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the Dog Blog

New Dog Checklist: Everything You Need to Do Before Bringing a Dog Home

A couple brings a new friend home after preparing for a new dog in their home.

If you’re considering adding a new dog to your family, there are a few things you can do to prepare to bring that precious pooch home. Whether you’re adopting a rescue or bringing home a new puppy from a breeder, all dogs need time to adjust to a new environment. To help them with this transition, it’s important to prepare your home so everything is in place to build a happy relationship with your soon-to-be best friend! Here are five things every dog parent should do before bringing a new dog home.


Gather Pet Supplies

Regardless of whether you already have a dog or you’re about to welcome your first fur baby to your family, you’ll need to make sure you’re stocked up on all the necessary pet supplies before you bring a new dog home.

ID and Tracking

In case your dog should ever become lost, an ID tag with your contact information or a microchip will increase the likelihood that you’ll be reunited again. You can get personalized ID tags made at just about any pet store. Microchipping is a virtually painless procedure that can be performed in your vet’s office. There are also quite a few GPS collar options that could be helpful for keeping track of your dog’s whereabouts.


Your dog will need a collar to put the dog tag on and to wear for walks. Make sure the collar is the right size for your pooch. You should be able to slide your pointer and middle finger between your dog’s collar and neck. You’ll know the collar fits if your fingers slide in easily, but feel snug.


Depending on the size and energy level of your new dog, you’ll need to make sure you have the right leash to walk the dog. Leashes should typically be about four-to-six-feet long.

Dog Food

Depending on the breed, age, and dietary needs of your new pal, you’ll need to make sure you have the right dog food to give your four-legged friend a nutritious diet, such as Bil-Jac Super Premium Dog Food. Even picky eaters love the taste! By using real chicken – and more of it – adding the right blend of vitamins and minerals, and using our exclusive Nutri-Lock slow cook method, you’ll see the unique difference Bil-Jac makes.

Dog Treats

Don’t forget the dog treats! You’ll want to have some of Bil-Jac Little Jacs Dog Treats to use for training, a reward and just to show your new dog how much you love him.

Dog Toys

Balls, ropes, chew toys, and puzzle toys will help keep your new dog entertained throughout the day.

Crate and Dog Bed

New dogs need a place to call their own and retreat if necessary. Crates and dog beds help with separation and housetraining and offer security and containment. Your dog needs to be able to lay down and stretch, so it’s important for your crate to fit your dog’s full-grown size, even if you have to block some of it off until your dog reaches his adult size. Check out our blog post on how to crate train your dog.

Grooming Supplies

Good hygiene is important to keep your new dog healthy. You’ll need a brush or comb (depending on your dog’s coat length and type), doggy shampoo and conditioner, nail clippers, toothpaste and a toothbrush.


Establish House Rules

Before you bring a new dog home, you need to work out a game plan for taking care of your furry family member. Here are some questions you should discuss with the human members of your household:

  • Who will walk the dog? Dogs need to be taken out several times a day to use the restroom. Energetic dogs will need more time to exercise and dog toys to keep them entertained.

  • Who will feed the dog? Dogs need to be fed two to three times a day and need a constant supply of fresh water. Puppies need to be fed more often. Also, make sure to use the feeding recommendations on the dog food bag as a starting point for how much food to feed. Based on your dog’s body condition and activity level, you can adjust up and down slightly from there, as needed.

  • Will the dog be allowed on the furniture? If the couches or chairs are off-limits, you’ll need to train your dog to stay off the furniture. To help with the training, there are repellent pads you can keep on your furniture to keep it pup-free.

  • Are there any rooms in the house that are off-limits to the dog? A baby or pet gate can be used to block off any area that should remain dog-free.

  • Where will the dog sleep at night? Your dog will need a bed, crate, and/or kennel to sleep at night. Find a quiet room in your house where your dog can go to sleep or rest.


Prepare for Housetraining

Housetraining is a key skill a dog needs to learn, no matter their age. Even adult dogs need time to learn and adjust to a new environment.

To get started, make sure you have housetraining pads set up in your home, preferably near the door where you would like to train your dog to wait when he needs to go outside. There is a pet-detectable scent on the pad that helps attract dogs for bathroom breaks.

It’s important to be consistent and maintain a routine to avoid accidents. Still, accidents are bound to happen, especially in the beginning. When your dog does have an accident, use a cleaner that is specifically made to help clean up the spot and the odor from the accident.


Plan the Arrival

Try to arrange your schedule so that you can bring your new dog home on a weekend or a time when you can be home for a few days. If your work allows, you might even be able to take a “pawternity” leave, which lets you work from home for a week after adding a new dog to your family. Like a maternity or paternity leave, this will help you and your new fur baby get to know each other and spend some quality time together.

If you already have a pet, you’ll also be able to use this time to introduce your new dog to him or her. Just like humans, pets can get jealous, too. While you’ll want to spend lots of time with your new dog, make sure you don’t neglect any other pets in your household.


Have a Support Team

A new dog comes with its rewards and challenges, but this new dog checklist is a great starting point to building a strong relationship with your furry friend. Want some more help along the way? Join the Best Friend’s Club today. Each month, you’ll receive our exclusive email newsletter filled with dog care tips, information on nutrition, training tips, members-only discounts, inspiring stories, fun facts, and other great benefits.

Bringing a new dog home is exciting! Bil-Jac is here to make sure you have the tools you need to have a happy and healthy new best friend.

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