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New Dog Checklist: 7 Tips for a First-Time Pet Parent

Posted by Dr. Roth on August 01, 2022

Lifestyle
Wellness Care
Puppy & Kitten
Training & Behavior
The Complete New Dog Checklist for Pet Parents Header Photo

Becoming a pet parent for the very first time is incredibly exciting. It can also be stressful. Adoption involves a significant adjustment for both the pet parents and the new dog. The pet parent becomes responsible for the health and well-being of another living being, and the dog is suddenly in an unfamiliar environment. 

Without preparation, things can get a little hectic. Fortunately, with the help of a new dog checklist, pet parents can prepare for their new family member and ensure a smoother, successful transition for everyone. 

A Helpful Checklist for New Dog Parents

First-time pet parents might be surprised to learn just how much is involved with caring for a new canine companion. There’s a lot more to it than providing food, water, and plenty of affection. While these are important, pet parents also need to consider training, grooming, and keeping their dog healthy. 

The following new dog checklist offers a guide for pet parents to prepare for the arrival of their canine and help them easily transition into a new life together.

1. Ensure Your Home Is Prepared With Food and Water Bowls

A dog will need at least one food bowl and one water bowl. When selecting which ones to purchase, pet parents should consider the following:

  • Size: A bowl should be large enough to hold a meal’s worth of food. It should also be wide and shallow enough for the dog to comfortably eat. 

  • Material: While a plastic bowl might be cheaper, ceramic or stainless steel bowls are easier to clean. They’re also less likely to harbor bacteria. 

  • Additional Bowls: Pet parents who like to spend time outdoors, go to the park, or travel might want to keep a few extra bowls on hand for convenience. 

2. Stock Up on Dog Food, Treats, and Grooming Supplies

Like humans, dogs require a well-balanced diet and high-quality food to meet all of their nutritional needs. Pet parents can ask the shelter or rescue that they’re adopting their dog from what food they use. They should also keep a dog’s life stage in mind when choosing what food to buy. Puppy products are going to be different from those meant for adult or even senior dogs, as their needs and requirements all differ.  

Treats can be very useful when bringing a new dog home. Pet parents can use them for training purposes and positive reinforcement. Having a few varieties of treats on hand can help them find the ones their new canine likes best. 

Grooming supplies are also essential for a dog’s overall wellness, with must-have items including brushes, shampoo, nail clippers, and dog dental hygiene products. Regular brushing and bathing help pet parents maintain their dog’s skin and coat health. Pet parents should also develop a good oral hygiene routine to help protect the health of their dog’s teeth and gums. 

3. Buy a Collar and Tag With All the Right Information

One of a pet parent’s worst nightmares is for their dog to go missing. A microchip can help increase the odds that a lost dog gets reunited with their pet parents, should this ever occur. That’s why pet parents should get their new dog microchipped or update the information on an existing microchip as soon as possible.

Even with a microchip, pet parents should still include a collar and a personalized dog tag on their new dog supplies checklist. They should make sure the tag contains the following information:

  • The dog’s name

  • Their city or town (rather than their full address)

  • The dog’s microchip ID number

  • A personalized message or any essential medications the dog needs

4. Acclimate Your Puppy To Their Leash

Puppy checklists should include time for leash training. A young dog might not be used to walking with one. Acclimating a puppy to their leash right away can make walks more enjoyable and prevent unwanted behaviors. Leash walking helps avoid accidents and injuries, such as a dog pulling away and getting lost or pulling too hard and getting hurt. It also helps pet parents stay compliant with their local leash laws. 

5. Invest In a Quality Crate With Ample Room

A quality dog crate can come in handy for several reasons. For one thing, crate training can make house-training easier. Dogs are less likely to relieve themselves where they rest. Some dogs feel more secure in a crate outfitted with a comfortable bed or blanket and a toy or two. It gives them a safe place to go when they feel scared and can help keep curious dogs away from potentially dangerous household items when pet parents aren't there to actively supervise.

Any crate a pet parent selects should be sturdy and large enough to comfortably accommodate the dog. Pet parents should measure their dog from the nose to the base of the tail and add two to four inches (or select a crate based on the estimated adult size of their puppy). 

6. Focus On Potty Training as Soon as Possible

Puppies aren’t the only dogs who need house-training. Even previously housebroken canines might have the occasional accident after moving in with their new home. Pet parents should start working on house training right away. Treats and plenty of praise can help reinforce desired behaviors. Cleaning supplies can also come in handy should accidents occur indoors. 

7. Prioritize Your Dog’s Health With Vet Services and Toys

Dogs can benefit from routine vet visits just as humans benefit from regular wellness visits with their doctors. Annual checkups can ensure a dog is in good health and help catch potential issues before they become more serious. These visits also allow pet parents to keep their dog up-to-date on vaccinations.

Pet parents can also use online vet services when their primary vet’s office is closed or when they have questions that might not warrant an in-person appointment, such as ordering heartworm preventatives, flea and tick prevention, and supplements.

Finally, no pet parent’s home is complete without some high-quality toys. Ropes, interactive toys, chew toys, tennis balls, and more can help keep a dog physically and mentally healthy. They also foster quality time between a dog and their new pet parents. 

Receive Exceptional Pet Products and Care for Your New Dog Online

While there’s a lot of excitement involved in becoming a first-time pet parent, the anticipation shouldn’t outweigh the importance of being prepared. Pet parents should make sure their home is ready to welcome their new canine. That way, the transition goes more smoothly and successfully for everyone. 

As they prepare for their new addition, pet parents should know where to go to get the products and care that their dog needs. That place is Fuzzy. With a wide array of vet-approved pet care products, including supplements, preventative medications, grooming items, and more, pet parents can find much of what they need to keep their dog happy and healthy. Fuzzy also features a 24/7 Live Vet Chat. Pet parents can speak with qualified vets at any time of day or night if they have questions or concerns about their dog’s health or well-being. 

To access Fuzzy’s Live Vet Chat and start shopping for high-quality pet products for their new canine companion, pet parents should visit Fuzzy to become a member today.  

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