|Top 10 Things To Do Before You Bring Your New Dog Home
Congratulations, you’re getting a new dog! Your first job as a new pet parent is to prep your home and
your family—and yourself, too—for the furry bundle of fun who’s about to come barreling into your life.
After all, you do want to get this relationship off on the right paw!
1. You Better Shop Around
Stock up on supplies before Fido arrives! Your new pal won’t need much—the Burberry overcoat and
crystal tiara are optional—but essentials include food and water bowls, safe chew toys, grooming tools,
a collar and leash, an identification tag and a crate with bedding (towels will do if you don’t want to
spend money on a fancy crate pad).
When it comes to food, try to buy the same brand he’s already eating. If you want to change foods,
make the switch gradually, mixing old food with new, over a period of a few weeks.
2. Divvy Up Responsibilities
To avoid conflict when Princess has to go out at 1:00 A.M., powwow with members of your household
about who is going to be responsible for what. Who will walk the dog at various times of times of day?
Who will feed the dog, and at what times? Who will take the dog to the vet? And if it’s you who winds
up walking her in the middle of a rainy night, slap on a smile and remember—pet parenting is a privilege,
not a chore!
3. My House, My Rules
4. Lost In Translation
Dogs can get confused when one human says “down” and another says “off” when, for example, they
jump on visitors. Then there’s “down” versus “lie down,” and “paw” versus “shake”—surely you see how
this is perplexing to another species! Do Fido a favor and select the terms that you plan to associate
with various commands. It’ll help to write out a vocabulary list of the words that everyone will use.
5. Safety First
Dog-proof your pup’s environment. Tuck electrical cords out of the way, install safety latches in lower
kitchen cabinets, etc. Make sure anything dangerous to ingest—like small decorative items, children’s
toys and chemicals—is off floor level. Some people find it helps to get down on the floor for a dog’s-eye
view of every room to see what might tempt a curious canine.
6. Pardon Me, Where Is Your Restroom?
If your new pooch is not yet housetrained, determine where his indoor “potty spot” will be. Figure out
your plan to train him, and coordinate with the entire household.
7. Hit the Floor
It’s a good idea to mop your floors with odor-neutralizing solution shortly before bring home a new
dog. Even dogs who are trained sometimes are compelled, either through territorial instincts or plain
old nerves, to let loose in a new home. Be sure that you don’t mop with cleaners containing ammonia—
these are believed to encourage peeing.
8. Make It Official
Find out about your community’s dog licensing rules and apply for a license. This information can usually
be found by visiting your state’s department of agriculture website. You can also ask your local shelter
for the straight dope.
9. Set the Date
If you don’t already have one, find a good veterinarian—and bring your new canine to a caring
veterinarian for a wellness exam within one week after adoption. Make this appointment even before
you bring home your new pup.
10. Sibling Rivalry
This one’s for folks who already have a dog in the home. Before you introduce the new hound into the
pack, pick up anything your resident dog might guard, such as food bowls, bones, toys and beds. Even
if your dog has never exhibited possessive tendencies, it is best to exercise caution. This may be an
intense experience for your resident canine, so do be patient with her.