucosamine and fish oil for joints and vision, but you should discuss this with your vet first. You’ll want to consider flea and tick treatments, too, especially if you plan to spend a lot of time outside with your four-legged partner.
A variety of balls and ropes are constant fan favorites, and once you’ve determined your dog’s destruction tendencies, stuffed animals may be a good addition. A Kong, which can be stuffed with various treats, may help keep your dog busy while you’re at work.
A dog bed is key if you plan on keeping (or should we say, trying to keep) your furniture a no-go zone.
This will depend on your specific housing situation, but if you have access to a fenced in yard, and would like your dog to be able to roam when you’re not home, a dog door is a great idea.
Last, but not least, pet insurance can help alleviate some of the financial uncertainty of unexpected veterinary visits. No one wants to be in the position of being unable to afford the best treatment for your new family member.
There are a few other things to consider, like seeing a vet for an initial visit. Your vet can administer a rabies shot, spay or neuter your dog, and advise you on which vaccines are necessary. If you’re adopting a puppy, you may want to look into training. Conversely, if you’re adopting a senior dog, be prepared to spend the time necessary to make them comfortable in their new home. For dogs of all ages, exercise and socialization are important, so make sure you take them to a dog park or arrange for regular play dates with another dog.