Your New Dog's Essentials - text
Your New Dog's Essentials
Owning a dog is a big responsibility, but it pays dividends in love, loyalty, protection and companionship for people of all ages! As you get to know your new companion, remember he will need a lot of guidance. His sleep-wake-exercise patterns will need to be established and he will need to be shown a place to retreat for security. With the correct diet, veterinary care and a lot of loving attention from you, adjusting to his new home will be a short process for your new family member.
If your new dog is coming into your home as a second addition, it's important everyone in the household is involved in helping to form a good relationship between him and your existing pet. Like people, dogs (and cats) will need time to form a friendship. Your patience and knowledge of good and poor behaviour will be essential in making things work.
Our Pet Counsellors
Our pet counsellors are dedicated to enhancing your knowledge and enjoyment of the human-animal bond. Pet care, behavioural concerns, spaying and neutering are all topics to be discussed when introducing your new companion into your home.
To provide a happy, healthy atmosphere for your dog, Petland recommends the following necessary and fun accessories. We have listed them as your dog's four basic needs: Nutritional, Environmental, Maintenance and Behavioural. When these needs are met, along with a loving environment provided by you, your new companion will be a member of your family for years to come!
Kennel – Dogs are den animals, and because of this, they find comfort and security in a cozy kennel. If you have adopted a full-grown dog, he may already have been used to having his own kennel as a place of security. Although the kennel would not be used necessarily as a help to house train him, it still would be a welcome area for him to rest and feel secure. If you have adopted a puppy or young dog, kennel training is a quick and effective method to house train them. Ask a pet counsellor for more information and pick up our brochure, Give Your Dog a Den.
Bed/Lounger – Offering your dog his own bed, gives him a special place to relax and sleep. Placing a lounger or cozy mat in his kennel and another bed in the area of your home that your family uses frequently, works well. This also sends a message to him that your furniture or bed is not his own.
Dog Food – Your dog has been fed the best quality of food available to him. Now that he is home, his diet may need to be adjusted based on his coat quality, energy requirements and age. You want to make sure he gets all the right nutrients, in the right form, for easy digestion. Your new dog's digestive system can be delicate and not respond well to a sudden change in food, resulting in stomach upset and diarrhea. Ask your pet counsellor how much food you should be offering your pet and at what times of the day you should feed him. If you are thinking of changing his diet, ask a pet counsellor about the many types of premium foods that are available for your type of dog. Remember to offer fresh water at all times.
High-Calorie Supplement – Some smaller breeds of dogs or finicky eaters may need this supplement to encourage weight gain. It is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Ask your pet counsellor for more information.
Skin and Coat Supplement – This supplement is added to your dog's food to develop and maintain a healthy coat and to noticeably reduce shedding! Premium dog foods often will have the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients your pet requires; however, with seasonal changes, most breeds will benefit from the addition of a coat supplement.
Nail Clippers and Coagulant – Your dog's nails must be routinely clipped throughout his life. To feel more comfortable, your pet counsellor (or in-store groomer) will show you the proper method to cut his nails. You must take care not to over trim or cut into blood vessels running through each nail. Should this happen, have a blood coagulant waiting and ready to use.
Dog Shampoo – How often do you bathe your dog? As often as necessary! Puppy shampoos are gentler and are meant for new skin and coats. Dog shampoos are required when they are grown. People shampoos are never recommended; they have a pH difference from puppy or dog shampoos. They often cause skin irritations and dull coats. Pet hair conditioners work wonders to reduce tangles along with adding a wonderful scent and softness to your dog's coat!
Brush and Comb – Whether you are adopting a puppy or a full-grown dog, it is wise to get him into the routine of daily grooming. Your dog will come to enjoy the attention and the overall feeling he has after a good grooming session. The use of a rubber brush or glove for short-haired dogs works well. Medium to long-haired breeds should be groomed with both a slicker brush and stainless steel combs. For long hair, a de-matting tool is essential. Ask your pet counsellor which brushes and combs are right for your new companion.
