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My husband finally gave in. He let me rescue a dog. Originally I wanted a puppy but we found a beautiful 2 year old Belgium Malinios from a rescue group here in Houston and we couldn’t say no. He is sweet and loving and eager to please.
Having grown up with dogs I knew what the initial must-haves consisted of but I may have started to spoil him already! How can I not?!
Anyway, here is a list of 9 items that will get you started if and when you and your family decide to add a furry friend to the family.
- Leash – We decided to get a traditional leash because we weren’t sure how well he would walk on a leash and we wanted to be able to control him and train him to walk without pulling. (Side note: he’s 65lbs and very strong so retractable just wasn’t in my plans)
- Collar or Harness – I went a little overboard here, but I got both. I knew he could potentially be terrible on a leash, as well as very strong so I knew a harness was going to be #1. Then I got the collar just to have for tags and things like that. I have yet to use the collar.
- Dog Bowl – We kept it simple with the dog bowls. Stainless because it is easy to clean and the rubber bottom so it doesn’t go flying across the floor. Now that the lives with us I know I’m going to have to get him a maze bowl due to his eating so fast. I tried the tennis ball trick to get him to slow down and he was smart enough to pick the ball up out of his bowl and then eat. Smart boy!
- Dog Crate – I have always been an advocate of crate training puppies because it gives them a sense of safe space but I don’t think I did enough research on rescue dogs. A lot of times they fear the crate because that’s where they’ve spent their whole lives. Luckily, our new dog is adjusting really well and I’m planning on really focusing on his crate training. He needs that sense of security.
- Basic dog bed – I chose to just get one bed to start and leave it in the crate. Mostly just for his comfort. I will be soon be purchasing a second bed for the garage to train him with. (Also, saving alert!!!–> Got a great bed at TJ MAXX for a third of the price of Petsmart!)
- Toys – I decided to just get a few basic toys for a few reasons. I didn’t want to overwhelm him and I didn’t know what kind of toys he would like. Also, I plan on him destroying a toy or two so I can just replace them as we go!
- Food – This is something you’ll want to talk to a vet about. They will give you suggestions based on size, breed, age, etc. We chose a sensitive stomach formula to start because we weren’t sure what his diet was like previously.
- Treats – These are important to have on hand simply because you will want to be able to start training you dog/puppy right away. I got smaller ones so if we are working on something specific, I’m not over loading him.
- Shampoo and a brush – You won’t be bathing your dog on a daily or even a weekly basis most of the time but you absolutely want to have these things on hand for when they get into the mud or something else they find.
Over all, dogs are pretty easy to prepare for in my opinion. You can very easily go overboard but if you do your research and know what you’re getting yourself into then you’ll be all set!
Let me know if there is anything you found essential when you first got your dog!!