I’m serving my dog The Nutro™ Company as part of a sponsored series with Socialstars. #HonestToDog
Making the decision to an adopt a dog into your home is a big move for many families. We are huge advocates of the “Adopt Don’t Shop” movement, and this month marks the one year anniversary of us adopting our third girl, Marilyn. I still can’t believe that a year ago we were considering fostering because of the many dogs needing homes, and that we would inevitably become “foster failures” – those who foster and end up adopting that dog.
To celebrate, and to help those of you with your newly adopted dog, I wanted to share some of the many ways you can show your love to a newly adopted dog.
Comfort Items For Your Dog
A lot of the time, a dog will be crate trained. Crate trained means that the dog finds their crate to be a welcoming and safe place that they don’t soil. Many will stay in their crates overnight, or when left at home for more than a few hours (like when you go to work) and they know not to urinate or poo in it. When we adopted Marilyn she was VERY comfortable in her crate – she was also nervous of humans, so her crate was her own little world just for her. To help make her comfortable, we made sure she had plenty of blankets that she could make her bed with. You can use blankets, you can buy a square or rectangle shaped dog bed that fits inside, even a pillow or two.
If your dog is not crate trained or you’d rather they sleep on a dog bed (or your bed or sofa) then get them a big comfy bed! They might not know what to do with it, so invite them to it with a trail of treats and lots of love and praise when they do step onto it. Buy a dog bed that has a removeable cover that is machine-washable, you’ll appreciate the ease of airing out the inner cushion/foam and washing the cover. Not only does it look better, it will smell so much nicer.
Toys and Entertainment
With a new dog there is a not of experimentation to find what type of toys they like. Just take a look at the pet store – look at all of the options! When you adopt your dog, ask the shelter workers or whoever his/her caregiver was if she had a preference for anything and then stock up! Some dogs love plush toys they can chew on and eventually rip up. Others love ropes and tougher toys, like Kong chewers. You might even have a dog who doesn’t play with much but just loves to run around the yard with a ball or stick! Don’t go for the most expensive toys right away, start on the cheap side so you don’t put too much of an investment into things that aren’t played with or get chewed up easily.
Dogs love to chew, especially young dogs, so you’ll want to check out bones and other chewable goodness. Again, check out your local pet store and ask the previous caregiver if your dog had any preferences. Buy an appropriately sized bone (most have a size/weight recommendation, and the pet store workers are usually knowledgeable and can help).
Make sure your dog has a leash for going on walks. You can always check with the pet store or your vet if you notice any pulling or your dog is strong and hard to hang on to for recommendations on harnesses and such. Keeping your dog safe on walks is vital, so make sure that’s your top priority. Going on walks and exploring nature trails and parks can be great exercise for the both of you!
Food and Treats
When you adopt your dog, he or she is going to already be eating a certain brand of food. You have two options: stay with that food or switch her to something else of your choosing. We love NUTRO™ ROTATIONS™ because it’s a wholesome, non-GMO brand of food that lets us give Marilyn some variety. After you’ve slowly switched your dog from the old food to NUTRO™ ROTATIONS™, you can then rotate through their flavors with ease. One day it’s poulty, the next it’s salmon! Just another great way to show your dog how much you love them.
Want to go even further? Make your own homemade dog treats!
When trying new treats, buy the smallest bag you can at first. Trust me. We have some opened bags of treats that are just sitting there because no one likes them! Oops! So start with a smaller bag or canister, see if they like them and if they do, you know you can buy a larger package next time! The selections of treats available is just overwhelming, so start simple.
Health and Wellness
Your dog depends on you to keep them healthy, so it’s your responsibility to provide them with regular vet care and grooming. Schedule their vaccinations on time and keep records safe (you’ll need them for grooming and kennel stays). Give them regular baths at home, or schedule grooming appointments for services like baths, nail trims, ear cleaning, haircuts, tooth brushing, anal gland cleaning, and more. Your vet may offer some or all of their services, but a local dog groomer or pet store can provide them as well.
You should know by now that caring for a dog can be expensive, it’s definitely not something to go cheap on. If you are faced with the need to provide medications for your dog, here are some ways to save.
I would say if you’ve made it this far, you have a wealth of knowledge on how to show your newly adopted dog plenty of love! Good luck and enjoy your new family member!
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