Bringing a new dog home can be as exciting as it is nerve-wracking. There’s the joy and anticipation of welcoming a new family member into your home, but there’s also the potential for those first few days to be demanding as your companion tries to adjust to his new environment.
One way to combat the potential stress is to outline your new responsibilities and all the equipment and supplies that come with it. Mentally preparing yourself and properly equipping your home before Fido’s arrival is one of the best ways to come out on top of this big undertaking.
How to Identify Your Dog
One of the great things about bringing a dog into your family is getting to know his personality and giving him an identity. There are tangible items to help you do this such as a personalized dog tag, collar, leash, or even personalized dog food through Just Right by Purina.
Some retailers like PrideBites and Mark & Graham can embroider your dog’s name directly on everything from collars to dog beds. The world of customizable pet accessories is wide, and it can be fun to personalize your dog’s belongings to truly make them his own.
How to Groom Your Dog
Depending on the type of dog you’re bringing home, you may choose to take your dog to a professional groomer. If you’d like get in the habit of grooming your dog on your own, it’s best to get your dog comfortable with a dog brush, nail clippers, toothbrush, and toothpaste (more on how to brush your dog's teeth). Purchase these items before bringing your dog home and slowly introduce him to each tool. Also think about making the grooming process a positive experience by associating good behavior with a special treat that your dog only gets after grooming.
How to Choose the Best Dog Food
Deciding what food to feed your dog is a big decision. There’s a wide selection at various retail outlets, which makes determining the best dog food a daunting task. But one way to make a decision is to personalize your dog’s blend of dog food. Start by creating a Just Right profile of your dog’s physical and behavioral characteristics, and we’ll recommend a blend that’s right for your dog’s unique nutritional needs. To create a blend to have in time for your dog’s homecoming, consult the breeder or shelter where your new dog is coming from to get the information you need to create the profile.
And don’t forget to purchase bowls for your dog’s food and water and treats for reward and training purposes.
How to Create a Safe Space for Your Dog
It’s always good to have at least one location in your house that your dog can call his own. There are many reasons for doing this – not only to give your dog a comfy place to sleep but also for training purposes. A Fido-only safe space will come in handy when you need your dog to retreat to his special spot in the house. Some owners direct their dogs to these types of locations when the doorbell rings and someone new enters the home. Dogs that have negative reactions to loud noises such as thunder or fireworks find their safe space to be calm and soothing.
The key to creating that safe space is to buy a crate or a dog bed and find a location in the house that’s quiet, but not completely removed from all the action. Your dog may find comfort in knowing that he’s close to his human companions and not isolated from them. Also try introducing your dog to the space in a positive manner by associating it with treats or toys.
How to Mentally Stimulate Your Dog
Playtime will likely be one of the most fun activities you do with your dog when you first bring him home. Be sure to stock up on balls and chew toys, especially if you plan on bringing a puppy home. You never know what types of household items he might get his paws on, so it’s always good to have toys on hand to distract him.
Another great form of mental stimulation is a puzzle toy, which allows your dog to exercise his cognitive skills while interacting with a treat-filled toy. Some dog owners even use puzzle toys in place of a food bowl. When filled with kibble, the puzzle can dispense the food at a slower rate as opposed to your dog devouring his food bowl in seconds.
Congratulations on bringing home the newest member of your family!
Help him live happy and healthy for years to come with a solid foundation personalized dog food that's just right for his nutritional needs.