Dogs are like children, sometimes you don’t know you’re gonna have one until they arrive. Like children, dogs can be some of life’s greatest surprises. So don’t be afraid of your first day as a dog owner, even if it wasn’t planned; if you’ve taken in a dog who didn’t have a home, you’re already on the right track to becoming a great dog owner.
Below are the bare essentials that will get you by the first week. Keep in mind that food will vary depending on the size of the dog.
Assuming you’ve brought home a medium sized four legged ball of happiness.
1. Lets start with food.
We all know what it’s like to be hungry, lets make sure our new friends never have to feel that. We’ve gone a little heavier on the food, because finding out that you’re out in the morning seriously sucks.
2. A leash.
Many cities have bylaws regarding leashes and we’re assuming you’ve brought in a normal dog and not some day one obedience extraordinaire. When picking out a leash, durability is your top priority; you don’t want to be left holding a broken leash while your dog runs away on twice as many legs as you.
3. A collar.
That leash isn’t going to be very useful until you get one of these. It’s just one of those things that you need as a dog owner.
4. A bowl.
You probably already have a bowl around the house. Make sure you have one for water and one for food. An Anti Gulping Bowl can help with a dog who eats too quickly, the odd shape of the bowl forces the dog to take their time to get around it.
5. A tag.
Remember that kid in your class that would say something isn’t yours unless your name was on it? Those people grew up and didn’t change. Put your name on everything, especially your pets. Which brings us to our next point.
6. Micro chip
You can get these at the vet, they’re inexpensive, and the absolute best way to ensure your dog is linked to you. They’re tiny, and feel like an ordinary needle. If you’re in the UK, there are programs in place to make it free. There’s countless stories of pets lost for years who were found because of their micro chips. Micro chip your dogs!
You can throw sticks and teach tricks if you want to play, frisbees aren’t mandatory. A dog bed isn’t absolutely necessary either; many dog owners wont hesitate to tell you about the time they bought a huge dog bed just to see the dog sleep on an old blanket, often right next to the bed they just bought.