You Adopted A Dog. Now What?
The day you bring home a dog is a day filled with excitement. You have this fur-kid that helps you feel less lonely, that you can take to the park, that can help you socialize more, that gives you a sense of purpose. With that feeling of elation comes the worry that you might not have everything you need or might be in over your head. We have some experience with pet parenting (with our newest pack member getting adopted just over a year ago) and are here to help! Keep reading for our tips and what you need.
Get them an ID. It’s estimated that 10 million pets go missing every year in the United States. Help your chances of reuniting with your fur-baby by getting dog tags and a microchip. Of course you’ll need a leash, collar, and harness to display the tags and keep your pup from straying on walks.
Prepare your home. When you first bring home a dog you won’t know exactly how trained they are. It’s smart to keep choking hazards and valuables out of reach.
Create a cozy space for them. Have both a crate and a bed for your pup. The crate can be filled with security items like toys and blankets to help foster a feeling of safety. Plus, crates are handy when you have a puppy to help with training. Beds provide relief from crates as well as comfort, and your pup will enjoy having a plush surface.
Make sure you have food and water bowls. The rescue/shelter will tell you what type of food they’ve been eating, and you can ask a vet for their food recommendations. If you decide to switch foods you should make the change gradually as this will give their stomachs time to adjust. Also learn which foods are poisonous to dogs (looking at you, chocolate!). When it comes to other items for your dog’s diet, the rescue/shelter and vet will tell you about supplements they’ll need.
Grab other items you’ll need. One often overlooked area of a dog’s health is their teeth! When we don’t brush their teeth we’re increasing their chances of developing periodontal disease, which can lead to other health issues in their body later on. Purchase a toothbrush, toothpaste, some dental chews, and learn more about the importance of dental health here.
Start routines. Dogs need structure in their lives. This will help with training and they can feel more relaxed knowing when they have a sense of potty time and dinner time. When it’s time for your morning and evening walks, make sure you’re stocked up on Poopy Packs and carry a Poopcase on your leash. And after your walks, you’ll want to clean their paws with Metro Wipes.
Get them some fun toys! We feel so much joy when we watch our pups play, so they deserve the best toys. Play fetch with our pet-safe Metro Balls. Get a rope for some tug-of-war. Buy (or build) an interactive toy to stimulate their minds. Maybe they’ll love a squishy with a squeaker. Figure out what kind of toys your pet prefers and surprise them with more on holidays and the anniversary of their Gotcha Day!
Remember to be patient! Whether you adopted a puppy or an adult, it will take time for them to adjust to their surroundings, build trust, and show off their personality. Try not to overwhelm them with cuddles when they first arrive at your home. Let them explore and sniff around. Reassure your pet that they are in good hands, and reinforce their training from time-to-time even when you feel that they’ve got it all down.