A Starter’s Guide to Getting and Bringing Your Dog Home Safely in 2021

Beloved puppy

Bringing home a new dog is probably one of life’s best experiences. Our starter guide explains how to prepare your home and family for a new dog. Before you bring home your new furry best friend, you’ll need to make sure that your home and property are safe, and that your dog cannot escape from your garden. You’ll also need to visit your veterinarian to microchip him, and to give your dog a full physical examination with any necessary vaccinations.

Our Starter’s Guide to Getting and Bringing Your Dog Home Safely in 2021 will help you to brush up on all dog basics. Life’s going to be the best ever when you bring your new furry best friend home! Today with all the awesome dog products to choose from, you’ll enjoy shopping for your dog, as well as taking him for long hikes and trips to the beach.

Keep in mind that having a furry best friend is a lifetime commitment that entails regular veterinary care, daily exercise, a high-quality diet, and most importantly patience, kindness, and love!

You’ll need to ensure that your dog gets plenty of regular socialization, positive puppy training, and tons of mental stimulation by way of outdoor sporting activities and walks. All puppies and adult dogs need mental stimulation to keep them happy! After adopting or purchasing a new puppy or adult dog, pet parents often find themselves wishing that dogs came with starter guides! Well, we have an awesome starter guide for you!

Prepare Your Home

One of the best things you can do for your new dog is to prepare your home. If you’re bringing home a puppy, you will need to pet proof your home. If you have other dogs or pets at home, you’ll need to make sure that everyone gets along.

There are also many areas outside your home that your dog will have access to. That said, check your fencing, and all plants and vegetation, most especially if you’re bringing home a puppy or playful adolescent dog, to make sure that there are no toxic plants on your property. Get rid of all the pesticides, including slug and pest poisons. These don’t belong in your home any longer. Numerous pets die each year from being poisoned, most especially puppies that chew on everything.

Choose Your Dog

Dog in shelter

When looking at dog rescue groups, you will have the opportunity to foster first or rescue. Whether you adopt a puppy or an adult dog from a rescue, it’s probably one of the most satisfying things that you can do. Shelters have pure breeds, mixed breeds, puppies, and adult dogs up for adoption. When adopting a new furry best friend, spend time around your new best friend, and visit a few times before going ahead with the adoption.

You can find out more about your dog’s history, breeding, and can also take him out for walks, and play with him at the shelter. It’s incredibly important that you do this, so as to see how high-energy, and how friendly he is with other dogs, children, and people. That said, most dogs will settle down at home, and are more high-energy at shelters because they have been cooped up, and they’re really excited to have that one-on-one time with someone.

Will need to look out for when bringing dog

You will also receive lots of support from your shelter in terms of positive dog training, and complimentary veterinary care. That said, here’s what you will need to look out for when adopting your new furry best friend:

  • Choose a dog whose activity level will match your physical needs, and those of your family. If you have small children, take that in to consideration.
  • Look for signs of aggression. If you’re not an experienced dog person, or have children, dogs that are aggressive will not be a good option. According to U.S Dog Bite Statistics, there are 1,000 dog bites each day that require medical attention with 9,500 people hospitalized each year due to serious dog bite injuries.
  • Find out about your dog’s medical history, and what current medical treatment he is receiving. This is important because veterinary treatment can be expensive, and you’ll also need to look into the long- term side effects of various pharmaceutical treatments. That said, just because your new furry best friend has a health condition does not mean that you should not adopt him. As with all dogs, you will need to take out a pet health insurance to help you with all veterinary costs.
  • Ask about whether your dog has received positive dog training and socialization while at the shelter or at a foster home?
  • Most importantly, find out about your dog shelter’s policy if your dog has serious behavioral or medical issues. Some shelters will cover training, veterinary costs, adoption counselling via SKYPE or calls, and 24-hour behavior hotlines. If they don’t mention it, ask them about it.

