So you're adopting a new family member! Congratulations! We're here to help you get all set up with everything you will need. Try to free up a few days around your dog’s arrival so you have time to get to know them, they have time to sniff your butt and you can establish a routine together. With this handy checklist, you will be all set for a lifetime of adventures and love.Harness & Leash & Collar What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t return? A stick. What do you call a puppy without a leash? Hopefully not lost, but better not chance it. Let your new friend get used to wearing their harness or collar for short periods of time at home, while giving them lots of love and encouragement. ID Tags & City License No name? No problem. Get an ID tag for the ride home and keep your city license handy, just in case you-know-who decides to make a run for it. Dog Poop Bags When it comes to pee and poo, there are 3 things you gotta do! 1: Take your friend out frequently. No one likes holding in pee. 2: When they go, give them a cheer! Soon your carpet will be in the clear. 3: Always have poop bags at the ready. You’ll thank us when things get messy. When it comes to high-quality affordable bags, Earth Rated® has you covered. From compostable poop bags to easy-tie handle bags, we have the perfect size and style for every messy occasion. Leash Dispenser Never again scramble to find bags while your dog does his business with a poop bag dispenser attached to your leash. Picking up dog poop has never been so easy! Pet Stain and Odor Remover A change of environment can cause even housebroken dogs to have accidents. But don’t fret! With a stain and odor remover in hand, you'll clean up oopsies faster than you can say Labradoodle. Treats Did someone say T-R-E-A-T? Stock up on some easy to digest treats with simple ingredients such as freeze-dried liver for training. Food, and Food and Water Bowls Whether you decide to feed your dog kibble, a raw food diet or another meal plan entirely, make sure you’ve discussed your pet’s nutritional requirements with your vet. And while it can be tempting to slip your dog some of your lunch from time to time, always check the food is safe for them to nibble! Pro tip for dinner time: stainless steel food and water bowls are the easiest to wash! Crate Crates are great. Just like having a space that’s all yours helps you relax, a crate helps your dog feel comfortable and secure. They’re also great for house-training, because dogs (usually) won’t poop where they snooze. Bed Let your pup drift off into a cozy fire-hydrant-filled dreamland with a soft bed just for them. Look for bedding material that’s easy to wash to save yourself some hassle in the future. Toys & Interactive Puzzles Let the wagging begin! Set the stage for fun times ahead with puppy-friendly toys and games. Remember, teething puppies will need things to chew on so save your shoes and get some toys just for them. Brush & Nail Clippers Grooming is an important part of pet parenthood. It’s not an activity to brush off! Help your pup get used to the feeling of getting their nails clipped and hair done by introducing them to “spaw” days. Grooming Wipes Rule of thumb: where there is dirt, there will be dogs! Hypoallergenic, compostable dog wipes are the perfect way to keep your dog clean after every adventure. First Aid Kit Be ready to handle minor injuries with a dog-friendly first aid kit, packed with bandages, tweezers, and hydrogen peroxide. And of course, always call your vet if you suspect your dog is hurt! In Case of Emergency Don’t chase your tail when things get hairy. Keep a list of emergency vet clinics – complete with addresses, contact info and hours – on the fridge so it’s always easy to fetch. Keep a vaccine booklet handy to track which ones you and your pup have taken care of. And get an “in case of fire” sticker to put on your window or door to let responders know you have pets inside.
As you embark on this new experience together, remember to be patient. Like balls buried dutifully in a backyard, the effort you put in now will set you up for years of fun and loyal friendship. Happy bonding, and remember, never stop wagging! Next article: How to Choose the Right Poop Bag