Ready and Waiting for the Dog
OK, you’ve chosen the dog, and he’s coming home. Yay! But wait, is the home ready for the dog? Here are 10 basic products you must have for the dog.
1. Food and Dog Treats
You probably need wet and dry food until you know what your dog likes. Big dogs usually get more dry than wet; otherwise, the cost will put you in the poorhouse. Also, get some treats; you may have to shop around after the dog is home to see what he favors.
2. Dog Food and Water Dishes
Make sure the food and water dishes are appropriate for the size of the dog. For big and medium dogs the dishes should be hefty because those greedy tongues can push the dish all around the floor.
3. Dog Leashes and Dog Collars
Collar are necessary because they have metal loops that hold the dog’s registration and the plastic disc that indicates the dog is microchipped. Leashes are the control device, so choose carefully. The size of the leash and the size of the dog should match. Foo-Foo doesn’t need a choke chain, and Bruiser will snap a pink ½-inch thick leash. Flexi leashes are pretty popular.
4. Dog Toys
Get a nice selection of balls and chewy things. Squeaky things are good for the little ones, and big ropes are good for the big ones. The big dogs can eat the squeaker, and you’ll all wind up at the vet’s or the emergency vet. Ditto on a ball with a bell.
5. Dog Bedding
If you don’t want the dog in the bed with you, then get bedding for the dog. Once he knows this soft, cushy thing is his, he may not want to share your bed with you. It’s sometimes a good idea to have a back-up bed in the TV room, so he won’t jump on the sofa. Too often the medium or big dog can stretch out on the sofa, and you’re on the floor.
6. Dog Crates and Dog Carriers
If you’re going to crate the dog when you’re not home, have it all prepared with a blanket or bed. Also, make sure the crate is large enough to hold a dog who’s lying down.
Carriers are for the pint-sized dogs and come in handy for trips to the vet or anywhere for that matter. Princess will thank you for it because it can cut down on the over-excitability.
7. Home-administered Dog Medicines
It’s imperative that dogs have flea medication. There are many different ways to control fleas on the dog and, consequently, in the house. There are flea collars, flea baths and topical products such as Advantage and Frontline Plus For Dogs.
In many parts of the United States dogs must also have heartworm medicine, which is only by prescription. Keep these pills in the house at all times. Heartworm is very dangerous for dogs.
8. Grooming Supplies
Dogs, even short-haired ones, need brushing. So, have on hand brushes and combs. If you plan to bathe the dog at home you need shampoo, maybe even some conditioner for a shiny coat.
9. Gates and Doors
If the dog is to be confined to a certain area of the house, then have a gate in place before the dog gets home. This way the dog won’t get his hopes up that he’ll ever get into the forbidden part of the house.
Install a dog door if you want the dog to have free access to the yard and house. Once the dog understands what the door is for, he’ll have plenty of use for it.
Choose your vet before the dog is even home. Make an appointment and interview the vet. Watch the vet with other pets, if you can, to see whether he’s kind and gentle with a very nervous dog, who will make you pay for this indignity.
Once you have all these things lined up, it’s go, go, go. You’ve made a “welcome home” for your lifetime companion.