Bowls – Choose bowls that are easy to clean and hard to knock over. Ceramic or stainless steel work best, especially for moist foods since plastic dishes tend to trap odours. Consider getting a drinking fountain, which will encourage your pet to drink more water, which is beneficial to his health and well-being. Drinking fountains re-circulate water flow, which eliminates stale, stagnant water while some have a purifying filter, which helps absorb impurities and trap debris. For larger breed puppies and dogs, there are feeding dishes with adjustable levels, so they may eat in comfort!
Oral Care – Periodontal disease (infections of the structures around teeth) is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs & cats. While this is preventable, 80% will show signs within their first 5 years. Symptoms could include red & swollen gums, bad breath, pain, and tooth loss. The best defense to maintain oral health is brushing your dogs teeth using a pet specific toothbrush and toothpaste. Rinses complement the brushing of teeth by ensuring the whole mouth; teeth, tongue, gums, and palate, receive attention. Of course dogs can't rinse and spit so an easy to use drinking water additive is the ideal choice. Gels & foams can also be used. Specialized dental dog food and dental treats is also available, that can help clean teeth through chewing action.
Leash, Collar and Identification – The best way to ensure your dog's safety is to have him identified with a microchip or tattoo. This is usually done when they get altered at around six months old. As well, to make identifying your dog easier, you can make an engraved identification tag at most Petland stores and attach it to his collar. A puppy collar is one that you can adjust as they get older. Some pet owners choose to use a harness. If your dog is more than a little exuberant, an anti-pull harness or head halter will provide more security than a collar. Leashes are available in many colours and materials. Extendible leads are available that are lightweight and easy to use. They allow you to shorten or extend the leash at the push of a button! Behavioural training is often a requirement when adopting a dog. Ask your pet counsellor about training leashes for your puppy or dog's training classes.
Puppy Drops or Spray – Sometimes it's difficult to know where to go! Make it easier for you and your new pet by using puppy drops, spray or housebreaking pads. These pheromone-based products encourage your dog to “go potty” in the place you have marked, making housebreaking easier by using his natural instinct. A Pee Post™ also works well to attract dogs to pee in one spot outside.
Stain and Odour Remover – Yes, your dog or new puppy may have an accident or two. Having an effective stain and odour remover, specifically for pet stains and odours, will help stop him from returning to the soiled area. Household remedies, such as vinegar, just won't work.
Treats – Treats are a brilliantly useful reinforcement tool to use during training, and for your dogs pleasure. Select 3 different treats, a training treat that is small and quick to digest, a reward treat, which can be a cookie sized treat to enjoy, and a chewing treat, like Greenies™ which is beneficial to their teeth, and takes longer to consume.
Toys – All dogs have a behavioural need to chew. It provides exercise, relieves tension and cleans their teeth. You should offer your dog a variety of chew toys, one of each: soft (plush toy), medium (rope toy or Kong®) and hard (Nylabone®). If he is not provided with his own toys, your clothing, shoes and furniture will fill his need. That is something you do not want to encourage! Your “stuff” is not “his stuff.” He needs his own toys. Rotate his toys regularly from the large selection Petland carries, so he does not get bored and offer him new ones often.
Repellents – Petland has a wide variety of repellents to help pet owners overcome undesirable behaviours their new pet may exhibit. While indoor and outdoor spray repellents may deter the new puppy, it is important that the repellent be followed by human reinforcement. Verbally expressing dislike of what your dog is doing, as well as removal from the situation, and providing them with their acceptable and fun chewing toys, will be necessary. Also available are sound emitting and electronic training tools that are much like a repellent, in that they act as a physical presence to ensure your dog respects the boundaries you set out.
Cleanliness and Safety
All pets can potentially carry diseases that may be contagious to people. Young children, infants, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems and the elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with pets or their environments. Regular cleaning of your pet’s environment with a pet safe cleaner may help avoid the spread of contaminants.
Hygiene procedures such as washing your hands before and after handling your pet and/or after having any contact with their habitat, is a necessary routine. Children should be assisted with hand washing and always have adult supervision when interacting with pets.
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