You’ve just adopted a dog. Congratulations! In addition to gaining a pet, you’ve saved a life, found a new best friend, and given a rescue dog a home.
But if you’re a first-time dog owner, you might be wondering how to take care of a dog. Dogs need food, toys, treats, exercise, and a comfy place to sleep. But how many walks do you give them each day? What is crate training? What if there’s something important you’re forgetting?
Learning how to take care of a dog can feel daunting at first, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Follow this checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need to give your pup his best dog life.
12 Things You’ll Need To Take Care Of A Dog
A Dog Carrier
One of the first things you’ll need is a dog crate or carrier to transport your dog to her new home. Our durable On The Go Pet Carrier is a convenient way to carry your pup, and its safe, portable style is also perfect for camping, travel, and road trips. Include a comfy blanket and snuggle toy to make your dog’s freedom ride extra cozy.
A Dog Bed
When you get home, give your dog his own space, which should include a crate or dog bed in a quiet part of the house where he can sleep, relax, and slowly adjust to his new surroundings. If your dog is a puppy (ie not fully trained), set up a crate with blankets and toys where he can practice crate training. If your dog is full-grown, a comfy dog bed is a better option, especially if your dog’s feeling the aches and pains of old age. The Animal Rescue Site Store carries a wide selection of dog beds, including orthopedic options built with senior dogs in mind.
Food & Bowl
Feeding your dog isn’t as simple as just filling his bowl with kibble. What (and how often) your dog eats will depend on his age, size, and breed. According to the ASPCA, adult dogs need 1-2 meals per day, but growing puppies should eat 2-4 times daily, depending on their age. Choose a quality dog food that suits your dog’s age and nutritional needs, which vary depending on his life stage. Your dog also needs pet food bowls to enjoy his meals, which should be served up with a fresh bowl of water, and at the same time each day. Dogs love routine, which includes knowing when to expect their next meal.
Dogs need daily exercise, although some breeds require more activity than others. According to Wag, dogs need at least two 15-minute walks a day, but high-energy dog breeds could spend hours running and playing outside. Not only do regular walks help dogs stay physically and mentally fit, exercise help dogs burn off energy, stress, and relieve destructive behaviors, like excessive chewing. Plus, daily walks are an excellent way to bond with your pet. Fit your pup with a comfortable collar, harness, and leash from The Animal Rescue Site Store to get started.
Microchips & ID
Whether your outfit your dog with a collar or harness, your dog should always be wearing ID tags when she ventures outside. It’s also wise to microchip your dog because collars fall off and dogs can get lost, especially during moves and other anxiety-inducing situations. Microchips with up-to-date contact information are one of the best ways to bring wayward dogs back home.
Vets & Vaccines
Another perk to adopting a dog is that shelter pups are typically neutered, spayed, and vaccinated prior to adoption. But that doesn’t mean that your pup won’t need extra vaccines and boosters, as well as a trusted vet to monitor his health as he grows. Meanwhile, boost your pup’s health with nutritional supplements. Our PawsGive Omega-3 Fish Oil Soft Gels bolster dogs’ skin, coat, joints, heart, immune system, and may even help with anxiety. Other supplements and dog chews keep tummy troubles and joint pain at bay. Visit The Animal Rescue Site Store to help your pet live his best dog life.
Many shelter dogs are already trained–just one more of the many pros of giving a rescued dog a home! But if you adopted a puppy (or dog who learned bad manners in his old home), we also have products and tips that make training a breeze. If you’re looking to train your dog with minimal fuss, consider an Ultrasonic No-Harm Dog Training System from The Animal Rescue Site Store. This humane device uses ultrasonic sound waves, clicker sounds, and positive reinforcement training to help your puppy become a good girl or boy while retraining dogs to stop barking, chewing, howling, and other bad habits.
A clean pup is a happy pup, and The Animal Rescue Site Store is filled with grooming supplies that help your dog put his best paw forward. Our Tearless Puppy Dog Shampoo includes aloe vera, lanolin, and other soothing ingredients that keep puppies clean and tear-free. Grooming wipes make it easy to quickly clean ears, paws, and other hard-to-reach-places. We also have combs, brushes, pet toothbrushes, and absorbent towels perfect for drying muddy dogs who’ve been playing outside.
Fleas, Tick, and Mosquito Protection
Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos love to latch onto our furry friends, particularly during the summer months. But these biting pests are more than just pesky hitchhikers. Fleas cause your dog extreme discomfort, itching, and pain, while ticks and mosquitos can infect your dog with deadly Lyme and heartworm disease. Protect your dog with preventative Flea & Tick treatment and get a flea & tick comb to pluck these dangerous parasites from your dog’s fur. Meanwhile, dress your dog in an insect-repellant bandana (because citronella and DEET-based repellants are toxic for dogs) and avoid walking your pup in wooded or marshy areas where mosquitos thrive. Learn more about protecting your dog from fleas, ticks, mosquitos and common bug bites.
Toys aren’t just fun – they provide your dog with healthy mental enrichment. But not all dog toys are created equal. Consider your dog’s age, size, energy level–as well as the manufacturer’s safety record–when choosing dog toys, because poorly made toys can pose safety hazards. Is your dog an extreme chewer? Keep him busy with the Bruiser Extra Tough Dog Toy, which is indestructible and comes with room for dog treats. Does your dog love to play ball? The Petsport USA Giant Tuff Ball Dog Toy was built to survive a brisk game of fetch without the choking hazards of your typical tennis ball. Visit the Animal Rescue Site Store for toys that will delight and entertain every type of dog.
Treats are a must for both dogs and their owners, who quickly find snacks an excellent way to encourage food-motivated dogs to be on their best behavior. But we’re not talking about passing your dog scraps from the dinner table, because many human foods are toxic for dogs. Fortunately, the Animal Rescue Site Store is stocked with tasty, dog-friendly treats so delicious your dog won’t know they’re good for him, too. Welcome your rescued dog home with a Happy Adoption Day Pup-PIE and other popular treats from The Animal Rescue Site Store. Happy Gotcha Day!
Visit The Animal Rescue Site Store for all your pet care needs!
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