New dog supplies to buy, according to shelter staff and dog trainers

New dog supplies to buy, according to shelter staff and dog trainers
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New dog supplies 4x3



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  • Whether you’ve adopted a new dog or taken in a foster, you’ll need supplies to start your rescue off on the right paw.
  • Things like limited-ingredient diets and treats, a DAP diffuser, a secure and versatile harness, baby gates, and absorbent pee pads may help to make a new dog’s transition to their foster or forever home less stressful.
  • We spoke with experts at two dog shelters and a dog trainer to come up with a list of the 21 essential supplies you need for a new dog.

Whether you’ve adopted your pet or are fostering them until a forever home can be found, it’s important to set your dog up for success during their first days and weeks with you.

Dogs thrive on routine and predictability. Everything will be easier in the long run if you can prevent your dog from practicing unwanted behaviors in the beginning. Instead of giving your dog unsupervised access to the entire home on day one, set up a cozy space for them to safely relax using a baby gate, x-pen, or crate. 

Most dogs will arrive at their new home with a bit of food from the shelter and a few other supplies. Before their arrival, pick up a harness and leash, as well as some tasty limited-ingredient treats, poop bags, food and water bowls, and toys. If your new dog is not housebroken, consider providing them with an indoor place to toilet, especially if they are puppies or seniors. Both are likely to have to urinate more frequently than other pups. If you’re fostering, look for durable, versatile items that will last well into future fostering adventures.

Give your new pet time to adjust to their new home before purchasing any big-ticket items like a dog bed though. “I generally do not get a nice, pricey bed for a new dog in case they prefer another surface,” said Pamela Wyman, a dog trainer with 15 years of experience and the owner of DogEvolve in Oakland, California. In general, “cheaper is better until you know your dog won’t pee or poop [on it], chew it, or ignore it,” she added.

Most importantly, go slow and don’t be afraid to reach out for help. “Remember that dogs need time to come around. If you’re struggling, reach out to a trainer, behaviorist, veterinary clinic, or even the shelter or rescue that you adopted [or are fostering] from,” said Vanessa Hidden, outreach manager for Pets In Need in Palo Alto, California,

We consulted with both Wyman and Hidden to come up with our list of 21 things to have on hand when you bring home a new dog or foster. The expertise of Bunny Rosenberg, director of community engagement at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue in San Francisco, California, and my own experience as a professional dog trainer with almost a decade of experience have also helped guide our selections.

Here are 21 essentials to buy for a new dog, according to shelter staff and dog trainers:

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