A new pet dog is an extended member of your family. Much like having a child, you will need to take excellent care of your new four-legged companion for many years to come. It may involve lots of hard work, care and attention, but that is precisely what makes it a fulfilling experience.
Once you have decided to get a new dog, you will need to prepare yourself as well as your home.
A trip to a nearby pet shop can yield a plethora of options when it comes to what you should get for your canine.
Some niche pet shops offer everything from period costumes to beer (!) for your dogs. The options are truly limitless, and you may soon find yourself getting lost in all the fun possibilities.
However, before you get ahead of yourself and drain your savings, you need to get the real essentials.
When it comes to sourcing quality dog food, there are plenty of options to choose from:
With all these options, how do you go about buying dog food for your new pet? Should you start with cheaper brands or go all out on premium brands?
Start by consulting a trusted veterinarian. In your conversation, tell your vet what kind of dog you are getting.
Your vet will recommend suitable dog food brands based on the dog’s breed, age, health and other factors.
If you plan to adopt a dog from a nearby pound or animal shelter, the staff may provide you with a small bag of the dog food that the pup has been fed during his stay there. You can feed your pup this food so that he can continue consuming something familiar to his taste buds and tummy.
Gradually, you can begin introducing the dog food recommended by your vet. Keep in mind that creating a slow but steady transition to a different food will make the switch less stressful for your dog.
Get at least one food bowl and one water bowl for your new dog.
If you have or plan to own several dogs, providing each dog with their own food and water bowls is important in maintaining order in your home.
When it comes to bowls, some of the most common types include those made from plastic, metal and ceramic. You can find bowls that are elevated, attached to automatic dispensers, portable, designed for slow feeding, and more. Pick the type that suits your new canine’s needs.
Your dog needs a designated spot to rest by day and recharge through the night.
Dog beds can be as simple as a cardboard box laden with comfy towels or a pile of soft blankets carefully placed in a special corner of a room. On the other hand, you could also opt to go all out and buy a specially made dog bed or even a replica of your bedroom made for your dog.
If you are getting a puppy, keep in mind that pups also go through a teething stage. During this time, your pup may chew through everything they can find in your home: shoes, clothes or even your furniture.
It is best to stay away from the fancier bed types until your dog gets through this destructive phase and learns to immediately settle into his space when it’s time to sleep.
At some point, you will need to take your dog out for a walk.
Even with the most behaved breeds, you need a collar and a leash or harness to keep them close to you at all times.
Dog collars and harnesses are not just designed to control your dog during walks or trips, or when spending time with them outside the house. These dog accessories are also handy for attaching dog tags so that your dog can have proper identification details should he happen to get lost.
When it comes to leashes, choose lightweight but sturdy types. Pick a length of between 4 and 6 feet. This gives your pet enough slack to move around without the risk of you losing control of him.
Be a responsible pet owner and pick up after your pet wherever you go.
You will need at least one pooper scooper and some plastic bags to clean up with after your dog is done with his business.
These accessories are especially useful when taking your dog out for a walk or jog.
Your neighbors will surely appreciate your habit of keeping your surroundings clean whenever you are out with your pup.
Shopping for a new dog is fun. On the other hand, the experience can be also be overwhelming, especially for new owners. The sheer amount of options in terms of food, beds and collars alone can be dizzying!
But once you have these listed essentials ready and are all set to welcome your new dog home, you can focus on getting to know the fluffy critter — and after a while, you can go crazy with buying other stuff, like toys and accessories for your dog.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet's Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.
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