The Ultimate New Dog Owner Checklist: Must-Have Items - MirrorMePR
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With so many products and accessories available for dogs,  a new dog owner checklist can be overwhelming. Do you know what you really need for your new furry friend? Whether you are a first-time dog owner or adding a new addition to your furry family, having the right items on hand can make the transition smoother for you and your new pet. Our Pet PR Team shares expert tips and advice in this blog.

 

Setting up your home for a new dog

Bringing a new dog into your home is an exciting time, but ensuring your living space is safe and welcoming for your new furry friend is essential. If you are bringing home a young dog or adopting a rescue dog, it’s crucial to puppy-proof your home. This means removing potential hazards such as small objects, electrical cords, and toxic plants. Blocking off areas of the house with dog gates or a playpen can also help keep your new dog contained and out of trouble.

 

Creating designated areas for eating and resting is essential for your dog’s comfort and routine. Set up a cosy bed in a quiet corner for your dog to relax, and establish a specific spot for meals to provide structure and reduce potential messiness. Providing a comfortable and safe environment for your new addition to learn and adjust is essential. 

 

In addition to indoor spaces, it’s essential to make the garden dog-safe by checking fences for escape gaps, eliminating potential toxic plants, and removing any sharp objects or chemicals that could harm your new pet. Poop bags are essential for clearing up after your dog both in the garden and out on walks.

 

Essential supplies for puppy-proofing your home include chew toys, a secure dog crate (if you are planning on crate training a new puppy), treats for reward-based training, food and water bowls, and baby gates. These items will keep your dog safe and help them adjust to their new environment. Keeping them safe and creating a comfortable space for quiet time will help your new dog settle in, and you’ll set the stage for a happy and healthy life together.

 

Baby gates to create safe spaces

A baby gate or dog gate will ensure their safety and give you peace of mind. By strategically placing baby gates in doorways or stairwells, you can easily contain your new dog in specific areas of the house. This allows you to gradually introduce them to different parts of your home while keeping them safe and under your supervision.

 

Using baby gates helps you get to know your dog and understand their behaviour before giving them free rein over the entire house. It also provides a controlled environment for training and bonding with your new furry family member. However, it’s essential to consider any potential destructive tendencies your dog may have and ensure they are not left alone for long periods and with toys and treats to keep them occupied. Ensure the baby gates are sturdy and secure to prevent unwanted escapades.

 

For smaller dog breeds or tiny puppies, you may find that a baby gate will allow them to slip through the bars, so choose a pet gate with an integrated chew-proof mesh to prevent escapees! 

 

By utilising baby gates to create safe spaces, you can ease the transition for your dog into their new environment while maintaining a sense of control and safety for both you and your pet. This approach also allows you to gradually open up more areas of the house as your dog proves trustworthy, ultimately fostering a harmonious coexistence within the family.

 

Fresh water availability at all times

Make sure that fresh water is available at all times for your dog. Even though most dogs will happily drink from dirty puddles or streams, you’ll want to discourage this and ensure you regularly clean your dog’s bowls to avoid bacteria building up and causing illness and sickness. If you have several dogs in the house, supply more than one bowl so they all have easy access. Keep bowls out of direct sunlight, especially stainless steel bowls, which can heat up quickly in the summer sun.

 

A Cosy Bed to call their own

Your new dog will need a cosy bed where they have a haven and can relax in peace without being disturbed. All the family must understand that when your dog goes to bed, leave them alone so they can rest. Choose a bed with machine-washable covers to keep it clean, and if your puppy or new dog is likely to chew the bed, make sure the material is non-toxic and not a choke hazard.

 

House training essentials

House training your new puppy or dog requires a few essential items to ensure they are comfortable and safe in their new home. Keep your new fur baby confined to one or two rooms at first so you can keep an eye on them and encourage them to go outside and toilet. Using puppy pads is one option to begin house training your puppy. Additionally, a crate can be an option to help toilet train your puppy, but make sure they have toileted and exercised with physical and mental stimulation before confining them for short periods. Training sessions incorporating leaving the crate door open and feeding your dog can help introduce a crate to your dog.

