How to Prepare Your Home for a New Dog

Preparing your home for a new dog is similar to getting ready for a new baby. It means a pre-arrival shopping trip to ensure that you have everything you will need and pet-proofing certain areas of your home.

Here’s a Checklist:

CRATES – By nature, all dogs have a den instinct and a crate simulates this basic instinct. Selecting the right sized crate is of the utmost importance. At any point in time, your dog must be able to stand up with his head forward and turn around comfortably. The crate should also be long enough for your dog to be able to stretch out on its side to sleep. There are crates on the market that expand as your puppy reaches adulthood.

DOG BEDS – Apart from a crate, your puppy will also enjoy having a comfy dog bed to snooze or relax on.

COLLARS and LEASHES  – A soft nylon with quick-release clasp is an ideal starter collar for young dogs. There is no shortage of collar materials and styles for older dogs, many with leashes to match. A 6-foot leash is a good starting length, but also consider a 16-foot retractable leash during your initial dog prepping purchase so that your pets have freedom to sniff around.

ID TAGS – Have an identification tag made while you’re shopping with your pet’s name and ideal contact number. Be sure to place it on the collar immediately.

HARNESS – Consider getting your dog used to wearing a harness for outings from the get-go. Harnesses prevent pulling and reduce strain on the pet’s neck. You can leave your dog’s collar on at all times and only use the harness and leash combo when going places.

CAR RESTRAINTS – It’s now the law in many states for your dog to be restrained in a moving vehicle. If you don’t plan to purchase a car crate, it’s essential to have some other form of restraint such as a booster seat, Zipline or harness that works with the seat belt.

TOYS – Every dog needs a well-stocked toy box. The sky’s the limit when it comes to fabulous toys on the market: action toys to play games, distraction toys to keep them busy when home alone, and comfort toys. Also consider special teething toys for a young dog.

GROOMING TOOLS – Basic grooming tools should be purchased during pre-arrival shopping as well such as deshedding tools, soft wire brushes, combs with wide teeth, and curry brushes with long rubber teeth.

FOOD AND WATER BOWLS – Ceramic and stainless steel bowls are easy to keep clean and dishwasher safe. In addition to an outdoor water bowl, a drinking fountain is an excellent way to provide your pet a constant supply of fresh running water.

PUPPY PEE PADS – Puppy pee pads help prevent accidents around the home. If your pet is going to be left home alone for long periods of time, it may be best to consider purchasing  an indoor toilet system.

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