Whether you have had a dog or not, there are many considerations to take into account getting a dog. You go to the step of inviting a new member into the family. I remember well when our dear little Nemi came to us.
All these thoughts swirled around in my head, where should she be sleeping, what kind of food should she eat, where can she run free, where should I take her and what should I do if she becomes ill, what should we do if we are going away on holiday? In other words, what equipment do I need to have and what services do I need to arrange for as a new dog owner.
Are you thinking of getting a dog – some advice
The dog that moves in with you, is an individual with its own needs and habits. It arrives at an unfamiliar home, with new family members that it does not know yet. Everything is different, and it will take some work to make the dog feel safe and comfortable.
When the dog arrives you need as a minimum food and a place to sleep, preferably close to you, and of course a stuffed animal for comfort. Usually, the breeders that sell you the dog will provide you with a blanket and a furry toy animal that the puppy knows from before and that has her mommy´s scent on them.
Here is a list of other necessary equipment you should acquire:
- Food – The food your dog should have depends on breed, size, activity level, age, if the dog is neutered or pregnant. Puppies require their own type of food since they are growing.
- Food and water bowl – a couple of bowls of the suitable size for food and water. Leave them at one permanent place in your house.
- Cage and/or a dog house – a place to retreat for the little one when it needs peace. Feel free to get a cage that can be used as a car transport cage. Remember to get the correct sized cage if you shall use it as a transport cage.
- Care and grooming products – Fur, paws, teeth, ears, eyes and claws need to be taken care of. You should get a dog nail clipper, fur brush (preferably a slightly fine teethed brush and a comb-like brush, depending on the type of fur coat), small scissors, eyewash, paw wax (especially for winter), and not to forget a toothbrush/finger brush and preferably a toothpaste. If you have a bitch, you will soon discover that panties and pampers for when she is in heat, belongs in the toolbox. Further, you will need a shampoo adapted for your dog. This also applies to your puppy.
- Sleeping place – you can use a dog cage, dog mattress, bed, pillows or blankets. If you use a cage of the lattice type, cover it with a thin blanket that gives the dog its own “private” hiding place. That creates a feeling of safety.
- Hiking equipment – Collar with name and telephone number, leash, hiking harness and reflective dog vest. We have also bought a rain cover. Consider some warm blankets as well. It can get cold in the winter. Paw socks are a must. Paws get sore. Finally, dogs must also “go to the bathroom”, so do not forget dog bags.
- Play and exercise – it is good to have some toys to play with. Puppies have sharp teeth and there can sometimes be a high consumption of toys. It is also possible to make some yourself. Old gloves and socks are a sure winner here.
- Car transport – fastening and securing the dog in your car is very important. You will find special adapted harnesses or cages intended for this purpose. The equipment that secures your new family member must be comfortable and not least robust! Make sure that what you buy is tested and classified by institutions, laboratories and or government bodies in accordance with established international standards.
The puppy is coming – my new home is ready
In addition to the previous list, I recommend getting the following equipment for your puppy as soon as possible:
- Urine pads – a puppy urinates and defecates often! It is not always time to go out before the “accident” is about to happen. It is wise to have laid out as many urine pads as possible in the room where you are so that you can “potty train” the puppy. If you lift the puppy, you usually stop the process until you put it back on the urine pad. In this way, you learn the puppy to do its thing on the pad.
- Detergent – suitable detergent to remove odours from urine and faeces is also necessary. Ordinary cleaning agent usually intensifies the smell of the stool, and the puppy will continue to mark indoors.
- Dog bed– A dog bed that is easy to clean is an excellent idea to buy at once. We made a big mistake with the first bed we bought, and we had to get another type of bed shortly after Nemi came to us.
Vomiting and dirt did its part in many and “complicated” washing rounds with the first bed she had. Now we have a dog bed at home that is easy to clean and very comfortable for her. She loves it.
- Grooming equipment– Start with grooming routines as soon as possible. Introduce grooming little by little and in small doses. Increase it to regular routines over time. Buy a tick remover and blood clot powder. The blood clot powder is excellent to use in case you are unlucky and cut the claws a little too much and cut the blood veins in her claws. It bleeds quite a lot.
- Toys – puppy teeth and gums itch a lot. The puppies chew on everything to get rid of the itching. What do you do to prevent furniture, shoes, gloves etc. from crawling? Yes, toys that can stimulate the itching sensation. You can use pieces of rope for toys and rubber toys are great. A ball or a similar throwing toy is also great. Just provide your dog with a small but varied selection of toys at first. By doing so, you will find out what your puppy responds to best.
- Dog walking equipment – a dog collar, a leash and possibly a harness for the puppy must be in place for your dog. Don’t spend a lot of money on this, in the beginning. However, make sure that it is suitable and comfortable for the puppy to wear.
Dog breeds – special needs
Each breed has its own special needs that must be taken into account. For your dog’s breed’s special needs, it is recommended to check the Norwegian Kennel Club (NKK) and the breed-specific member clubs in NKK. You will get good and quality assured advice from both these organisations.
If you are not Norwegian, check with your own country’s similar organisation(s) to acquire essential information about your dogs breed.
If the breeder you buy the dog from is a serious breeder, you will receive supplementary information and guidance both at the time of buying the dog and the follow-up afterwards. An example is our dog Nemi. She is of the breed Japanese Spitz and should not have her fur cut other than some trimming around the ears and paws.
Activities – useful activation of your best friend
There is a great diversity in activities your dog and you as a dog owner can benefit from. The result is that you get a happy and harmonious friend living with you. I will describe this in another article a little bit more and what we have experienced in relation to Nemi. Tips that can make your dog happy and satisfied different play, walk, sport, hunting, outdoor, agility, working dog or a utility dog, visiting dog, therapy dog to name a few.
Services – Good services for the dog
Veterinarians – look up information about local veterinary services. You will need this service sooner or later. Every year, your dog should have a renewal of various vaccinations. At the same time, our veterinarian conducts an annual check when the vaccination is given.
Insurance – make sure you have insurance for your dog in place. It is terribly expensive when your dog gets sick and needs to go to the vet. We have saved ourselves large expenses with the insurance we have on Nemi. We have chosen Agria since she was already insured there, and we have chosen to continue the agreement with Agria for years. Agria has been very good for us. Painless and fast case processing.
Dog care – We have been so lucky that we have close family in our vicinity. As such Nemi goes on holiday to whenever we are going away. It has worked out very well. We have tried dog hotels on a holiday trip, but it was, unfortunately, a negative experience both in terms of price and refinement of our dog. When it’s over, there are very good dog hotels in Norway. Use the time well before choosing a provider of such services.
Ventilation yards and outdoor areas – find information on your municipality’s website. It should be information available about such areas. Further, use online forums and other channels to find out.
Grooming – If you find it a little scary and unfamiliar to groom your own dog, there is an ever-increasing offer for grooming of your dog. We use a local pet store for this. Trimming our dogs claws is a challenge with Nemi so we use the offer from the mentioned store. They wash her, and trim her claws .
These are some of the essential services from my point of view. You should do some research yourself since these services are often found in reasonable proximity to where you live.
Some Final Thoughts
The tips in this post are not exhaustive and not a conclusion on the topic. The advice and tips on this blog is intended to give good advice to the expectant dog owner. The information is based on our own experiences with Nemi.
In the future posts on the website, we will share the experiences we have with Nemi, in the light of her need for equipment and services.
Our advice is to play a lot with the new family member, and have a lot of fun together. Take the dog with you on everything if you can. They don’t have a very long lifespan, so take good care of the time you have with the new family member.