How to Prepare for a new Family Member
Welcoming a new dog into your life is always such an exciting experience, and of course you want to make sure that you’re prepared for your new family member.
It doesn't matter if it's a new puppy or an already grown doggie, I'm going to show you how to be ready for when they arrive!
I remember the day I adopted Lenni as it was yesterday. For me everything was a little bit last minute, as I wasn’t entirely planning on getting a dog. It was a random Tuesday and I decided to go to the dog shelter in town ‘’just to see the dogs’’. I was talking to the lady in charge of match-making and she told me very soon that she might have a dog that would be perfect for me and my lifestyle. She told me I could meet him anytime, and so I did. My little pooch was so excited, he started running non-stop as he got an energy burst. I immediately fell in love with him, but still I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready to get a dog! The lady at the dog shelter told me that she would wait until Saturday for me, and if I decide to do so, I could take him home with me that very same day. That was it, I had only 4 days to make up my mind about having a dog, and in that case, be prepared and have everything ready for his arrival.
So how did I do it?
I started to imagine what my life with a doggie would be like. Starting from the shelter: how would I take him home? When we get home, will he be hungry? Where will he sleep? Which toys will he like?
Step by step and after lots of reading, I finally ended up getting a few different things. Some where better than other, and with the time I learned what worked out for us the best.
Let me guide you and show you what I learned in the process! We're going to go through basic (but important!) aspects when it comes to getting ready for a new Fluffy Friend. I listed some helpful links for you to some of our products, feel free to check them out and let us know what you think!
On today’s market you will be able to find several different types of harnesses, leashes or collars and this can be a little overwhelming in the beginning.
While they might be a little less convenient, we recommend using a harness as it doesn’t put pressure on your pooch’s neck and it reduces the pulling while you’re training with him outside.
On the other hand, with a collar you will be able to attach an ID tag with your information in case your little one gets lost. You can also decide to use both instead, as I did with my doggie. He always has his collar on with his ID tag and when we go outside for a walk I put him in the harness.
Choosing the right leash for your doggie can also be confusing. There are standard and retractable leashes, as well as adjustable ones and slip leads. If you want to train with your dog so he doesn’t pull on the leash while walking, I wouldn’t recommend using a retractable leash, as it literally teaches your dog to pull on the leash in order to go forward. The best leashes in my opinion regarding practicality and safety would be the standard leash with a loop handle or the adjustable leashes that allow you to shorten or lengthen it depending on the situation and how long you need the leash to be.
As there are so many options nowadays, choosing the best food for your dog can be challenging as well. If you take home a new puppy it’ll be a bit easier for him to get used to the food you buy, but if you’re adopting a dog that’s already an adult, you might want to check with the shelter or the previous owners what type of food he likes to eat and does him well. It could be wet or dry food, even a combination of both, vegan or raw food.
Every doggie is different! When changing your dog’s diet, make sure you give your pooch at least 1-2 weeks to see how his stomach adapts and of course, if he likes the food. Pay attention to his body language, you will for sure know if you’re giving him something he doesn’t like. With time I realized that what worked best for us was high-protein-low-carb dog food. In the beginning I thought this type of food would cost more money, but the truth is that there’re several price ranges for every food type. Make sure you do your research!
You’ve probably asked yourself where your Fluffy Friend should sleep. There’s no general rule when it comes to this, apart from the rules of your own home, of course. It’s up to you to decide wether your dog should sleep with you or not, wether he can lay on the sofa or not. Generally it would be good to prepare a place that’s uniquely made for your dog, with his own bed, his toys and blankets, where he can choose to go to whenever he wants to lay unbothered. His own ‘’sanctuary’’, if you will.
If you want to read more about sleeping arrangements check out our blogpost ‘’Should my Dog Sleep on my Bed?’’
Next up: toys! Did you know that there are different categories and types when it comes to pet toys in general? There are chewing toys, rope toys, balls, interactive, plush toys…
Which type of toy you choose to give to your dog depends on the situation. Chewing toys are perfect to keep your doggie occupied, which also stimulates him mentally and gives him something to chew besides of your things. Feel free to check our chewing toys out!
Rope toys allow you to engage in a game with your dog, like tug-of-war or to play fetch. Balls can be squeaky, made from different materials and they work perfectly as physical stimulation. Interactive toys like puzzles and strategy games helps you train your dog’s logic and patience. Plush toys should be implemented to teach your dog how to be calm, relaxed and to cuddle, you can teach him some commands so that he understands that soft toys should not be chewed or destroyed.
We have a pack of 6 different ball und rope toys made just for you! You only need to click here.
Last but not least, think about the accessories you might need along the way. I knew that I was going to take Lenni home by car, but I didn’t know how he handled car-rides. To be sure I purchased a car seat cover that I put on the backseat of my car, and thank god I did! My little pooch is very affected by motion sickness, and he ended up leaving a huge mess, that I was able to clean up very easily thanks to the cover I bought.
Other accessories might be his own drinking bottle for when you go on hikes, maybe a raincoat or pullover for chilly days, a brush for either long or short hair…
However it comes, don’t stress about it. With time you will notice about the things that are still missing! The truth is, that it doesn’t matter how much you prepare for your dog, surprises will always arise and, as we always say: Every dog is different! Which food, toy or bed he likes will depend on his character and his own personal needs. My tipp in general would be to get what you think is essential for the both of you, and then see how everything unfolds. You will be able to follow your intuition as a dog owner very, very soon! So keep your mind and your heart open in every situation regarding your little pooch.
Now it’s your turn! Feel free to share in the comments below how you prepared for the homecoming of your Fluffy Friend, let us connect and learn from each other!
For now stay Fluffy,
your MrFluffyFriend Team