Getting Things Ready For Your New Rescue Dog
You can’t wait for your new rescue dog to come home – but is your home ready for him?
You’ve taken the plunge and decided to give a home to a rescue dog, but now you have to get things ready for when Fido arrives. The good news is that, unlike your average house guest, he’s not going to mind if you haven’t dusted or the dishes are piling up in the sink, but there are a number of things you’ll need to get and do before he joins your family.
If this is the first dog you’re bringing into your home, you’ll need to learn a little bit about dog proofing. Sure, some dogs are as good as gold, and won’t touch anything you don’t want them to, but since rescue pups may not have lived in a house for a while (if ever) it’s best to prepare for the worst. Before your new dog knows what is and isn’t his to play with, it’s best to keep anything you don’t want him to pick up or chew well out of the way. Keep items such as shoes off the floor, or keep them in a room in which Fido isn’t allowed to venture. If you’re getting a large dog, you may need to keep tables and worktops clear, as could jump up and grab something. Leave some of his own toys around, so he doesn’t have to go for forbidden fruit if he does get the urge to chew. Make sure you store medicines and household chemicals well out of his reach.
Once your home is safe for your new pooch, you’ll need to make sure you have everything that he might need. Make a list and check it twice.
- Collar and leash: You’ll need these right away, for picking him up from the shelter. If you’re unsure what size collar to get, ask the shelter for his neck measurement.
- ID tag: Just in case your pup wanders off, you’ll need an ID tag fitted to his collar. It should be engraved with your name, address, telephone number and, optionally, your dog’s name.
- Bowls: You’ll need two stainless steel or ceramic bowls, one for food and once for water. Larger dogs should have the kinds of bowls that fit into raised stands, as this reduces the chance of getting bloat when they eat.
- Food: Ideally, you should start your new dog out on whatever they were feeding him at the shelter. If you want to change foods, transition between the two gradually, so you don’t give him an upset tummy.
- Treats: Get some high value (extra yummy) treats to help with training. Look for some without too many additives or other nasties.
- Baby gate: You may find it useful to have a baby gate, just in case you ever need to confine him to one part of the home. For instance, if you’re going out. However, when you’re home, you’re pooch should have free run of most or all of the home.
- Grooming supplies: What you need in the way of grooming supplies will depend on your dog and his coat type. At the very least, you should have one bristle brush, but long haired dogs will need more than this.
- Bedding: Your new pooch will want somewhere nice and comfy to sleep. Get him a nice, soft, padded dog bed. Preferably one that’s easy to clean.
- Toys: Get a variety of different toys for your dog. Some interactive, so that you can play with him, and some so he can entertain himself. All dogs seem to have different tastes when it comes to toys, so don’t be disheartened if he shuns some of them, you’ll soon learn what he loves!
Lauren Corona is a freelance writer from merry old England. She specializes in writing about dogs and other critters. Lauren lives near Oxford, with her gorgeous Doberman, Nola. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard, you’ll find her walking in the woods with Nola-dog, raising money for the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, cooking vegan food, making zines and writing about herself in the third person.