There is nothing that is more exciting than bringing home a new dog. Am I right!?
Around this time, you may feel overwhelmed with your to-do list on what to get and how to prepare. You've probably been reading tons of articles that make you think you need a shopping cart of supplies in order to be ready for your new best friend.
Well I'm here to let you in on a secret: dogs are actually pretty simple!
With this list of 5 must haves you'll have exactly what you need to bring your new dog home.
Let's be real, you're new dog has no idea where they are when they are adjusting to a new home. That's why an ID tag with your best contact information should be one of your first priorities when you get a new dog.
Most pet stores have the machine towards the front of the store so you won't miss it. First, you choose the tag you love and pay for it at the register. The receipt the cashier gives you will have a code that'll allow you to customize your tag at the machine.
Insider Tip: Be careful not to clip your leash on the small ring that holds the ID tag. That one isn't meant to withhold pulling, so always double check your leash is hooked on the appropriate ring.
Your dog's energy level is the first thing to consider when picking out a collar. Most dogs use the common buckle collar, but we recommend a martingale collar.
This collar has two loops giving you the option to use it as a regular collar or as a collar that tightens as the dog pulls. The martingale collar tightens just enough to stay snug around the dog’s neck so they can't slip out and it does so without choking them. It's also a great training tool because once the tension is released the collar loosens again. This discourages pulling in most dogs.
So for those of you thinking.. this option sounds awesome but my dog pulls me like he's running a marathon. Well I'm right there with you!
If your dog doesn't do well with collars there are tons of options. If they are mild pullers I recommend checking out the Easy Walk Harness.
If they pull like they're training for the Olympics than I would definitely check out the Ruffwear Harness Collection.
I want you to remember that matching your dog with the right harness or collar may not be done on the first try. Get a feel for what works for your dog and always stay in-tuned with it's functionality and comfort overtime.
I promise once you find the right collar or harness for your dog it will be a walk in the park every time you're out with them. Remember, a tired dog is a good dog so the more adventures you have the more relaxing your life will be with your dog. This all starts with the proper walking gear!
Insider Tip: Use the two finger rule to make sure the collar or harness is fit securely. If you can fit more or less than two fingers between the collar and the body then it's time for some adjusting!
I know what you're thinking.. I don't want my dog to be in a cage. Well I have some news for you.. Dogs think differently than humans!
When crate training is done properly, the crate becomes your dog's own private kingdom kind of like a kid and their bedroom. You see, dogs are natural den lovers. They crave having a space of their own to get away from the stressful life of eating, pooping, and playing all day ;)
The crate is a replica of a den where you provide a safe and secure place for your dog to stay while you're away or sleeping.
Make sure to do your research on crate training before beginning, because if done wrong your dog will reject it. When you're confident in your research, slowly introduce your dog to the crate in small increments starting with just 10 seconds and increasing times with breaks in between.
Crates come in three types, but we always recommend wire crates since they have great ventilation and are easy to clean.
Insider Tip: If you have a puppy who's potty training make sure to buy a crate that is big enough for when they are full grown. When you do make sure it comes with a divider so that you can adjust how much space they get overtime. This helps with potty training!
We know crate training is a huge deal, so our online academy for new dog parents dives deep into all the goods. I give tons of tips to make it easy and fun so if this is something that's intimidating you let me help turn that around. Check out my online program, the Dog Parent Experience, for more.
Playtime is the best time! Make sure to get a variety of toys so you can learn your new dog's favorite type. Toys keep them busy when you can't so you'll want a ton of options to keep your pup entertained.
Always keep in mind your dog's size before bringing home a new toy. For instance, large dogs shouldn't get really small toys that can be easily swallowed.
Throw toys and interactive toys are the best for social development and keeping them busy.
If you opt for a plush toy, make sure to look out for parts that come off like plastic eyes and noisemakers.
Do not leave your new dog unattended with any toys until you know and are comfortable with their habits. The only toy I recommend leaving them unattended with is a stuffed Kong that's size appropriate.
Insider Tip: Avoid playing tug-a-war with your pup. Most trainers claim it's a challenge of dominance. Playing other interactive games like fetch is a better alternative.
We recommend talking to your local pet specialty store regarding what food would be best for your dog's needs. Spoiler Alert! I'm not talking about your local Petco or Petsmart.
These pet specialty stores are able to give you honest advice on which brands are best for your dog's lifestyle, breed, and any other special dietary needs. They're trained to educate dog parents on a number of different options for your dog whether that be kibble, freeze dried, or raw.
The best thing about it is that it's all FREE! They are paid to give you the knowledge to help you make the best decision for your dog. So you can go in there and talk your head off about your dog and they'll give you a solution. I mean, it sounds too good to be true but it's not.
Also, don't give table food. No table food, no problems!
With these five must haves in the bag you can sit back and relax until your new dog arrives. If you already have them then get to playing!
If you'd like to finish all of your shopping then I got you covered. Get your hands on my FREE shopping guide so you don't have to waste a penny on unnecessary dog supplies. Sign up for your FREE shopping guide below.