Congrats on picking up your new pup! Bringing a new member into the family can be incredibly stressful, and it helps to be prepared so you are not scrambling and stressed! Even if you already have your new family member, this list is still helpful when you are in the pet store or shopping online, wondering if you forgot anything!
1. Crate. Make sure to have a crate so your pup or new dog will feel totally comfortable at their new home! Most dogs are crate trained, and if they are not, I highly recommend crate training! Dogs are den animals and giving them a crate basically teaches them that the crate is their “room.” It becomes their safe place and a place where they can sleep, play, eat, and de-stress if necessary. When your puppy or your dog gets into a bored or destructive mood, the crate is a great place for them to be so they cannot destroy things, and can play or chew on designated toys or treats.
2. A security blanket. This does not have to be an actual blanket (it can be if you want!) This can be something soft, a snuggly toy, or some old clothes. Just something the pup or dog can have at their new home. Some people chose old clothes or blankets with their scent on it, so their new pet can get used to their scent. Some people like to purchase dog toys that have a heartbeat in it, so the toy seems “alive,” and offers a higher level of security for the dog.
3. Slippery elm bark powder. Moving into a new home, meeting new family members, getting used to a new place to sleep, and getting used to other pets can be very stressful for a dog. This can cause digestive upset and instead, so I recommend having some sort of supplement on hand to help soothe the pup’s tummy. Slippery elm bark powder works well in this case, and is easy to make and mix with your dog’s food. It works just like Pepto Bismol for dogs!
4. A collar, a leash, and a tag. Even if you don’t have a name for your new pet yet, have a tag at least printed with your phone number on it. That way, you can attach it to the collar and the leash and just in case the pup gets out, whoever finds the pup is able to contact you right away. The leash and collar is a must have, so you can walk your pup around and make sure that they don’t get loose. Here’s a great article on choosing whether a collar or harness works best for your dog.
5. Cleaner and pee pads! With any dog, there may be some accidents due to age or just stress. Be sure to have a pet-safe cleaner and some pee pads just in case! Make sure to get a cleaner that is specifically aimed towards pet messes, because cleaners usually kitchen cleaners have chemicals that can be harmful to pets. When I brought my puppy home, she got incredibly carsick and stressed and threw up puppy chunks on my lap! Luckily, I came prepared with cleaner and a towel, or else the 3.5 hour ride home would’ve been a complete disaster.
6. Poop bags. An essential in every pet owner’s household, poop bags are something that you should keep in stock always. You should have some in the house, in your bag, and a backup in the car. You can purchase poop bag holders and attach them to your bag, so wherever you go, you will have bags. Accidents happen, and it’s good to be prepared!
7. Food. Your new pet will be hungry, so you will need to have food! If you haven’t had time to pick out a food, you can always just get what the shelter or breeder was feeding, and then do research after the dog is settled on a new food. We recommend feeding fresh or raw foods. Make sure to find a food that works for you and your dog. Remember, food is medicine!
Once again, congrats on your new family member, and hopefully this list makes things easier on you and your new pup!