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Pet Resources - Adding a New Pet to the Family

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Providing for your New Pet: A First-time Pet Owner’s Checklist

Congratulations! You’ve decided to expand your family and adopt a dog. Your new pet promises to bring lots of fun and plenty of surprises, so you’re best off following that old credo to "Be Prepared."

Before bringing your new furry friend into your home, Best Friends pet care experts recommend stocking up on the items that you will need to care for the newest addition to your household. The following checklist will help:

The basics
  • Food – Your veterinarian and/or breeder will recommend for the best type of food for your pet, depending upon age, size and health. Be sure to ask about nutritional supplements, dietary restrictions and proper use of treats.
  • Food and water bowls – Choose a sturdy, stable dish that won’t tip easily. Elevated dishes are recommended for elderly and special needs dogs.
  • Food containers and scoops – To avoid the inconvenience of big bags
  • Treats – Bite-sized and nutritionally balanced (for training).
  • Bed – Snuggly, easy-to-clean, and sized right for your pet.
Safety considerations
  • Collar and leashes for walking and training. A trainer or pet care professional can help you choose the right type of leash for each need. It’s important to introduce your pet to the collar and leash early.
  • ID tags — Have these ordered ahead of time, or made as quickly as possible. Proper identification is essential if your pet is ever lost.
  • Dog crate – A crucial tool for housebreaking and securing your pet when he’s alone in the home.
  • Gates – To keep your puppy in or out of certain areas of the home
Other essentials
  • Toys — in a variety of sizes, shapes and textures, because a busy pet is a happy pet (and not a destructive one). Don’t introduce all of the toys at once, however, because you could overwhelm your new pet.
  • Chew items – Dogs have an instinctual urge to chew, so the proper chew toys will prevent him from making your furniture, shoes or even carpet a casualty. Check with your vet before giving rawhide or natural bones.
  • Grooming tools – Ask your professional groomer to recommend the proper brush for your dog’s coat. Regular grooming is an important part of routine pet care so you want to begin weekly brushing right away.
  • Stain and odor neutralizer – For cleaning up those bound-to-happen accidents

All Best Friends centers offer a large variety of essential items for your pet, and an associate will gladly help you choose which items will suite your pet best. To find a Best Friends center you, visit the Our Locations page of this website.

Finally, remember that the most important resource you’ll need for your new pet is an abundance of patience and love.