New Dog Checklist

A couple of friends inspired this post.  They both recently got new dogs and needed some help with a checklist.  I’ve had dogs my entire life so I put together this list for them and all of you! 🙂

Some of these are obvious but you don’t want to forget something simple.  I get most of my stuff at the $1 store., I’d start there so you don’t spend too much.

Shopping list:

  • Bowls for food and water – $1 store
  • Food – try to get some of his food from shelter and mix it for a few days
  • Food Scoop & Storage Bin
  • Collar & Leash $1 store
  • TOYS!! – $1 store
  • Bones – some small ones will be at the #1 store
  • ID tag – can get them at Petco / Petsmart
  • Crate – if you will keep him in it to start
  • Dog bed
  • Plastic poop baggies (biodegradable ones are best) or pooper scooper $1 store
  • Treats $1 store
  • Shampoo and conditioner – $1 store
  • Nail clippers – $1 store
  • Brush – $1 store
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Flea and Tick Treatment (if season permits)
  • Stain Cleaner
  • Carpet deodorizer – powder

Other items:

  • Prepare your house – garbage is covered or in a cupboard, shoes are put away, etc
  • Make a vet appointment
  • Get your dog microchiped
  • Create a schedule for you dog – eating, sleeping, going potty
  • Decide on commands – make sure everyone uses the sames ones
    • Don’t issue a command unless you are going to enforce it. Telling your dog to do something, then not enforcing it teaches him/her to ignore you.
  • Start taking your new dog to a local park or dog park to socialize with other dogs and get lots of exercise.

Be Prepared:

  • Count on your dog  having accidents in the first few days, even if he was house trained.
  • There may be some transitional behavioral problems
  • Your new dog will require daily care and exercise, medical visits & obedience training.
  • During the transition period, your dog needs time to adjust to the rules and schedule of your household.

Introducing your dog to a cat:

  • Keep the dog on leash – if the cat runs you don’t want to worry about an injury to your kitty.
  • Firmly correct your dog at the first hint of undesired behavior, and don’t unleash her around your cat until they are interacting calmly.
  • You shouldn’t keep the pets apart because of fear of an attack.  – Just make sure you are supervising them when they are in the same room.
  • Warning signs in cats include a direct stare, elevated hindquarters, and fur standing on end.
  • If they seem to be accepting each other, praise each animal and reward them with treats and petting.
  • You may notice your cat not using the litter box at first because of your new family member.
  • Your cat may hide or seek higher ground for days or weeks until she is ready to accept the dog.
  • Make sure she has places to retreat that the dog cannot access.
  • Block the dog’s access to the cat’s food and litter box.

Introducing your dog to children:

  • Tell the children not to rush up to, scream at, or bug the dog.
  • Also, don’t jump on or rough-house with dogs
  • If a child wants to pet your dog, you should instruct them to reach out and let your dog smell them with their palm facing down and fingers curled.
  • A dog may tell them it’s afraid or annoyed by growling and/or nipping
  • You should not look directly into the dog’s eyes, this is a sign of aggression if they are not comfortable with you
  • If the dog is fearful, DO NOT tighten up on the leash or require him to sit-stay. This may increase his fear because he cannot back away

Be the Alpha!

You need to demonstrate that you are the pack leader.  Here are some ways you can achieve this.

  • Start with walks.  Your dog should be made to heel beside or behind you.
    • In a dog’s mind, the leader always leads the way
  • You should always enter your home first
  • Dogs should be fed after your dinner
  • When giving commands, speak firmly – and enforce it if they do not obey.
  • When guest come over, keep your dog away from the door, allow the guest to come in first and then meet your dog.

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