A Dog is Moving In: Getting Optimally Prepared

A dog is heart on four legs. Let us tell you how to set up your place for your new furry roommate.

A Dog is Moving In: Getting Optimally Prepared

There he was, playfully barking in his cage, and he stole your heart. That faithful, loving look, the gentle wagging of his tail. After a little walk to get acquainted, the decision was made: you want to rescue this dog. This cute, four-legged friend has been longing for a home and a family. Now, what stands before you is a challenge that requires a lot of patience, understanding, time and commitment. In return, you will get one thing back: the unconditional, limitless love of a dog. It is said that dogs are the only beings that love us more than themselves. 

Nevertheless, you wonder if your home will be turned upside down. Don't worry, we'll tell you what to consider before you adopt a dog and how to prepare your home for life with a four legged friend.

Making the decision

You've heard it a thousand times before but it can't be said enough: adopting a dog is a serious decision because it requires years of commitment.  Most dogs kept as pets live for more than 10 years.

It isn't just about the financial responsibility, like buying food, accessories, medical care, and licensing. It is also about committing time. Having a dog is a time-consuming task - you have to provide them with plenty of exercise and make sure that they don't get bored. In the beginning of your adventure together, you'll also have a lot of time dedicated to training. Don't forget that getting a dog from an animal shelter might also have an unknown past and it might take some time before they trust you. 

A Dog in an apartment?

Many people question if having a dog in an apartment is a good idea. They might ask "Isn't life in an apartment building torture for a dog?" and "Wouldn't it be better if you left them at the shelter?". The short answer is no. Keeping a dog in an apartment is not torture. If you take your pet for three walks per day with activities and fun, then your dog will live a happy life. An apartment is the place where your dog should rest. Consider that a dog sleeps about 14 hours per day (puppies up to 20!), so a few hours in the apartment won't do any harm. 

The myth that dogs need a yard is also false. After a few days wandering around it, they will know ever corner like the back of their paw and will get bored. A yard can never replace walking and every dog needs daily exercise and contact with other dogs. 

Hounds abound

Something extremely important to clear up before getting a dog is allergies. Is anyone in the house allergic? An allergy test can help avoid any unpleasant surprises. 

Also consider any future vacations. You can't take a dog everywhere with you, such as long flights. There are plenty of dog-friendly vacation options which you can find in the article "Unforgettable Vacations with Your Dog". At any rate, ask family and friends if they can watch your fur friend while you are away or during any unplanned absences like getting sick. Tip: There are a number of dog kennels or sites like Bnbiscuits which is like Airbnb but with pets.

New Home, New Life

The move from the shelter to a new home is a big change for a dog and will mean a lot of stress. Give that pupper plenty of time to get settled and become familiar with the new situation. They might not sleep or each much at first. Maybe they will appear anxious or even aggressive - the is just a sign of the insecurity your new roommate is experiencing and is considered a normal reaction. If you have children, explain to them that the dog needs time to get acquainted. Rambunctious play and lots of petting will have to wait. Additionally, put the training on pause and don't give the new dog any baths just after getting home. It is just too much for a scared dog to deal with. Also, don't change dog food too quickly either or it can lead to stomach problems. 

Do you still feel like you can shoulder the responsibility of rescuing a dog from the shelter? Perfect. Congratulations on this wonderful decision, and we assure you: If you adopt a dog, it might not change the whole world but it will change the whole world for that one dog! Now it is time to go shopping and get the essentials for a happy dog life.

Dog Food

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Good and healthy food is as important for a dog as it is for us humans. It influences health, energy, and appearance. 

  • Meat should be the main ingredient of dog food. Cheap, dry food often contains too much grain which is used as a filler. 
  • Raw fats and other fats like oil from plants and animal origin. These ingredients provide more energy than protein. An example of a good oil is omega-3, which is often found in fish. 
  • Even vegetables are an important part of a dog's nutrition. It supports good gastrointestinal health and provides vitamins which maintain overall health and energy.
  • Sugar does not belong in dog food! 

