Preparations to Make Before Bringing Home Your New Pet

Planning on adding a furry friend to your household. First, you need to make specific preparations before bringing home your new pet. Start by deciding who is responsible for its care. If there are kids in the family, they can take on some age-appropriate responsibilities, but adults must always provide oversight.

Next, map out a schedule for feeding, walking, playing, and basic training. Decide on ground rules–such as whether the dog is allowed on the furniture or where they will sleep.

 Dog Necessities

Before bringing home a puppy or older dog, head to your local pet store and purchase the canine necessities required on day one. These include:

  • Puppy or dog food
  • Food and water bowls
  • Grooming and cleaning supplies
  • Bed
  • Crate
  • Collar, harness, and leash
  • Toys
  • Pet stain removers in case of accidents

You may also want to buy baby gates to confine a dog to particular areas. This is a good idea even if you plan to eventually allow the dog the run of the house. Again, you want to set your dog up for success. 

 Find a veterinarian

Ask neighbors or friends in the area for vet recommendations. You’ll also want to know where the nearest veterinary emergency hospital is, just in case. Puppies should have their initial vaccinations before you bring them home, but they will need additional shots soon.

Dogs adopted from shelters or rescues may arrive with vaccinations, but you will need to discuss heartworm and parasite prevention with a vet. All dogs require annual checkups. Bring the animal’s most recent records with you on your first visit. If your dog is purebred, the vet will inform you about potential hereditary ailments and what you should keep an eye on.

 Canine Proof Your Home

Before their arrival, place harmful items out of the dog’s way. That means keeping chemicals, medications, and other dangerous substances locked away or put in cabinets where the dog can’t possibly access them. Tape over electrical cords and secure trash can lids.

Keep in mind that the dynamics of your home are about to change considerably. You’ll have to learn to ensure doors are shut upon entering and exiting your home. Depending on the dog’s size, leaving food on counters or tables is no longer wise–even small dogs can figure out ways to access it. Leaving shoes, phones, remotes, and other chewable items where a dog can get them invites problems. Good training alleviates these issues, but that training takes time unless you’re adopting an older, well-schooled dog.

Start your dog out by confining them to a room with easy-to-clean floors and a fair amount of activity so that they won’t feel isolated. The kitchen is generally the best choice. After a period of adjustment, your dog should fit in just fine with his new family!

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