What does my new dog need?

What does my new dog need?

If you are a first-time dog owner figuring out exactly what your new pet needs can be a little overwhelming. Our staff has provided the following list of basic supplies to help your new pet transition to living happily in your home.

Cleaning: You are certainly going to need to ensure your home is dog-friendly. It would be a good idea to clean all areas of the house that your dog will be staying in. A vacuum will come in handy here as it will allow you to remove all bits of dirt from the floor; you will soon find out that dogs will eat anything they can get their paws on. For a list of good pet hair vacuums, we have found you a website that provides strong reviews to help make your decision; http://appliancehunter.co.uk/pet-hair-vacuum-cleaner/

Crate: Whether you have adopted a puppy or an older dog, it’s important to make sure your dog is comfortable in a crate. Even if you don’t plan on keeping your dog in a kennel they can come in handy especially when transporting your pet back and forth to veterinary appointments. If they are comfortable in a crate, they will be less stressed in situations that require them to be away from you for example during boarding. If you are adopting a puppy, crate training is a helpful strategy in house training. Crates are also a good technique for keeping puppies secure and out of trouble to stop them from hurting themselves or destroying items in your home.

Baby Gates: Baby gates can be very helpful in training dogs to stay out of certain areas of your home. Your kitchen for example or your dining room especially if you would prefer to remove the temptation to beg for table scraps (which can be bad for their digestive system) a baby gate at the entrance can help deter bad behavior.

Bed: A dog bed can be an effective training tool as well as a comfortable alternative to your furniture. They can be placed in the kennel for additional comfort (if you know they won’t tear them up) or on the floor.

Collar and Leash: It is always important to have your dog wear a collar with their identification and contact information. If you prefer to walk on a harness, we still advise that they wear a collar just in case they slip away from you. When sizing a collar it is important that it is not too tight that it can restrict airflow or too loose that they can slip out. If you can comfortably slip your fingers between your dog and their collar that is the best indication of a proper fit. When selecting a leash a simple 6ft. leash is the most versatile, avoid retractable leashes whenever possible as these types of leashes make it difficult to maintain control of your pet.

Walks: all dogs need walking and it’s something you’re going to need to consider when your dog is old enough. If you know you are going to struggle to find the time to walk your dog due to certain commitments, I would recommend you visit this site. Dog walkers can be great assets, especially when you’re trying to fit your dogs walks into your busy schedule. Obviously, it’s great if you can walk your dog, as it builds your relationship with your furry friend, but at least you know there are people out there to help you in your moment of need!

Poop Bags:  If you plan on walks and hikes it is important to have poop bags to pick up after your dog. This can help reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Brushes and Combs: Some dogs require more grooming attention than others, If you have any questions it is always a good idea to contact a professional groomer or your vet who can guide you in selecting the correct tools to help maintain your pet’s skin and coat.
Toys: Playing with toys can help foster a connection with your new pet. Having toys accessible can help prevent destructive behavior caused by teething in the case of puppies or from boredom. Some toys to consider are Kongs, which are interactive toys that keep your dog’s mind working, balls for chasing, and rope toys or other options that can help you interact and play with your dog. Never allow your pets to play with toys unsupervised, doing so can be dangerous if they destroy and ingest pieces of a toy. We found these to be helpful from JugDog, as most of them are truly indestructible.

Bowls: Having the proper size bowls is important for the care of your pet. If you are adopting a tall adult dog, raised food dishes are advisable to help with digestion and to help in the prevention of neck/joint pain. If you are adopting a puppy choose a bowl appropriate to their size. If you notice your dog is not chewing their food, consider a slow feeder bowl that can slow down how quickly they eat,  benefits of a slow feeder bowl include aiding digestion and preventing upset stomachs. Remember to clean their bowls daily, to help reduce germ growth.

Food and Air-tight Food Container: Here at the Humane Society of Forsyth County we feed our dogs Nutri Source brand dog food. It is important when feeding your dog to give them the proper amount of food needed.  Overfeeding can lead to several health issues including diarrhea and mushy poop along with other digestive problems. We recommend feeding two or three times a day with a consistent amount that can be monitored. (please see the feeding guide on the side of the bag for the recommended amount) It is a good idea to note down when your dog is not interested in eating, it will be one of the first questions your vet will ask if your dog is not feeling well.  Dry food should be stored in airtight containers to prevent food from spoiling, pest infestations, and bacteria growth. Please consult your veterinarian if you would like to change your pet’s diet.

Treats: are an excellent way of rewarding good behavior, and creating a bond between you and your dog. Choosing the right treatment can be important. If you plan on using them for training, small treats that do not interfere with your dog’s feeding schedule are ideal

Chews: are a good way to prevent destructive behavior. Chews, like treats, however, should be monitored, it is always prudent to check with your vet or your local pet store before purchasing a new chew toy. Rawhides for example are a hazard and can get caught in your dog’s intestinal tract which may need surgery to repair. Instead of raw hides, we recommend antlers which don’t pose the risks that rawhides do or Nyla bones which are a non-digestible option.

It’s important to speak with your veterinarian before making any major environmental changes. If you’re seeing any behavior you’d like to modify, you can contact us at shelter@forsythpets.org or 770-887-6480. We can also to put you in touch with a reputable dog trainer that can help you modify behavior before it becomes a serious problem.



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