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10 Things You Need Before You Bring Home a Dog

Newsweek Amplify - Getting a Dog Home

Comedian Elayne Boosler has a very simple fashion philosophy: "If you're not covered in dog hair, your life is empty." Dogs are often called man's best friend and for a good reason. No one, human or otherwise, can ever love you as much as a dog does. No wonder they're everyone's favorite pets!

If you're looking to buy a dog or rescue one from the shelter, wait a sec. Because while money can buy you a beautiful dog, only love and affection can actually put a smile on its face. To make sure that your first few weeks with your dog are a blessing instead of a series of accidents and disasters, here are 10 things you need before you can bring your dog home.

A Right-Sized Leash

Newsweek Amplify - The Perfect Leash

Getting a leash for your dog is super-important. Not only does it help you keep him from doing mischief when you take him out for a walk, but it also ensures that your dog does not get lost. They can help keep your dog, as well as other people, safe in public places. Most importantly, they can tether your dog in case you get distracted for a moment or two, preventing him from running away with some poor child's candy.

The best-recommended leash size is 6 feet long, as it keeps your dog at just the right distance from you. Most vets warn against buying retractable leashes as they are less effective in controlling the dog and can pose danger to both you and your dog. There have been several instances of injuries among people ending up with severed fingers and dogs getting lacerated due to retractable leashes. Therefore, it is better and safer to stick to regular leashes.


Newsweek Amplify - Harness with the Leash

Along with a leash, it is also important that you get a harness, which will make your walks a lot more comfortable for your dog. A harness is handy when keeping your dog under control, and since it only applies gentle pressure to your dog's chest, it is much safer than merely using a collar.

Collars apply undue pressure on your dog's neck, which means that when your dog pulls, the collar may cause neck injury to your dog. Harnesses are much safer in that regard and can be used effectively with leashes to distribute the pressure.

Food for Your Dog

Newsweek Amplify - Dog Food

Make your new family member healthy and strong by feeding him high-quality dog food. While most people prefer to keep their dogs on an all-kibble diet, you can choose to feed your dog some raw meat, vegetables, or rice. However, you must remember that dogs are unique individuals, and what suits one breed might not suit another. Therefore, as far as the daily dietary requirements of your dog are concerned, it is better to consult a vet first to see what types of food would be best for your new friend.

Bowls for Eating and Drinking

Newsweek Amplify - Bowls for the Dog

To feed them food and water, you need to get your dog separate bowls for food and water. The best practice is to get two of each kind so that you have one for backup when you need your primary one for cleaning.

While you can get bowls of any material, stainless steel bowls work best because they're durable, easy to clean, and very sanitary. Not to mention, they're also easy to wash, and you can just throw them into the dishwasher every day along with your own utensils. It is advisable to clean your dog's bowls daily.

Odor and Stain Removers

Newsweek Amplify - Odor and Stain Removers

With food and water concerns dealt with, the next thing you need to be prepared for is removing stains. During the initial days, your dog may do its business on your carpet or floor, and cleaning will surely be an issue. To be better safe than sorry, it's best to prepare well in advance.

Despite claims of effectiveness, carpet cleaning solution or vinegar is not very useful here because it doesn't completely get rid of the smell. If the dog can still sniff the smell, it will do it again on the same spot.

Thus, to deal with the problem completely, you need to opt for a plant-based odor and stain removal product, such as the one provided by Charlie and Max. It is suitable for use on all surfaces including most fabrics, and it eliminates stains and odor at their source. It contains a deodorizing agent that totally gets rid of the smell so that your doggo isn't attracted to the same spot again.

Collar and ID Tag

Newsweek Amplify - Collar and ID Tag

Despite your best efforts and care, your dog might still get lost sometimes. For such situations, it is essential that you get your dog a collar with an identification tag that has your contact details written on it so that anyone who finds your dog can contact you and return him to you. While your dog might be a little uncomfortable wearing the collar initially, they'll gradually get used to the collar. It is important that you train your dog to wear their collar at all times.

Before you go out and buy a dog, it is best that you have a collar and ID ready so you can strap it on as soon as your dog comes home. Keep your furry buddy safe and sound by making him wear the collar.

Crate for Your Dog to Sleep

Newsweek Amplify - Crates

Contrary to what some people believe, crates are not inhumane or cruel. In fact, most dog experts believe that with the right positive reinforcement, the crate can actually become your dog's safe space, sort of like a child's bedroom. Dogs are inhabiting creatures, and they prefer to have a private and enclosed space to sleep in to give them a sense of security and safety.

A crate can also be useful in the initial months of dog-training, as it provides them with a controlled environment. To ensure the maximum comfort of your dog, make sure you put something soft inside the crate that they can lie on, such as a pillow. You can also use the crate when potty training your dog. It is crucial that you get the right-size crate for your doggo so that it doesn't feel congested or suffocated.

Anti-Chew Sprays

Newsweek Amplify - Anti-Chew Spray

Puppies have a bad habit of licking and chewing everything they can get their little paws on. Not only can this be a health hazard for them, but it also means you might have to bid adieu to your favorite leather belts and shoes because they now have dog bite marks all over them.

Chewing is a very normal habit in most dogs, but when directed towards inappropriate items like furniture or shoes, it becomes an issue. To address this, dog owners turn to anti-chew sprays, which usually contain alcohol and other harsh compounds that aren't safe for dogs. Research has shown that alcohol exposure might cause depression, drowsiness, and even death in dogs.

For a better alternative, check out the Charlie and Max anti-chew spray, which has a non-alcoholic formula, yet can get the job done.

Commenting on the high potency of their products, one user of the Charlie and Max anti-chew spray said, "Works really well to stop dogs from chewing on anything it's spread on. Our dog is an active chewer so it was very nice to have this product work. Apply as directed on the bottle and all will work well." Thousands of happy customers attest to the fact that their sprays are among the most effective in the market.

Toys to Play With

Newsweek Amplify - Dog Toys

But if you don't let your dog chew on your furniture or shoes, what is it supposed to do in its free time? Well, that's where dog toys come in.

To keep your dog entertained while you're busy, get them some toys to play with. The most common dog toys are the food-dispensing toys, which give your dog a challenge to deal with and can serve as a long-lasting source of fun.

Add a food-dispensing toy to your dog's crate to ensure that he will enjoy playing alone when you're not by its side. Other common toys that you can get your dog include chew toys, which provide them with a tastier chewing alternative to your furniture; or rope toys that they can spend hours playing with.

Grooming Supplies

Newsweek Amplify - Grooming Tools

Your dog might not be human, but that shouldn't stop them from looking good. To keep your four-legged friend well-groomed at all times, you'll need to get some dog brushes. Choose brushes depending on the kind of coat that your dog has. Nail trimmers are also a must-have, but you have to train your dog to get its nails trimmed because dogs usually do not like getting their paws touched for a nail trim.

BONUS: Heckin Cute Dog Painting

Newsweek Amplify - Cute Dog Painting

As a bonus gift for yourself, your dog, and your Insta feed, try getting a cool dog painting from Charlie and Max. With options ranging from a racecar-pilot dog to an aristocratic dog, Charlie and Max can photoshop your dog's face onto the frame of your choice. Canvas sizes range from 8X10 inches all the way to 16X24 inches.

The dog paintings start at just $50 and come with a free toy. These paintings are a wonderful way to liven up the living room and to proudly show off your dog to visitors and friends.

To get started on the essentials you need for your journey of buying a dog, head over to Charlie and Max today and take advantage of their current discounts.

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