Bringing home a new dog is certainly exciting, but don't forget to prepare for your new family member amidst all the excitement. Create a checklist of things to do in the week before the adoption so you don't overlook anything. Don't leave necessary planning or preparations to the last minute or you risk forgetting something important.
Purchase Dog Supplies
A new dog requires various supplies, including food. It's easiest and less stressful to feed a dog the same food she is accustomed to eating, if possible. If you plan to make a change, do so gradually over the course of two weeks by mixing in increasing quantities of the replacement food with the familiar brand. Buy water and food bowls, a collar, a leash, an identification tag, treats, grooming products, safe chew toys, a crate, and bedding.
"Create a checklist of things to do in the week before the adoption so you don't overlook anything."
Make an Appointment with a Veterinarian
Bring your new dog to the veterinarian within one week of the adoption for a well check and any necessary vaccinations. As a side note, if you already have other pets at home, make sure their vaccinations are up to date before bringing home your new dog, just in case she has any viral or bacterial infections. The initial veterinary appointment is an opportunity to get thorough care instructions, including breed-specific information you might not have. Make an appointment for spaying or neutering if it has not yet been done.
Assign Responsibilities to the Humans in the House
A new dog brings numerous new responsibilities. Dogs need to be walked, often early in the morning or late at night. They need to be fed, played with, housebroken and trained, groomed, bathed, cleaned up after, and taken to the veterinarian's office. Save your household potential chaos and strife by deciding beforehand who does what, and when. Also, be sure everyone has read up on how to train a new dog.
Come to a Consensus on Rules and Language
Consistency is key to successfully training a new dog. Establish the rules your dog has to follow before she enters the home. All human family members should be clear on the rules and ready to enforce them. For example, decide whether there is furniture the dog won't be permitted on or if any rooms are off-limits, whether the dog will be fed table scraps, and where she will sleep. Also, decide on the language used during training. For example, use only one command when teaching your dog not to jump on people; you shouldn't be saying "down" while someone else says "off."
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This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not
be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of
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