Last month we covered cats, so this month we are covering everything you need for your new dog – whether you are getting a puppy or a rescue dog. Just like cats, dogs will need you to be prepared in order for them to be able to settle in quickly and easily. Our handy guide will help ensure you are ready for the big day and have everything you need.
A blanket / bed / crate – For puppies especially it is sometimes useful to take a blanket with you to collect them, this blanket will be the first smell they will associate with their new surroundings and should be then kept with them as their own. In some puppies it can act as a security in their new environment. Some people opt to use crates when they first bring their new puppies home, over their first few weeks it will be where they sleep and spend time when you are not at home, it should be kept as a positive environment and somewhere they can go to feel safe.
Food – As with all animals it is important not change their food when you first get them, find out in advance their current food so you can source this before their arrival. After they have settled, if you wish to change their food you can slowly start to transition them over gradually.
Bowls – For the food and water! If you already have an existing pet in the home, the new addition will need all of their own supplies, it is not suitable for them to share and can induce behavioural problems. If you are getting a larger breed of dog, you may choose to use a slow feeding bowl – this can help prevent your dog from eating excessively quickly. Eating faster than normal in larger breed dogs can be a worry as they are more prone to GDVs (Gastric Dilation Volvulus – a potentially fatal emergency) which can be brought on by this.
Adaptil –Adaptil is an artificial pheromone recommended by dog experts and Veterinary Surgeons. Adaptil (available as a plug in diffuser and room spray) produces a smell which can only be smelt by dog helping them to feel safe and secure in their environment. Adaptil is an essential when creating rehoming an older dog or a nervous / timid dog.
Harness – At Very Important Pets we encourage the use of harnesses to help protect your dog’s spine and throat area, this can be especially important if they are prone to pulling. If you are welcoming a rescue dog into your home, try to find out where they are used to and how their walking is before purchasing an appropriate harness or collar.
Toys – Toys are essential for dogs to learn and stay mentally stimulated, it will also help keep mischievous puppies out of trouble. It is essential dogs learn to be happy in their own company, as well as with you, so good robust toys can be good to help with this. We also advise purchasing toys that can played with the family, this will help to ensure early bonding with all members of the family.
Poo Bags – an absolute essential to have from day one!
Taking on a new dog is an exciting but busy time, being well prepared can ensure it all goes as smoothly and stress free as possible for all involved. During the first few weeks try to avoid additional stress around them and never use negative reinforcement or punishment (with any animal), soon they will adjust to their new forever home and become one of the family.
If you are bringing a new puppy into your home, once they are settled, you may want to think about enrolling them into puppy classes with Very Important Pets, these classes aim to teach your puppy core socialisation skills.