Welcoming a new pet is an exciting time for all involved - including your new dog!
Whether you're going to be raising a puppy or adopting an older dog, it's a good idea to be prepared. Check out our checklist of things to organise for your pet's arrival in this week's blog.
1. Vet Visit
Give your new pet a clean bill of health with a check up with your vet. If you're adopting a puppy, many vet practices will provide a free puppy check up to make sure all is well with your new bundle of joy. This is a great time to ask any questions you have & also get advice on important decisions like desexing, parasite protection, diet & exercise.
If you're adopting from a rescue centre, they would normally have desexed your dog & given them a comprehensive vet exam. Make sure to ask for any records are provided at the time of adoption for your information.
2. Parasite Protection
As mentioned earlier, deciding on parasite protection is an important part of your new job as a dog parent! With so many options on the market these days, it's difficult to know which one is right for you & your pet.
Most people will know about the common parasites like fleas & ticks but unfortunately for our four-legged friends, there are many more nasties out there that we need to protect them from such as:
* Intestinal Worms
You may be able to find these products in these forms:
* Chew form taken by mouth
* Liquid in a pipette that is generally applied on the back of the neck of the dog
It's really important to note that not all products will provide comprehensive protection from all parasites so it pays to do your research & consult your vet on the right product for your dog.
Ask your breeder, rescue or previous owner what food your dog is currently eating. To ease the transition of a new home & to avoid any tummy upsets, buy the same food they're used to. If you plan on changing their food - no worries! Just ensure you transition the new food in slowly.
4. Microchip & Council Registrations
When you adopt your dog, make sure all contact details on their microchip & council registrations are up to date with your details - not the breeder or previous owners details. If you pet ever gets lost, you'll have the best chance of being reunited with them if you can be contacted quickly through these details.
5. Walking Gear
Collar or harness? If you've got a dog who loves to pull like I do (cough...Dash), a harness has been a lifesaver for us. No matter what training we've tried to implement for Dash, she's just one of those dogs who goes a million miles a minute! Whilst the harness doesn't prevent her pulling, as dog owners we feel more comfortable knowing that at least she isn't putting pressure on her neck/throat whilst walking (running). It's personal preference and you'll know what is right for your dog but more and more pet owners are opting for harnesses these days. If you do decide on the harness route, just make sure it's a good fit and doesn't cause any discomfort under the arms.
Also consider where your council registration tag/dog name tag will attach to the harness if applicable.
6. Food & Water Bowls
We love bowls that are easy to clean and have non-slip surfaces to avoid spills. If possible, place more than one water bowl throughout your home to ensure they always have access to something to drink, including outside if you have a yard.
7. Pet Bed
If you've adopted a puppy, I'm sorry to say but you may lose one or more beds in the first few years. Puppies love to chew & some love to 'kill' anything with soft stuffing inside, even their own bed. You might like to start off with something small & inexpensive but still comfortable for those early days & upgrade to a larger, fancier bed if you choose when they've outgrown the chewy stage.
Regardless of if you're planning to have your dog sleep in bed with you, it's nice for your dog to have their own bed to retreat to when they just want some quiet time.
The fun part! Many pet stores, particularly the larger ones will allow you to bring you dog with you in store which makes shopping for toys a fun day out for all. I loved taking my two on their own shopping trips to pick out their favourite treat or toy, rather than buying toys that they may or may not like. Before you get to know your dog, consider just buying one toy or one of each style of toy so you can get an idea of what they like. Some dogs love soft toys to cuddle or destroy (the latter is more common I find...), enrichment toys like puzzles or Kong toys that have hidden treats, toys to chew on or an old favourite - a simple ball.
9. Dog Wash
Our personal favourite dog shampoo is Truly Natural Horse & Dog Shampoo. It smells great and is loaded with natural ingredients and doesn't flare up my Dash's skin condition. No affiliation - we just love it! When choosing a new product for your dog, I've found it better to buy a small bottle first to see how my dogs react to it first before investing in a larger size.
Adopting a new pet is a life changing experience that will reward you time and time again. Aside from all the decision making, the most important thing your pet needs is you! Spend time getting to know each other, making them feel comfortable & safe in their new home and soak it all up. Don't forget to take lots of photos & videos to look back on.
Have any more must have items we've missed? Leave a comment below!