You’re getting a new dog! Before bringing him home there are a few things you should do to get ready. A little bit of preparation before you bring home your new friend will help you both make the transition more smoothly.
- Make a Schedule
Decide who will be responsible for caring for the new dog and when. Which family member will take care of the food, water, walking, pooper scooping, and grooming? How often do these need to be done? You might even want to post a schedule to help everyone remember their jobs.
- Check Outside
Walk the perimeter of your yard and look for any places that might be insecure. Holes in the fence, loose boards, or broken latches. Keeping your dog contained is a part of keeping her safe. If your dog will be spending lots of time outside be sure to provide water and shelter at all times.
- Check Inside
Before you bring your dog home look for any possible chewing hazards like cords and make sure they are tucked away. Move breakable objects and house plants up high or to a safe area. Block access to any areas of the house where you do not want the dog to go. Make sure shoes are picked up and toilet lids are put down
- Get a Collar
Your dog’s collar should lay flat, be made of leather or nylon, and have a buckle. (Remember to remove the collar when putting your dog in a crate to prevent injury.) The collar should be worn at all times and be tight enough that it won’t slide over the dog’s ears but loose enough that you can fit two fingers underneath. Check the fit of the collar often especially if you have a fast-growing puppy. Special collars can be purchased with a customized ID plate from websites like boomerangtags.com. Consider having a microchip implanted. If your new pet already has a microchip, make sure you update the registry info. This can be done through petlink.net or call 1-877-PETLINK (1-877-738-5465).
- Make Some Space
All dogs need a place to call their own. This could be a crate, or a dog bed, or some blankets. Put the dog’s bed in a designated area where he can go to rest
- Get Supplies
Purchase a collar, leash, toys, food, treats, food bowls, and grooming supplies. Try purchasing a smaller bag of food at first to make sure your dog likes and tolerates that brand well. Purchase a larger bag later when you know which kind is best.
- Find a Veterinarian
Don’t wait for an emergency to find a vet for your pet. Choose a veterinarian and take your new dog in for a wellness exam to establish a record. Then if your dog appears sick later you’ll know who to call, and your vet will have previous weight and health information to compare.
- Plan to Stay In Town
Many families travel for summer vacation or winter holidays. A new dog may take several months to adjust to her new home and family. Try not to plan any vacations or trips for awhile after bringing home your new pet. Being boarded or having a housesitter shortly after moving to a new home can be traumatic or confusing for an animal.
A little bit of preparation can go a long way toward easing the transition for both owner and dog. We hope your find this list helpful when preparing for your newest family member.