New Dog Checklist
Your new BFF needs:
Food bowls for dry food.
A note about dry food types: High protein grain free not only helps prevent Diabetes but also the constant need for potty and UTIs. Corn and other grains cause a dog to have to pee frequently. ProPlan makes some excellent dry foods in this category that don't break the bank.
There are automatic and timer based feeders - some even with portion control - but NEVER leave a dog (or cat) unattended for over a day with no one to check. It could get tipped over, or if outside another animal could get at the food. A former pet sitter of mine got fired after relying on these and not checking that my cat had accidentally trapped itself and was stuck for 2 days without food and water till I got home.
Food bowls for wet food: Wet food is good for ensuring hydration which is important in dogs with some medical conditions and also elderly dogs. Also some older dogs due to dental issues have a hard time chewing a large or hard kibble, so wet food is preferred to ensure nutrition and weight manteinance.
Water bowls: These handy Sparkletts-style water bowls are the best! You don't have to worry about the dog running out of water. These should be emptied and refilled weekly (or sooner if the water gets contaminated)
Heartworm and Flea monthly prevention. Heartworm prevention is less than $10 a month; heartworm treatment is over $1,000. I put vanilla ice cream or cheese on it to get my dog to eat it all. Frontline is great and easy; I hate fleas and I give this the same day as heartworm prevention so I don't forget - both are 30 days. There are many different options and places to purchase (and even coupons!) Dr. Angie Whitworth provides more information in our video.
Lots of toys, beds, and blankets: Toys keep them from getting bored while you're gone which helps prevent chewing other things! Keep soft beds on the floor near where you sit and sleep and/or blankets on the areas of the couch or bed that are "their spot". This plaid dog bed available at Dr Foster & Smith not only has a removal washable cover but a waterproof liner!
Snuggle Safe and Self Warming Pads are for older and arthritic dogs (made for cats but these work just fine for dogs too), these are great and help keep them warm without the risks of leaving a heating pad plugged in. See our Favorites page for more info.
Sunshades whether portable or for kennels is also very important - dogs can have heatstroke just like people!
Dogloos provide the best protection from elements - but make sure it has the curved entry - the curve blocks wind and rain from entering the area where the dog bedding is, and allows the dogs body heat to warm the area.
Potty Training: Don't get discouraged. Even old dogs can be trained. Somtimes there is a medical issue causing accidents. There are also options like Potty Pads, diapers, dog doors, and gates.Our video discusses all of this- including incontinence medications and UTIs.
Collars: Pets need a collar with your mobile phone on it AND your Vet or Pet Sitters number.Most people won't bother to pick up your pet and take him to a vet or shelter where there is a microchip scanner. However, they WILL call you if your number is right there on the collar. I like these inline tags that fit any collar.