Author: Maggie Bloom
If you’re thinking about adding a dog to your family, you might be in information overload. There are so many choices to make. But no matter what kind of dog you’re getting and what stage of life they’re in, every dog has certain common needs. These are things that will make your dog feel at home and ensure you’re prepared for most things that come up. Here are seven essential things to have before getting a dog.
1. Dog Area
All dogs need a place in the house to call their own in the house. This will be where they feel comfortable retreating to if they want to feel secure. For puppies, this can be useful for potty training or for dogs who can be destructive when left alone. Having a secure space when you leave for work or errands may make your dog feel better and reduce anxious destructive behavior.
2. Dog Bed
A dog bed is also a good way to make your new dog feel at home. This can be as fancy as a miniature sofa or as simple as a soft towel or a spot on the floor. Be prepared to take into account how your dog likes to sleep and your local weather. If it gets hot, consider a cooling bed or an elevated pet bed for better circulation.
3. Bowls and Food
Consider your feeding arrangement. If you want to keep things neat, consider placing a mat under your bowls or using heavier ceramic bowls to prevent your dog from spilling. Dogs need high-quality, nutritious food to keep them healthy, so do some research about what kind of food you would like to feed your dog. Keep in mind that puppies often have special food with different nutrients to support rapid growth during their early months.
4. Leash, Harness, Collar
Walking is an essential part of a dog’s day. Not only does it give the dog a chance to poop or pee, but it allows the dog to get some much-needed exercise and mental stimulation. If your dog is a puppy or is unused to walks, you will have to teach your dog to walk properly. It is important that they get used to walking and that it’s a positive experience.
5. Poop Bags
Poop bags are essential to have on hand. It’s important as a responsible dog owner to care for your dog properly, and that includes dealing with their waste. If you are concerned about the environmental impact of plastic bags, consider biodegradable or compostable bags.
6. Toys and Treats
While toys and treats sound superfluous, they’re actually essential for your dog. Toys allow dogs an outlet to release energy and play without being destructive. If a dog is bored, they might turn their attention towards undesirable behaviors such as ripping up carpet, chewing furniture, or destroying your favorite pair of shoes. Toys and treats are also essential for training. Having a variety of both allows you to learn more about what motivates your dog. Being able to give them a desirable reward will help you better communicate and bond with your dog.
7. Pet Insurance
Just like humans, pets need health insurance too. You should look into getting a good dog insurance plan as early as possible. Make sure you understand what’s covered and what’s not. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your pet can have the care they need if anything happens.
Having a new dog will keep you busy enough. It’s important to prepare before bringing your dog into your home. With these essential items taken care of, you and your dog companion will set the stage for many years of happiness.