When you’re ready to adopt your first dog, there are plenty of things to consider in preparing for your new family member. Taking the time to prepare for your first pet will help you ensure they make a welcome addition to the family. From making sure your dog’s needs are met to protecting your home against damage, there’s much you will have to do in advance. Ideally, you should begin preparing two to three weeks before you bring your new dog home.

Meet Your Dog’s Basic Needs

To get started, you will have to make sure your dog’s basic needs will be met before you bring your new pet home. When it comes to food, you should research the nutritional needs for the specific breed of dog you are adopting and ensure the dog food you buy meets those requirements. You should also make sure you’re buying the food that’s appropriate for the age of your dog. If you’re adopting a puppy, be sure to buy puppy food. If you’re bringing home a senior dog, make sure the food you buy meets his needs. Additionally, you’ll need food and water bowls, a crate for training, bedding, toys, a leash, and healthy treats.

Make Sure You’re Ready For the Commitment

Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment, so this isn’t something you should do on a whim. There will be days when you will feel impatient or annoyed by your dog’s behavior, but you’ll still have to remember that they are a part of your family. If you’re not prepared to treat your dog like family even after they outgrow their puppy stages, a dog may not be the ideal pet for your home. You’ll also have to dedicate a great deal of time to the training of your new dog. It will take time, effort, and patience to teach your dog the behavior you expect from them.

Think About Veterinary Care

While there are some medical conditions unique to dogs, they also face many of the same health concerns as people. In most cases, a healthy dog will only need to see a vet once per year for vaccinations and a checkup. However, there are situations, such as flea problems, injuries, or obesity, in which your dog will need more constant care. Especially as your pet gets older, it may make sense to look for the best pet insurance for older dogs to help you cover the costs of your dog’s medical care. Surgical procedures and medications for dogs can be just as costly as treatments for people.

Puppy-Proof Your Home

You should also take the time to make your home safe for your puppy and from them. One important step to take is to secure any pantry or cabinet doors that your new pet would be able to reach. You might be surprised to find out that your new dog can figure out how to unlock a cupboard door’s latch. Be sure to lock away household cleaners, cosmetics, and other items that would be poisonous to your dog. Keep in mind that your new pet may be teething as well. Keep a rubber chew toy in the freezer for him because the cold rubber will feel good against his sore gum tissue. Additionally, make sure charging cords, cables, and wires are either hidden or out of the puppy’s reach. A mischievous dog can chew through a cord in a matter of minutes.


You should also consider taking your new dog to obedience classes. Since this is your first dog, working with a professional trainer can teach you how to get the behavior you want from your dog. Obedience classes will also help the dog understand more about what you expect from him. Dogs are sociable animals and taking the time to train them will help your new pet please you.


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