Welcoming a new dog takes serious planning. You have to prepare your home for its arrival just as you would the same for a human baby. There are numerous things you have to take care of and a list of items you need to purchase to make it easier for your furball to adjust comfortably to its new environment. So if you are weeks away from bringing home a pooch, here is a guide that can help you out.
Dog-Proof Your Home
Many household items are potentially hazardous for dogs, which is why you must make sure all the rooms in your house or apartment are safe and secure before your new buddy arrives. The good thing is, it doesn’t take long to modify a home.
One of the rooms that tend to be hazardous for dogs is the kitchen. This is because it is riddled with items, like food, cleaning supplies, and garbage, that are not pet-friendly. It is recommended that you keep all food off your counters or store them in tightly closed containers, especially if you’re not sure if the food is safe for your dog. Install child-proof latches on your low cabinets so that your dog won’t be able to access chemical agents like detergents and degreasers. Finally, invest in a trash container with a locking mechanism.
Another room that can pose a risk for dogs is the living room, as it has electrical cords, a fireplace, and fragile items, among many others. It is advised that you hide the electrical cords behind or under furniture and unplug them when not in use. Block off access to the fireplace using a screen or baby gate. Lastly, put away breakable décor and small knick-knacks until your dog is trained.
The bathroom is also a room that is full of potentially dangerous items for dogs. This is why it is suggested that you keep your cabinets closed at all times, unplug all electrical devices when not in use, remove bath toys or sponges in the tub, install a toilet seat lock, use pet-safe trash cans, and place toilet paper rolls on high shelves.
You should also pet-proof your bedroom because it is commonly used as a place for a pooch to relax. What you can do is hide items, like jewellery, headbands, and small accessories, in containers or drawers as these are choking hazards for dogs. You should also put away belts, purses, slippers, socks, and undergarments.
Make a List of Things to Buy
Puppies need a lot of care which is why you should have all the basics ready before you bring one home. Below is a list of puppy essentials:
· Bedding: Choose bedding that is large enough for your dog to rest flat and completely stretched out on the side. Try to find one that has a removable and washable cover so that it is easy to clean.
· Collar and lead: Getting your pooch used to wearing a collar, harness, and leash can help make its walks much easier and safer, as these items prevent a dog from wandering or chasing away other animals.
· Crate: A crate or puppy gate provides a puppy with an enclosed space that serves as its safe haven when it needs to take a break. A good crate is large enough for a dog to stand up and turn around.
· Food and treats: It is recommended that you feed your dog a nutritionally complete and balanced food. Make sure it is suitable for all breeds and life stages.
· Food and water bowls: Puppies need separate food and water bowls. There are many bowls with varying materials, sizes, shapes, and colours that you can choose from.
· Grooming equipment: Every puppy needs a good brush and comb to remove its loose fur. It also needs nail clippers for at-home trimming.
· Parasite preventives: Some parasite preventatives do not cover all four main dog parasites which are fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworms. You may need to use a combination of products to cover all four.
· Shampoo: Pick a shampoo that is labelled specifically for dogs, as human shampoo has a different pH level and can harm a pooch’s coat. Short-haired breeds can be shampooed every fortnight, while long-haired breeds can be shampooed once a week.
· Toys: It is suggested that you choose toys that are easy to clean and won’t pose as choking hazards. A good dog toy serves a variety of purposes such as chewing, pulling, and chasing. • Dog poop bags: In current times, we would highly suggest going for sustainable dog poop bags, like the ones from Beco Pets. These can be ones made from recycled plastic or you can go for compostable or biodegradable poop bags. Recycled bags obviously can't decompose, however, if a compostable poop bag arrives at a standard waste disposal centre, it won't decompose properly anyway. Unless you have access to a compost, we would suggest going with recycled bags.
Having a dog companion can be an incredibly rewarding experience but you have to prepare properly for them. Having the right tools and knowing what to expect will prevent any odd surprises when you finally welcome them into your home.