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What Do You Need To Adopt A Dog?

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Before you head to the shelter to adopt a dog, it’s important to make sure you are ready to be a pet parent! Adopting a dog is forever and it’s a big commitment. This is especially true if you have never had a pet before or you’re hoping to adopt your first dog as an adult after having a family dog growing up. 

Make sure you know the time, energy, and financial commitments before you bring home a pet because they are substantial. Here are some things you should keep in mind when considering a furry family member:

How Much Free Time Do You Have? 

Dogs are social creatures that thrive when they are with their people! If you’re a workaholic who’s at the office until late at night or a social creature yourself who loves to stay out with friends every weekend, adopting a dog might not be right for you at the moment. Your lifestyle needs to accommodate plenty of quality time to spend with your pet, so take that into consideration before you bring home a shelter pet. Dogs also need plenty of potty breaks, exercise, and TLC every day, so you need to be prepared to devote plenty of time to your new family member when you adopt a dog!

What Is Your Lifestyle Like? 

Are you a total couch potato who loves nothing more than curling up on the couch and watching movies? Are you a total gym addict who is super active? Do you fall somewhere in between? It’s important to take a look at your lifestyle before you adopt a dog because different pets have different needs. Once you understand how you like to spend your time, you’re able to choose a shelter pet that will be happy in your care. For those couch potatoes out there, a calm, lapdog is a great option. And for anyone who is super active, a dog that matches your energy level is the perfect pet! Before you head to the shelter to adopt a dog, make sure you know what type of dog would be the happiest fitting into your lifestyle.

Are You Ready To Adopt A Dog? 

Pets are expensive and require a financial commitment you shouldn’t take lightly. Before you choose to adopt a dog, know that you need to factor in much more than the adoption fee when you are planning out your finances. Dogs require regular Vet visits, food, treats, and plenty of other gear that all adds up. Plus, you should have an emergency plan and plenty of funds to cover extra Vet bills if your dog should require special care or medication. Make sure you have planned out your budget and can afford to care for a dog before you adopt!

What Do You Need To Adopt A Dog?

With so many pet products out there, it can be tough to decide what’s absolutely necessary, a luxury, and just plain not needed when it comes to gearing up for your newly adopted dog. So, how do you decide what you need to adopt a dog? 

Ask the shelter! The organization you’re adopting from has spent time with your furry friend and will know his personality, wants, and needs better than you at this point in time! They are a great resource for helping you get prepped for a new pet and can guide you to get your home ready, your pantry stocks, and your toy basket filled with dog products that your new pup will love. 

That said, there are some things that all pet parents should do to prepare for an adopted dog. Here’s what to know:

Gear Up!

Make sure you gather or purchase everything your adopted dog will need before you bring your pet home. It’s best to have things organized and ready so you aren’t scrambling to buy your supplies with your new dog in tow. Here are some of the things you will want to have ready for Fido before you bring him home for his first night in his forever home:

  • Food & Treats: Choose your dog’s diet and stock up on both food and treats before your pet comes home for the first time. This way, you won’t have to worry about what he’ll eat for his first meal at home and you have treats on hand if you need them to get your pet in or out of his crate once you’re at home. 

  • A Crate: While you’re introducing your dog to his new home, it’s important to take things slowly and keep your pet crated for some of that time. Many shelters also recommend having your dog sleep in his crate for the first few weeks at home. It’s a tool that will make things as stress-free as possible for your dog as he gets used to a new family and a new home. 

  • A Comfy Bed: Once your dog is comfortable in your home, it is a good idea to give your dog a space of his own complete with a fluffy, comfy dog bed! Make sure it’s the right size for your newly adopted dog and that he has a bed all to his own, without having to share with any other pets in the home. 

  • Toys, toys, toys: Make things fun for your adopted dog by stocking up on toys before you bring him home. Build a connection and get your new dog to trust and love you by spending plenty of quality time with him playing with toys. 

Clean Up!

Prep your home for a new pet before you bring Fido home from the shelter! This is extra important if you don’t have other pets and have never had a dog in your home before. Your pup will likely be a bit stressed, so you need to make sure there is nothing accessible in your home that could cause your dog harm.

Do a thorough cleaning to make sure your home isn’t filled with dust bunnies or other allergens that could agitate your new pet. Secure all cleaners and other household products that your dog shouldn't go near and make sure you spend plenty of time in your kitchen securing all your food in areas where your new pet cannot reach! 

Keep the garbage in a closet, keep cabinets locked and put anything valuable out of reach—at least to start—in case your dog is stressed about his new space and decides to take it out on your favorite pair of shoes! 

Go Slowly!

When you are adopting a dog, it’s important to go at a safe pace—and that applies to almost everything! Introducing your dog to your home, your family, and other new things should all happen according to how comfortable your dog is. Be patient and keep in mind that your pet’s life just got upended and he is with strange people in a strange palace and it is probably at least a little bit stressful! 

Pet Honesty Products To Consider When Adopting a Dog

To make the transition a little easier for your dog and to help him keep calm as he’s getting used to his new home, consider Pet Honesty Premium Hemp Calming Chews. They’re packed with soothing ingredients designed to help your pet calm down and stress a little less. Chamomile, Hemp, Valerian Root, and more make for a blend you can add to your dog’s diet whenever he is anxious or stressed.