Before you bring your new dog home you’ll need to stock up on some basic kit. This includes a comfy bed, food and water bowls, a lead, a collar, an ID tag (this is a legal requirement in the UK), toys, grooming kit and a crate if you intend to use one.
It’s really important to stick to the diet your dog is used to at first as a sudden change can upset their tummy. After that, you can choose what food you’d like, gradually mixing in the new food with the old over a period of about 5-7 days.
At Pedigree over 50 years of research has gone into making sure our food contains the perfect mix of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals, fats and fibre to keep your dog happy and healthy.
As every home is different, it’s impossible to give an exhaustive list, but there are few things to consider. All cleaning supplies, laundry products and medication need to be kept well out of the way and there are also some foods that are very toxic for dogs, including chocolate, avocados, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and coffee. You’ll also need to hide away any small objects such as coins, batteries, small toys, paper clips and rubber bands, and make sure that wires and cords are tucked away. Safety gates can be very useful when it comes to making sure your dog doesn’t have an ‘access all areas’ pass. And, if you have outside space, don’t forget about that. Not only do you need to make sure that your dog can’t get out, but you’ll want to remove any plants that are toxic when eaten and ensure that things like fertiliser are safely locked away.
If you have little ones, they’ll no doubt be super excited about the arrival of a new furry friend. But it’s important you teach your child some doggie dos and don’ts. Little hands can be a bit clumsy, for example, and might squeeze or pull a dog’s coat. So, teach your child they’ll need to be gentle and that it’s a good idea to approach the dog calmly from the side and let the [him/her] sniff them to say ‘hello’. Sudden movements or loud sounds are also to be avoided – although good luck teaching an excitable toddler that one!
When you do bring your new dog home, the most important rule of all comes into play: Never leave a child and a pet unattended. Even the gentlest, most well-mannered dogs have been known to snap when their fur gets pulled or a paw gets stamped on.
If you already have a cat, or another pet, you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure everybody gets along. Exchanging bedding between the two pets beforehand gives both animals a chance to get acquainted with each other by smell.
If you have a cat, make sure the cat always has a safe place where they can escape the new dog. And don’t forget to put your cat’s food and water dishes where the dog can’t get to them. Cat food isn’t suitable for dogs – plus it’s just plain bad manners if the dog eats their dinner!
Don’t wait until your new dog is feeling under the weather to find a vet. Now is the time to start asking around for recommendations of a good vet in your area. When you find one, you might want to chat to them about pet insurance which can help to protect you against unexpected costs and give you peace of mind.