Most important questions to ask

We’ve covered some of the most important questions to ask. That said, the most important questions that you can ask yourself before you adopt or purchase a dog are:

  1. Will I have the patience, time, and financial resources to properly take care of my dog?
  2. Do I have the time to attend positive dog training classes, and to take my dog to the dog park, dog beach, for long fun hikes, and regular daily walks throughout his lifetime?
  3. How much travel does my work entail? Who will look after my dog?
  4. Do I have the financial resources for regular veterinary care which includes dental cleanings, vaccines, and emergency veterinary care?
  5. Will I always be kind and gentle, regardless of whether my puppy or dog chews up the couch or a favorite pair of loafers?

The answer has to be a firm yes! Today, dog abuse cases are increasing, and there’s no reason for this to be happening. If you have a short temper, do not adopt or purchase a dog. This is a lifetime commitment, and your new furry best friend is going to be that very special family member that deserves the best!

Gather Supplies

Dog with goods

Before going out to purchase a collar, harness and leash, it’s easiest to first know which dog breed you’ll be adopting, so that you’ll have a better idea as to the sizing for collars, harnesses and leashes.

That said, you’ll have plenty of fun shopping for dog supplies from grooming tools to dog toys. Preparing for a new dog that you’re bringing home means planning ahead of time. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need for your furry best friend:

Identification Tag

Your dog’s ID tag should have your current address, your dog’s name, and your telephone number. Keep in mind that you should microchip your dog as well, in case his collar ever falls off.

Dog collar, dog harness and leash

With harnesses easiest to work with on dogs that pull when out for walks, it’s best to purchase both harness and collar. Collars should be adjustable, comfortable and durable. You should always be able to fit two fingers under the collar.

Grooming Tools

Your new dog will need to have a complete grooming kit with a few brushes, a comb, shampoo, conditioner, and a toothbrush and toothpaste. A canine first aid kit is also a good idea for minor emergencies.

Dog Treats

Organic, soft and chewy dog treats will help with your dog’s learning experience at home, and while dog training.

Baby Gates

These are perfect for puppies and large dogs, most especially if you’re still doing meet and greets, and need to separate your pets for the first few days.


Your crate needs to be large enough that your puppy or adult dog can stand up and turn around in. Some crates are available with dividers that will make the crate smaller, but that you can extend later on. This is great for large sized puppy breeds that grow fast.

Crates should only be used for a few hours each day, if that at all. Overuse of dog crates leads to musculoskeletal issues in dogs, and depression. Positively puppy train from day one, and socialize, so that your puppy understands house rules. It’s different for dogs that show and travel where crates are needed for safety. Dogs will be together at shows. Dogs should not be left alone at home, and crated for long hours.

Interactive Dog Toys

This is a fascinating market, and similar to children’s toys for brain development, your puppy or adult dog will need an assortment of these. Nina Ottosson interactive feeders and puzzle toys make for terrific options. Opt for high-quality rubber and nylon bones as well, like the Kong dog toy brand that you can fill with your dog’s favorite foods and freeze, to help with teething and boredom.

House Training

Train puppy

We love this topic, yet housetraining is very simple, and can take no time at all if done correctly. Purchase every positive housetraining puppy book. Watch positive dog training videos! Educate yourself about how this is done correctly. Outdated dog training methods that are cruel or that use force are not used today!

Visit Victoria Stilwell’s Positive Dog Training website, and do it right from the start before bad habits set in. The three keywords are gentle, consistent, and treats! If adopting a puppy, read up on all the puppy stages. Puppies are like children, and go through different stages of development.

During puppyhood, your puppy will learn new skills that will need to be reinforced consistently. Socializing and positive training are key from Day One! Once again, if your puppy or adult dog chews your favorite shoes or couch, you will need to question what you could have done to prevent this. Don’t blame your puppy or dog! Freeze those chew toys, enjoy those walks while potty training, and reinforce the behaviors that you’re wanting with lots of healthy treats.

Keep Your Dog Healthy


Dog nitrition

Whether you’re feeding a puppy or adult dog, nutrition needs to be taken seriously throughout your dog’s lifetime. This is because like people, dogs need to eat a high-quality dog food formula that is balanced, and made from healthy ingredients. Feeding grain-free may be an option, and there are also many diets formulated specifically for puppies or dogs.

