Do not forget to buy your dog some dedicated grooming equipment. Be sure to buy the right brush for his hair coat, depending on its length. Not only will this keep his coat healthy and shiny, it is also an opportunity to bond with your dog.
Equip yourself with the essential healthcare products such as a dog toothbrush .
… and a safe environment.
Make sure to remove all elements that could be potentially harmful or toxic for your dog. Some substances are obviously harmful for him, such as household cleaning products, but others, for instance chocolate, raisins, onions, garlic and even plants (oleander, lilies, poinsettias, philodendron, hydrangea, hyacinth, daffodils and tulips) are common toxins for dogs.
Remove any harmful objects such as electrical cords or sharp objects from within his reach. A young puppy will attempt to eat, swallow or chew just about anything he stumbles across. You might also think about not leaving relatively valuable objects lying around the house during your puppy’s initial stages of discovery. We all know why!
Take a photo of your dog as soon as he joins the family. It will be extremely useful if ever you lose your dog on a walk or elsewhere. In some countries, an official identification card allows pet owners to justify their pets’ registration. We suggest you keep it in your wallet.
In addition, think about entering your vet’s contact info into your phone, so that it's handy in the event of an emergency. Take advantage of regular visits to ensure your dog is vaccinated, correctly identified with microchip ID at the National Registration, and has received adequate anti-parasite treatment and possible health insurance are up to date for the year. Your vet may also help you put together a first aid kit, including basic items such as eye rinsing water, tweezers, ears rinsing solution, gauze bandages…
Bringing your new companion home
Depending on the age and size of your new puppy or dog, choose the adequate travelling accessories for the journey home. Buy a puppy crate, seatbelt harness or a dog guard for your new passenger. For puppies, favour a puppy crate as they provide a better sense of security on what can be a daunting first journey. For adult dogs, you can opt for a seatbelt harness or a dog guard.
The smell of an old toy or blanket from him previous owner may also reduce your dog’s initial anxiety. Indeed, travelling, new smells and foreign noises will contribute to making your dog feel scared and uneasy. There is a strong chance he will bark or whine which is perfectly normal. Talk to your dog in a soothing voice and give him time to overcome these fears.
Also buy your new dog a collar or harness and a lead. Both collar, or harness, and lead will need replacing, as your puppy grows older and stronger.
First day at home with him
Getting your new dog home can be surprisingly stressful for both of you if you are not prepared. Keep in mind that while you and your family are sure to be very excited to welcome your new dog into your lives, he needs as much reassurance as possible on this emotional day. Follow these simple steps to ensure the trip goes as smoothly as possible and to make meeting the family an enjoyable, happy experience for all.
Meeting the new family
First of all, discuss the arrival of your new dog with the family and establish who will do what in taking care of him. Determine who will feed him, who will walk him, who will clean up after him and so on…
Avoid too much excitement or overwhelming your puppy or dog in the initial stages and let him adapt to his new surroundings. Gradually introduce him to his new environment, including new family members, without pressuring him to interact with everyone from day one.
Getting off to a tasty start and playtime
On day one, follow on from your new dog’s previous feeding regimen and should you decide to alter his diet, consider transitioning over a period of 5 to 7 days. As your puppy grows and reaches adulthood, tailor his diet to his age and level of activity.
Water is one of the most essential nutrients for your dog. Provide him with access to clean fresh water inside the house and out.
What more could be done? Oh, yes, of course, get some stimulating toys! There are hundreds of types of dog toys you can choose from to engage your new buddy. Outdoor toys, indoor toys, dog-owner toys, food dispensing toys etc. Be sure to buy the right toys for the right age and play as often as possible.
Play is a nice way of strengthening the bond between your beloved life companion and you. Playing is also a very good way to keep your dog stimulated and active throughout life. So, be patient with your new friend! And he’ll be patient with you too.
In short, ensuring that your dog has the appropriate food and water from the start will help make the transition to your home easier for your new companion. But once you have taken care of him basic nutritional needs, don’t forget that what your dog needs most is lots of attention and playtime. Be sure to schedule time to play and begin forging a loving bond that will grow stronger with every day!