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6 Must-Haves for a New Dog Owner

Getting a new dog is exciting. You think about all the fun activities you’ll do with your new pet and the unconditional love you’ll provide. But what isn’t as exciting is being caught unprepared (for example, without poop bags). Here’s a list of 10 Must-Haves items before welcoming your new pet in to your family:

1. Poop Bags

This might sound like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how easy it is to be caught in an

awkward situation without a poop bag. Either purchase doggy bags from the store or stock up on plastic grocery bags and stock these in your car, your coats and purses. You will thank yourself!

2. The Essentials: Leash, Collar, Tag, Food and Water Bowl

Just a friendly reminder that your new dog needs the essentials. A collar, complete with an identification tag (don’t forget to include your phone number), a leash for all the fun walks you’re going to go on and last but not least, food and water bowls!

3. Crate or Designated Bed

First, let’s talk crates. A crate can be your best friend when you first get your dog. Regardless of your pet’s age it’s an excellent tool to establish boundaries in your home while the dog is getting acquainted and while you’re determining what’s off limits. If you do happen to get a puppy or a younger dog, the crate can be used to house-train your pet. Although there’s always an exception, dogs instinctively avoid going to the bathroom in their crate so it’s easy to establish a routine.

By providing your dog with a proper bed, it offers your pet its own space and sense of security. In addition to being a retreat for the dog, it can help keep them off the furniture and bed if you’re trying to control hair or dander. Don’t forget to choose a bed that’s easy to wash.

4. Treats

Treats are the key to positive reinforcement training. If you have a puppy or a dog that has behavioral issues, treats can be a game changer. If your dog is already well trained, treats will be more of a reward or small behavior modification technique. Either way they are good to have on hand.

5. Dog hammock for your car

Certainly not a necessity, but a nice accessories to have if you don’t have a cargo area for the dog in the back of your car. Hammocks or covers come in a variety of styles and sizes. They’re a great way to protect your car from general wear and tear over time.

6. Toys

All pet owners can related to the sweet expressions the dog shares when it’s toting around that precious toy. But toys are more than just a special object. Toys help stimulate your pet, keep them active and alert. There are several types of toys; chew toys, activity toys, reward toys, and soothing or comfort toys. Be sure to keep this in mind when you’re selecting a toy for your new dog- what’s the purpose of this toy? And remember, you can never have too many toys (wink, wink).

Please note that when your dog first gets his toys it’s important to supervise him at all times, especially early on to help teach him to share. Unsupervised play can be dangerous; choking, swallowing stuffing or if there is a child or other dog around the dog may be protective of his possessions.

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