COMFORT & SAFETY
- Bedding - Hold up. Don't buy that fancy, expensive dog bed just yet. Some dogs won't use it, and some dogs will use it as a chew toy. Get them a trial bed and see how they do. You will probably end up buying more than one, anyway. Another option is a cot, which provides the platform off the floor, allowing air flow underneath for the dogs that run hot or don't like the beds. Don't be discouraged if they do chew up the nice bedding you gave the doggos. Echo was not allowed to have a bed or a blanket at the shelter after destroying every single one given to her. She has not once destroyed anything since I brought her to her forever home. (I know this is not the place, but please consider rescuing a dog if you are able and willing.)
- Try Costco or TJMAxx for an inexpensive dog bed.
- Collar - Besides the obvious use of attaching a leash, collars can be used as a training tool, identification, and safety equipment. I prefer strong clips rather than the typical belt-type. I will be writing a whole article just on the collars. Subscribe to our e-mail list or turn on post notifications on our Instagram @blackechocompany
- Some of the most common collars are nylon (rolled or flat), leather, pinch, and choke collars. Harnesses are also an option, although I recommend starting with a collar as you will inevitably need one anyway.
- I highly recommend keeping the dogs collar-free when unsupervised, ESPECIALLY for dogs in new environments. Collars get stuck, and way too many people have experienced the tragedy of coming back home or waking up to their dogs choked with their own collars. Some dogs also try to chew the collar off, which sometimes result in their lower jaw being stuck under the collar.
- ID tag - These can be one of those print-your-own tags at pet sections in large stores, or you can get one sewn onto the collar like this one and get 2 birds with 1 stone.
- Leash - Start with a 6 ft. leash, which is often the required length at various parks. A simple nylon one such as this will do just fine. The second loop you see toward the clip is what is commonly called a "traffic loop". It gets the name as it is used to keep the dog very close to you temporarily while waiting for the light, passing someone on a tight trail, etc.
- First Aid Kit - You can take a look at something like this, but you probably already have most of these laying around. It is also often cheaper to buy what we like and need, and build our own kit. It's also more fun!
- Microchip information - If you decide to get your doggo microchipped, keep the information up to date. When a dog ends up at an animal control agency, (could be from chasing a squirrel, someone taking them, etc.), the dogs get scanned for microchips, and the chips show where the dogs belong. The shelters do their best to get a hold of the owners, but there is only so much they can do when the phone numbers, e-mail, and addresses are not up to date. If you are rescuing a doggo from a shelter like the Humane Society, they might already be chipped.
- Security gates can be a tool for living with a dog(s). Having said that, dogs do understand the concept of boundaries and permission (even though they act like they don't at first...). They can be trained to stay out of certain areas completely, or only come in with permission. However, every situation is unique, and it is just another tool.
- Check out "WHAT TO GET WHEN GETTING A NEW DOG" for the full list of important articles for your new dog's health and happiness!