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Getting a new dog or puppy is exciting. But going in unprepared can leave you stressed and helpless. Creating a plan prior to adopting or buying your new family member can save you a lot of time and money. Before I adopted Brindle, I made sure to make a list and acquire all of the products that I would need to make sure Briny’s first night was comfortable for her and me.
I adopted Brindle about six months ago and it was the single best decision I ever made in my life. I had recently moved home and decided to commute for my senior year of college, and with lack of a better way to explain it, I was an emotional mess. My anxiety and depression were at an all time high and I needed to make some changes.
I did some research and learned about emotional support dogs. I had no idea this was even a thing. I pitched the idea to my parents (since I still live in their house) and they told me to start looking for a dog, but there were no promises I would be able to get one.
I immediately found myself on petfinder.com searching for my new best friend. I filled out a few applications, but between my work schedule and inexperience caring for a dog, I was not having much luck. My family and I had had a golden retriever in the past, but I was so young during her puppy years that I had no idea what they entailed. Finally, I came across a cute 3 month old puppy named Dru. I filled out the application and found out two hours later I was approved. I cried to my boss in excitement after I got the email and immediately called my mom.
Luckily, the way this rescue did their adoptions really helped my case. I was allowed to bring the puppy home for two weeks to make sure she fit in with our family and cats before I made the decision of whether or not to sign the adoption papers. This sold it to my parents because I also had the chance to understand what it was like to own my own dog.
My mom and I went to the rescue two days later to pick up Dru (now Brindle) and we immediately fell in love. But, before that happened, I had to make sure I was well prepared to welcome this young pup into my parent’s home.
So here are the six most important items to make sure you have before you go pick up your new best friend.
This is probably the single most important item to have before you pick up your new pup. I mean a dog is a living creature, so they need to eat! An extremely important fact to remember is that before you acquire your pup, the rescue, breeder, or pet store is already feeding you dog some kind of food. Some dogs might get an upset stomach if their food is switched abruptly. So contacting whoever is caring for your dog before you pick them up to find out what kind of food the dog is being fed is extremely important.
When I contacted the rescue about what Brindle had been eating, they told me to get Annamaet dry food. While this food was slightly out of my price ranger, I had to get it at first so Brindle did not get sick. I started weening her off of it to a cheaper food by mixing half of the Annamaet and half of the cheaper brand. It was a smooth transition and saved me a good amount of money.
It definitely helps to have something to put the food in. So food and water bowls are necessary! Companies create some really cute dog bowls so you can get the perfect one to fit your dogs personality! Make sure you know the amount of food your dog is going to need to eat before buying a bowl. This could mean doing some research on the specific breed you are getting. Some breeds need to eat a lot of food, so a jumbo bowl would be a good option. Some don’t need to eat as much due to their size, so a regular sized bowl would suffice.
3. Dog Treats
You need to start training your pup the second they walk in the door, and treats are necessary for this. It is important to establish to the dog that you are in charge and it never hurts to start teaching them commands from the get go. I am still teaching Brindle on a daily basis. To report, she just learned high five today, it was a pretty exciting moment. There are lots of treats to choose from so it might take some trial and error to find the type your dog likes. When Brindle was younger, I started her off with Sportmix Puppy treats and she loved them. Now that she is a little older, I give her Milkbone treats. Some treats are even specific for their dental health, such as Pedigree Dentastix, and can be good to give to your dog once a day.
4. Dog Bed
We get the comfort of sleeping in a bed, so shouldn’t our dogs too? I mean they are part of the family! Investing in a dog bed is essential in making your dog comfortable, especially if you are rescuing a dog, because you don’t know what they had to go through before finding comfort with their new owner. I started off with a cheaper dog bed, mostly because I did not know for sure if I was keeping her at first (due to the foster to adopt two week period). Well I knew I was keeping her, but I had to act like I wasn’t drop dead in love with her until my parents gave the official o.k.
That bed went flat within a week, so I invested in one that was much nicer and Brindle and I have been so happy with the results. I got her a memory foam bed and it has done wonders. I highly suggest investing in a bed that will last, especially if you have a heavier dog who’s weight will naturally flatten the bed. Brindle has been using her memory foam bed every night for 6 months now and it looks like I just bought it!
If you are bringing home a dog, especially a puppy, you want to have some toys, unless you want to find everything in your house chewed up and destroyed. Younger puppies teeth and need something to chew on. There are a lot of specific toys for puppies. A popular brand for teething puppies is Nylabone and they even have some that are flavored!
Brindle loves the fact that balls roll. So I always pick her up a cheap basketball when I’m out so she can entertain herself in the yard. Usually, she chews the balls up pretty quick, so they are a temporary fix.
Noticing how Brindle would chew up EVERYTHING, I knew I needed to find a toy that could keep up with Brindle. Check out my post Five Dog Toys for Big Chewers to learn more! If you have a large breed like a Pit bull or Rottweiler, this post is for you!
Unless you want a flea and tick problem in the house, this is a MUST. We have had animals bring in fleas to the house before and they are a nightmare to get rid of. There are a lot of different brands, some work better than others. I use Capstar and it has had good results so far. I have found an oral version works better than a topical from experience. It is also very important to make sure that you pay attention to the weight the treatment is for and make sure it corresponds with the weight of your dog. If you have other pets in the house, such as cats, who also go outside, they need to be treated as well. Some work better than others for each specific animal so it might take a little trial and error.
As I am sure you have guessed by now, the foster to adopt period of the adoption process went extremely well. Brindle is registered as my emotional support dog and has done wonders for my mental diseases. My family fell in love with her and constantly say how she is the best behaved dog they have ever had in their home. She is a joy to our daily lives and I am so thankful I came across her picture on petfinder six and a half months ago.