Essential New Dog Products
Any time is a good time to consider adopting a dog or puppy. The cold weather setting in can spell misfortune for animals on the streets, and adoption frees up valuable shelter space. Before taking home your new friend, make sure your home is ready for them with these essential items:
Water/Food Bowls – Self-explanatory. Your dog will need something to eat and drink out of. If you are adopting a large breed or senior dog, a raised feeder can benefit them as it puts less stress on the neck and joints. However, large breed dogs are often susceptible to bloat, so make sure to feed your dog slowly, or place a toy in their bowl so they cannot eat as quickly.
Food – Going along with the bowls, you want to be sure you have food for your dog! Some shelters will give you a bag of whatever food the dog was being fed there. If they don’t, be sure you find out what it was, whether you intend to continue feeding that food or switch to a new food.
A quick tip: Transitioning slowly from one food to another by mixing them together in increasing ratios will prevent gastrointestinal distress. Canned pumpkin can also ease digestive upset.
Leash – Essential for walking your dog. Make sure to get one appropriate for your dog’s size and strength.
Collar/ID Tag – Besides being a leash attachment for walks, a collar makes your dog immediately identifiable and an ID tag can help a lost dog find their owner. Reflective collars can make your dog more visible at night when out on walks. Owners have the option now to microchip their pets in case the collar or tag is somehow lost.
Dog House – If a dog is kept outside for any length of time, a dog house will keep them safe from the elements. Dog houses can be purchased or built by hand. As always, make sure the house is sized appropriately for your dog. It should have enough space for the dog to stand up and turn around in.
Toys/Chews – All dogs should have toys to keep them occupied and satisfy their natural urges to chew. Chews should be fully digestible. Dogs enjoy a variety of toys and can quickly get bored of playing with only one kind.
Crate – Dogs are denning animals and feel more secure when they have a place to return to at night. Crate training helps to prevent separation anxiety. Some companies such as Pet Tek sell crates with dividers that can be moved or removed to enlarge the crate space, ensuring that a growing puppy always has an appropriately sized den.
Bed – Give your dog a comfortable place to sleep that’s all their own, inside the crate or out. Beds should be comfortable, secure places for a dog to lie down, and bolstered beds may provide an extra sense of security. Bed material should be durable and water resistant. Some dogs also enjoy blankets they can burrow under.
Vet care – Finally, it’s important to have a trusted veterinarian you can take your dog to if they have any health issues.