You're getting ready to adopt a dog, and you want to be prepared to help it adjust to your home. Expect some confusion at first - your new dog won't know where it is. The dog is not only moving from one environment to another, but also getting used to an entirely new routine. Be sure to have key products on hand for helping your dog thrive and get adjusted. Use the following tips and information to help you get started.
Products You Need When Adopting a Dog
Think about where your new dog will be primarily living in your home during the first few weeks. This tends to be the kitchen, as this area is easier to clean. You should also be prepared to re-housebreak your dog. To create a comfortable environment during this process:
- Provide the dog with water and food bowls proportional to its size and face shape.
- Have a crate ready if you plan to crate-train it. Any crate should provide enough room for sitting, standing and rolling over.
- Also include a dog bed, which will help the dog gradually settle into its new space, especially if it's not so keen on a crate at first.
- Get a dog food similar to what the dog was being fed at the shelter or previous home. You can gradually add new foods to its diet with time.
- Have a collar prepared, which should include its name, your address and other contact information.
- Lay down potty pads across the floors of wherever the dog will be living to anticipate indoor accidents.
- Give the dog chew toys so it has something to play with.
Additionally, have your home dog-proofed ahead of time. Tie up or shield loose electrical cords, and store cleaning products and yard products such as weed killers in a location where the dog can't access them. Finally, if you're concerned about the dog running off, consider having it microchipped.
Getting into a Routine
You'll likely be training your dog to relieve itself outside, and also getting into a physical activity routine together. To start establishing new habits, be sure to have:
- A leash that's appropriately sized for your adopted dog. Six feet is considered the standard. Your dog should be able to stay close to you while still being able to move.
- Poop bags for going on walks around your neighborhood or the park.
- Treats for when you're training them to respond to basic commands like "sit," "stay" and "down." Start here, be patient and realize that you may need to undo the negative connotations of certain words.
While all dogs should be routinely bathed and checked for ticks, grooming can vary from breed to breed based on fur length and other physical features. General grooming products you should have on hand for your dog include:
- Nail trimmers for keeping the length of its nails in check.
- A dog brush or comb, potentially with detangling abilities based on hair length.
- A dog shampoo - preferably a moisturizing one.
- Cleaning wipes, which help remove allergens and debris and clean out tail pockets and wrinkles on bulldogs and other wrinkly breeds.
- Enzymatic stain and odor removers for cleaning up accidents.
- Products designed to safely remove dog tear stains. Breeds most often affected by tear stains include Maltese, Shih Tzus, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Havanese, Bichons, Poodles and other white or light-colored breeds.