Are you about to bring your adopted dog home? You must be excited!
Hopefully, you have everything you need to make your new buddy as comfortable as possible in their new home. Remember, your newly adopted furry baby needs more than love to truly lead a happy and healthy life. If you’re in doubt of the things you need for your new pup, we’ve created a list of essentials you need to gather to ensure your pooch feels truly at home.
- A dog crate and a dog gate
The first thing you’ll need is a place that your dog can rest and call his own. A dog crate with a few old blankets or clothes with your scent makes your pet feel secure.
When buying a crate, ensure it’s big enough for your dog. Your pup should comfortably stand up and turn around in their crate. A crate is also a good way for your family to get to know and adjust to your new pet. A crate is also suitable for a puppy who needs some training as you don’t want her wandering off when you aren’t near.
If you’re looking for some crate recommendations, we particularly love the Amazon Basics Portable folding travel crate Kennel. This crate is lightweight, and it has lots of space for both medium and big sized dogs. The crate is also suitable for dog parents who live in apartments with limited space. Besides, it’s foldable and portable, so you can also use it when you need to travel with your dog.
Since your dog or puppy won’t spend all their time in their crate, you’ll also need to buy a baby gate that can keep certain areas off-limit for your pup. Puppies can be particularly destructive as they explore things with their mouth. So, be sure to have a baby gate to keep her off the electrical cords, your house plants, windows, among other items.
- Food supplies and food and water bowls
Ask from the adoption center what food your dog has been eating and plan on buying the same food for their home use. Even if you plan on changing their diet, do it gradually. An abrupt change in your new dog’s diet can lead to an upset stomach or other digestion problems.
It would be best if you also considered your newly adopted dog’s nutritional needs when purchasing their food supplies. For instance, puppies require higher amounts of energy foods as they grow quickly compared to adult dogs. A senior dog may also require a low-calorie diet to prevent obesity. Similarly, a sick pup may need supplements such as Omega treats.
Remember to keep away dangerous foods such as onions, chocolate, avocado, alcohol, macadamia nuts that could harm your dog. Have a list of potential ingredients to avoid when shopping for your dog food. For instance, xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in most foods, can cause liver failure in dogs. Cooked bones are also dangerous for dogs as they can splinter and injure your pup.
If you need to give your dog something to chew, get them bully sticks, pig ears, or lamb horns rather than cooked bones. Some of our favorite dog chews include the Bones and Chews braided bully stick from Chewy. This chew is both safe and perfect for your dog’s dental health.
Don’t forget to buy your pup a few food and water bowls. Stainless steel bowls are often recommended as they don’t lead to puppy acne that commonly occurs with other bowls.
- Dog poop and pee bags
It’s unsafe to leave your dog’s waste lying around, which is why you need a waste bag that is thick enough to scoop up the waste. The poop bag should also minimize odor like the Amazon Basics Unscented dog poop bags. The Amazon Basic poop bags are a favorite among customers as they come with dispensers and leash clips. What’s more, the poop bags are also affordable, come in large quantities, and they are easy to open and use.
Pee pads are also necessary as you wouldn’t want your dog leaving puddles of their pee everywhere in your home. Your dog will also use the pee pad as a bathroom spot when you’re out on a walk. Buy pee pads that won’t leak and ones made of thick absorbent materials that can contain a lot of liquid.
Our favorite is the Amazon Basics Dog and Puppy leak-proof 5-layer potty training pads, as they have a quick-dry surface. These pee pads won’t also hurt your pocket, and we love that the super absorbent core turns pee to gel, ensuring no leaks.
- Dog Toys
Your new dog will need a variety of toys. Some of the toys you can get them include:
- Squeaky toys to activate their sensory abilities
- Plush stuffed toys that offer comfort
- Balls that are perfect for the game of catch
- Rope toys used for playing tug of war
- Chew toys to keep your dog busy and to keep him away from your sofa or bed
- Puzzle toys to stimulate your dog’s brain
Ensure the toys you buy for your pup are safe. Avoid toys that could be a choking hazard to your dog, such as small plastic toys or ones that your dog can easily tear apart.
- Dog collar, leash or harness
Your dog will need to be taken for a walk from time to time, which is why you’ll need a leash, a collar, or a harness. Most experts recommend going for a harness rather than a leash if you’re concerned about the safety of your dog’s neck.
Similarly, you’ll need an identification tag just in case your adopted dog gets lost during a walk. An identification tag should have your dog’s name and your contact details. You can also opt to microchip your dog, but you should ensure you attach another tag to your dog’s collar with the micro-chipping company’s phone number and name.
It’s also a good idea to have your pet wear a tag detailing that he is up to date with his vaccinations. It’s a requirement in some states that all pets wear proof of rabies vaccination. Besides, the number on the rabies vaccination tag can sometimes help identify your pup if she is lost.
- Have a reliable veterinarian for your pet
Don’t wait until your dog gets sick to go looking for a veterinarian. In fact, you should visit a vet with your new puppy so that they can advise you on how to take care of her. A visit to the vet will also see your dog get a checkup and get their vaccination shots. With adopted dogs, you will want to make sure all their basic care is up-to-date.
Choosing a vet for your dog early also helps you build a close relationship with them such that in case of any issues, you’ll know you have a reliable person who can help.
You can ask for vet recommendations from neighbors or friends who are dog parents. You can also check for AAHA accredited veterinary practices in your area, or if you’re in lockdown, there are many mobile vet services available too.
There you have it, a checklist of the things you need to make your adopted dog feel at home. But just in case you already brought your dog home and have just realized that you forgot to buy one or two of the supplies mentioned above, remember you can always get them online.
By Annie Butler