 

If you choose to use a crate, ensure that your dog is introduced slowly to it before shutting the door, and they see it as a place of sanctuary. Putting a cosy bed and toys in the crate will make it a safe place for them, away from busy households. Ensure that it is big enough for your puppy to grow into and becomes a safe space for them to want to retreat to voluntarily.

 

A doggie wardrobe

An essential on a new dog owner checklist are warm clothing. A well fitted jumper or coat is essential for colder weather to keep your puppy warm on walks and when outside. Some breeds, such as chihuahuas, greyhounds and hairless breeds, such as the Chinese Crested dog, suffer from the cold, so dressing them in an extra layer in cold weather is advisable. Finally, a suitable collar and leash are necessary for walks and outings.

 

Choose a soft leather or fabric collar for comfort with an ID tag. Don’t leave a collar unattended; this can be a choking hazard. If you have a growing puppy, adjust the collar regularly. Choose a soft, comfortable halter for smaller dogs and a sturdy leather or nylon lead.

 

Providing complete and quality dog food

As a responsible pet owner, providing your furry friend with complete and quality dog food is vital for their overall pet health and well-being. 

 

So, how to choose the best foods for your pet? There are generally two options: dry and wet food. Both types have their own benefits, and it’s often best to combine them for a balanced diet.

 

Dry food is convenient and can help keep your dog’s teeth clean, while wet food can provide extra hydration and flavour. When selecting dog food, it’s important to avoid those that contain fillers such as corn, soy, and wheat, as well as artificial colours and preservatives. Spotting an ethical pet brand takes skill, but opt for options with high-quality proteins, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. Complete dog food should have all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals your dog needs.

In addition to choosing the right type of food, it’s also important to establish best practices when feeding your dog. This includes portion control to prevent overfeeding, regular freshwater access, and a consistent feeding schedule.

 

By being mindful that your dog’s nutritional needs will change over time and providing them with complete and quality dog food, you can help them live a happy and healthy life.

 

Choosing suitable bowls for food and water

When choosing suitable bowls for your pet’s food and water, it is essential to consider both the material and the size and elevation of the bowls.

You can choose either ceramic or stainless steel food bowls, but stainless steel is less likely to harbour bacteria and is easier to clean. They also do not react with your pet’s food or water, making them a safer option for everyday use than some ceramic bowls, which may include lead paint. Choosing a ceramic bowl from a reputable pet brand will ensure your pet’s health is not compromised.

 

Consider the bowls’ size and elevation when choosing the right ones for your pet. Larger breeds such as Great Danes or Rottmay require bigger bowls to accommodate their larger food portions, while smaller breeds may benefit from smaller, shallow bowls to prevent them from dipping their entire face into the food. Additionally, elevated bowls can benefit older pets or those with arthritis, as they reduce the need to bend down to eat or drink.

 

By evaluating these factors and choosing ceramic bowls over metal ones, you can provide your pet with safe, clean, and appropriately sized bowls for their food and water needs.

 

Grooming essentials

Grooming essentials can vary depending on your dog’s coat type and breed. For dogs with short, smooth coats, a basic grooming kit may include:

  • A soft-bristle brush.
  • A grooming glove.
  • A rubber curry comb to remove loose hair and massage the skin.

Long-haired breeds may require additional tools such as a slicker brush to remove tangles and mats, a metal comb for more thorough brushing, and thinning shears for trimming around the face and feet.

 

For double-coated breeds like Huskies or Golden Retrievers, a de-shedding tool is essential to remove the dense undercoat and reduce shedding. Regular grooming is necessary to prevent matting.

 

In addition to grooming tools, specific shampoos and conditioners tailored to your dog’s coat type are essential for maintaining healthy skin and coat. Hypoallergenic dog grooming products may be necessary for dogs with sensitive skin or allergies.

 

Regular grooming keeps your dog looking and feeling their best, promotes good hygiene, and prevents skin and coat issues. For all dogs, you will need nail clippers or have your dog’s nails clipped at your dog groomers or vets. Alongside regular home grooming, your dog may require regular visits to the dog groomers. Still, by consulting with a professional groomer or your veterinarian, you can determine the most suitable grooming essentials and practices for your dog’s individual needs.

 

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