If you’re bringing home a new puppy, he should be eating a premium puppy food product made from natural ingredients. Puppy food formulas will be higher in protein, minerals, and vitamins compared to adult dog food formulas.

The most important take here with dog food, is that you have to feed the correct dog or puppy food formula, according to a dog’s life stage. By feeding your dog a premium brand, you’ll have a healthy puppy or dog, and you’ll be saving on veterinary and dental bills. Dental because your dog’s teeth with suffer from a low-quality dog food brand filled with not- so healthy ingredients.

Keep Your Dog Safe

According to Pet Pro Supply “If a car crashes at a speed of just 25mph, an unrestrained dog can be projected forward at a force equal to 40 times its weight. A large-size dog weighing 75 lbs., for example, can achieve an impact force of 3,000 pounds in a car crash, which could be a lethal blow for both a passenger and the pet.” Keep your dog safe when traveling by car. Consider a dog car seat belt harness from a reputable US pet brand, that has lots of positive reviews from other pet parents.

Safety with dogs applies to everything from not overdoing it with vigorous exercise on hard surfaces, keeping your dogs indoors during the hot summer months, and preventing accidents from happening. The same applies to always protecting your dogs during natural disasters like flooding, brushfires, and earthquakes. Make plans ahead of time, and have a ready-to-go doggie bag! Double up on antibiotics, water, and food, and know where you’ll go to, if you have to evacuate ahead of time! Pet friendly hotels get booked up during emergency evaucuations.

Microchipping your dog also allows for extra safety measures if your dog runs away. Today, it’s recommended that both collar and ID tag with microchipping are used, just in case your dog’s collar slips off.

Be Your Dog’s Friend

Being your dog’s best friend means looking after him the best you can. All dogs require daily exercise, grooming, veterinary care, and a high-quality diet that is appropriate for their life stage. Throughout your dog’s lifetime, you will need to encourage good behavior through positive dog training.

By socializing your dog during puppyhood, and participating in puppy training classes, and sporting activities later on, your bond with your furry best friend will grow. Not only will you understand your dog’s unique quirks, but you’ll be passionate about them!

Train Your Dog

Train dog

The most common dog training problem is dogs jumping up on you or even on guests. In these instances, you’ll need to understand your dog’s mindset. Victoria Stilwell adds that “Most dogs jump on people through sheer excitement and because it is an effective means of getting attention,” says Victoria. “But some jump because they feel uneasy when someone new comes into the home, and jumping is an effective way to cope with that discomfort. The best way to stop your dog from jumping up is to ignore her while she’s doing it,” via Claudia Bensimoun, Animal Wellness.

Victoria suggests the following five training steps:

  1. Each time your dog jumps up at you, turn your back.
  2. Do not look at, talk to, or touch your dog at any time. Fold your arms in front of you so that you become boring.
  3. When he stops jumping, wait for three seconds of four paws on the floor, then reward the self-control with your attention.
  4. If he jumps again, repeat the exercise.
  5. Practice this with friends and family members for consistency.

Today, we’re all pressed for time, but that doesn’t mean that your furry best friend has to forego a positive dog training class or a trip to his favorite dog beach. Certified pet sitters that come with awesome recommendations make for effective pet parent replacement.

If you’re planning a vacation, and needing some help, Dog Vacay, and Pet Sitters International have the largest network of screened pet sitters. Book ahead of time, and interview a few pet sitters, so that you can match up a sitter who you think will be good for your dog. That said, always check at least 3 references, and make sure that these are genuine. Add video cameras in your home if you’re away, so that you’re 100 % sure that your dogs are being walked and fed.

Great doggie daycares with canine massage, hot meals, dog training, swimming, and plenty of socialization allow for dogs to have a healthy and well-balanced life while you’re out at work or traveling. Without a doubt, being pet parent to a furry best friend is probably one of life’s greatest pleasures, and without a doubt, a privilege.

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