After weeks of searching, you finally found the perfect canine companion and you are ready to welcome them into your home. Although it is easy to get caught up in the excitement, you realize it will be a major change for you, your household, and your new pooch. Preparing for your furry friend means getting the necessary supplies, making your home pet-proof, deciding who will assume the new responsibilities of their care, finding a veterinarian, and taking specific steps to promote a smooth transition.
Getting the necessary supplies is an important first step. Here are some essentials:
- Food-Find out what kind of food your puppy or adult dog was eating and buy the same kind. Switching foods abruptly can lead to diarrhea or worse yet your new dog may refuse to eat it. If you wish to change diets, be sure to gradually transition your dog by slowly mixing-in the new food until the old food is transitioned out.
- Bowls-Food and water bowls can be plastic, ceramic, or metal and come in a variety of styles and colors; just choose something you like.
- Tags and Microchips-As a veterinarian who works at an animal shelter, I have witnessed too many lost pets not get reunited with their families because they had no ID tag or microchip. Buying a collar and ID tag may ensure that you are reunited with your cat, should they get lost.
- Collars & Leashes-You will also need a collar and leash to bring your new canine friend home, for walks, outings, and for future veterinary visits. Pick one that is adjustable if you have a puppy as you may need to increase the collar as your pet grows.
- Dog Bed- Buy them their own bed to make them feel more secure in their new home.
- Toys & Treats-Finally, don’t forget about toy and treats. I recommend choosing a variety of different types to see what your pet prefers. Balls, chew toys, squeaky toys and toys you can stuff with treats are not only fun, they prevent boredom and keep your new friend busy so they are less likely to chew on things they shouldn’t. (like your shoes or furniture).