How To Prepare for a New Family Member
Welcoming a new pet into your life is always such an exciting time, 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!
Here are some new dog tips that can help!
I remember the day I adopted Lenni as if it was yesterday.
For me, everything was a little bit last minute and I didn't have much time to prepare as I wasn’t entirely planning on getting a new friend.
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 shelter dog that would be perfect for me and my lifestyle.
She told me I could meet him anytime, and so I did.
My new furry friend 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 new rescue 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 were better than other, and with 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!
Related: Should My Dog Sleep on My Bed?
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 contact information, like your phone number and name, in case your sweet pup gets lost.
It's also a good idea to use both, as I did with my new best friend.
He always has his collar on with his ID tag and when we go to the dog park 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 leash, 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 new food you buy.
However, if you’re adopting adult dogs, you might want to check with the shelter or the previous owner about what type of food he likes to eat.
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 your dog's 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.
First-time dog owners should do a lot of research!
Don't forget to buy a food bowl and water bowl too!
This adjustable bowl is the perfect choice for dogs of all sizes-- from small pets to large ones!
Related: How I Became a Better Dog Owner
You’ve probably asked yourself where your Fluffy Friend should sleep in his new home.
There’s no general rule when it comes to this, apart from the different rules of your own home, of course.
It’s up to you to decide whether your dog should sleep with you or not, whether he can lay on the sofa or not.
Generally, it would be good to prepare a safe place that’s uniquely made for your dog, with his own dog bed, his toys and blankets, where he can choose to go to whenever he wants to lay unbothered.
His own quiet place or "sanctuary", if you will.
If you have specific areas where he's not allowed, like the living room or kitchen, consider installing a baby gate or pet gate.
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 chew 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 a great way to keep your doggie occupied. They also stimulate him mentally and give him something to chew besides your things or something dangerous like electrical cords.
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 help 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 and 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.
You can also buy a dog crate from our pet supply store so you can carry your new fur baby safely.
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.
Stressing about it is a common mistake with new owners.
With time you will notice the things that are still missing!
The truth is, that it doesn’t matter how much you prepare your dog's new surroundings, 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 tip, in general, would be to get what you think is essential for both of you and then see how everything unfolds.
You will be able to follow your intuition as a dog owner very, very soon!
The most important thing is to 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
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