Quality dog food is not cheap so keep your paws off the fast food of the dog world - cheap supermarket chow. We recommend Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream. It contains everything vital for a healthy diet. comprigo tip: choose a larger quantity as the price per pound is often lower than the small bags. 

Keep in mind that puppies need special food for their developing bodies!

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Dog Bed

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Your dog needs their own place to relax. This can be a blanket or a basket. This is where the dog can lay back and relax, even if guest come by. In such a situation the command "go to bed" can be very helpful to teach your dog. There are plenty of practical videos throughout the internet that can demonstrate how to train this command. 

An ordinary bed made from foam can damage a dog's joints, so we recommend soft, poly-filled models. This bed from eConsumersUSA is durable and waterproof. The external cover is also machine washable. 

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Dog Care

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Bathing

Even dogs need regular cleaning and care but you should not bathe them too often because their skin will dry out. If you notice that your special dog has become especially smelly, it is good to use a plant-based neem oil shampoo. It is skin friendly and makes a dog's coat shiny and easy to brush.

Brushing

For some breeds, like the Tibetan Terrier, brushing is an almost daily routine. For short haired breeds like Rhodesian Ridgebacks you'll never need to brush them. For Quadrupeds with medium to long hair, we recommend a slicker brush. If you'd prefer to use a comb, then the distance between the teeth is important to consider. Wide teeth are suitable for dogs with thick fur and for those with finer hair, fine toothed combs are appropriate. 

Nail Care

Why? Nail care also an important part of hygiene. Long claws are uncomfortable while running and can even become inflamed. To find out the best way to trim a dog's nails, it is best to ask your vet. In any case you'll need a good tool

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Leash

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Of course, you need a leash. If you aren't sure how well your new dog will respond to being on a leash make sure to get a leash that has a redundant attachment for a collar and a harness. It is also important to consider safety so a leash with reflectors is a must. 

If that pupper isn't listening to you reliably yet then try out a 30 foot supply line. Attach it to the harness and let the line out. If the dog is ignoring your calls then you can simply step on the line and reel them in. Kind of like fishing...for a dog. 


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A dog should always wear a collar. Attach a tag with your address and phone number to ensure that you'll get your dog returned quickly should they ever get lost. For walks, a collar is not the best option. If your dog pulls too hard, it can seriously injure them (specifically on the throat and spine). On the other hand, a harness distributes pressure more evenly to less sensitive areas. Additionally, a harness provides more control over a dog. Remember that reflective banding makes sure that your dog is even more visible. 

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Food Bowls

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Of course a dog needs a feeding bowl. It can be just an ordinary plate but why not have something attractive? This no-spill, bamboo made design ensures a tidy house. Since it is elevated, it also makes it easier on your four legged friend. 

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Games are fun for dogs too! There is a huge selection of toys out there ranging from balls to tug ropes. However, there are also some toys that require real strategy like the Trixie Dog Activity Poker Box. With this toy your dog will have to use their paws and nose to trigger levers and doors in order to earn a reward. We guarantee that you will also enjoy watching your dog try to figure out all the different possible techniques. 

Another boredom remedy comes from Kong. Made from natural rubber, this toy can be filled with treats like cottage cheese which a dog can chew and lick out with some patience. This is especially useful to keep your pup busy when you have guests or need to leave them alone for a little while. 

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A dog carrier has two functions. First, it helps with transporting a dog. Fixed kennels are not as practical because they are heavy and often hard to disassemble. A foldable model with steel supports is ideal to for quickly collapsing and constructing and takes up very little space. 

The second function is especially useful for puppies. Inside, a puppy has a quiet place to relax and get some sleep. A transportable kennel can also be helpful for you - puppies need a lot of attention and you might find you don't always have the time and will need a way to calm down an energetic pup. 


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