Bringing home a new dog of any age is a big decision that should be made together as a family. Even before we met Aura my partner and I knew that bringing home a dog would be a huge responsibility to share and had many open and honest conversations about it.
To help make sure you’re prepared to bring home your new pet use this new puppy checklist which doubles as a new dog checklist to make sure you have all the necessary essentials and then some.
There are many different types of collars for a new dog owner to choose from and each has its advantages and disadvantages. It might be a good idea to buy a variety to see what works best with your husky.
For Aura we bought her a pink martingale collar that really brings our her eyes. Martingale collars are much gentler than a choke collar and much safer on the dog making them great for training purposes. To the right is a picture of the blue martingale collar that she came with.
In case your dog ever gets lost or escapes it’s a good idea to have an ID tag on them at all times. Huskies are especially adept at getting away so you may also want to get your pup microchipped as an added precaution.
We had a custom ID tag made at Petsmart and it was a very simple and easy process. We put Aura’s name and our address engraved on the front of her tag. On the back we had our names and phone numbers engraved. She is also microchipped so if and when she gets away from us anyone who finds her will be able to locate her home easily.
A leash is a very important essential for any dog owner to have. In Arizona a leash no longer than 6 feet is required by law if you have your dog out in public.
Like collars leashes come in a variety of styles but they’re all essentially just a rope you can attach to your dog’s collar to help keep control over them. We have two standard nylon leashes, one is about 3 feet and the other one is closer to 5 feet in length.
You’ll need something for your dog to eat when you bring them home and human food is unfortunately not going to cut it. Awhile ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called ‘Pet Fooled’ and it left me feeling like I don’t even want a dog because I’m going to end up killing it by choosing the wrong or contaminated food.
Our best advice is to do your own research and feed your pooch what you think is best, and stay consistent. If you elect to make any changes to your pet’s diet do it slowly so their stomach can acclimate to the new food.
Water and Food Dishes
At least one set of food and water bowls should be purchased before you bring your new pup home. Feeding them in the same place with the same bowls will teach them good eating manners and provide a perfect time for training.
Weighted stainless steel or chrome dishes are the best as they can’t be pushed around as easily or develop crevices from the dog chewing on it. If your dog is an outdoor dog and you live somewhere where it gets cold enough use a ceramic or plastic bowl as this will prevent your dog’s tongue from getting stuck to it in colder temperatures.
For many dogs treats are key for good training. In most cases nothing can hold the attention of a husky better than a delicious treat can.
Give treats to your dog to reinforce good behavior and to connect a good action to reward, or even just out of the blue every once in awhile to show you love them.
Chew toys are a great thing to have around when you need your dog to entertain itself for a little while. These can also make good training treats if your dog responds well enough to them. Be sure to purchase new toys on a continuous basis to keep your pup interested and expose them to new experiences.
Aura absolutely loves toys that squeak and she can tear them to shreds within a day so we will definitely be buying her a variety of new chew toys on a regular basis.
Some people have an aversion to crates because they remind us of little jail cells but it doesn’t have to be that way. A crate should be a safe sanctuary for your dog to run to when they are feeling anxious or afraid. If your dog is ever injured or you need to transport them somewhere it is much easier with a crate. Plus if you’re traveling with your pet many hotels will only allow crate trained dogs in their establishment.
We have a ‘Fold and Carry Dog Crate’ from Grreat Choice and it’s plenty big for our husky Aura. Its dimensions are 42 in L x 28 in W x 30 in giving her plenty of room to turn around and get comfortable in. We plan on eventually converting one of our closets into a custom space that can be used like a den for her.
Especially if your dog is an outdoor pet you should purchase an outdoor kennel which, similar to a crate, gives the dog somewhere they can retreat to the feeling of safety. If you don’t have a yard for your outdoor pup the kennel should be at least 6 x 12 feet and 6 feet high. Huskies are known to be good diggers and climbers when they want to get somewhere so putting it on a concrete slab is most ideal if possible.
We bought our house with adopting a dog in mind so our backyard is plenty big and has very high walls.
Here are a few grooming supplies to pick up before you bring your husky home.
- Rake Brush – Huskies have two coats of fur and a rake brush can help get knots out and untangle hair.
- Wide-toothed Metal Comb – Like the rake a wide-toothed metal comb or ‘collie comb’ can be used to further untangle matted fur and is a little gentler.
- Slicker Brush – Once you have raked your husky’s undercoat out you’ll want to use a slicker brush to smooth the fur over and keep it fluffy and soft.
- Spray Bottle – Filling this with water and using it when brushing matted fur out with a rake or collie comb can be very helpful. Depending on how your dog reacts to it and spray bottle can be used as a deterrent for bad behavior.
- Dog Nail Clippers – Husk nails should be trimmed three to four times a year but be careful not to cut too deep or you’ll cut the quick and cause a lot of pain for your friend. You can always have a professional dog grooming service take care of this step if you’re concerned about messing up.
- Dog Shampoo – Try not to bathe your husky too much or you will dry out their skin and fur. A few times a year is more than enough or whenever your pup gets into something nasty and makes a mess.
- Small Tooth Brush with Dog Toothpaste – Toothpaste made for humans sometimes contain toxic ingredients to dogs so be sure to get tooth paste specifically made for dogs or just use water.
- Grooming Table – It’s really nice to have a space dedicated to your pets grooming needs.
Even if your dog sleeps in your bed it is important to get them a spot reserved especially for them. Feel free to put your dog bed in your dog’s crate or leave it somewhere else around the house that your dog is likely to nap.
A dog door isn’t necessarily a necessity but they are a nice thing to have for convenience. A good dog door will allow your pet in and out at will and certain models can do more than others such as letting your pup in but not back out or vice versa.
Baby or doggie gates can be used to restrict your dog’s access to certain parts of the house. We plan on purchasing one to teach Aura to stay out of the kitchen when dinner is being made.
Especially if you’re bringing a puppy home expect there to be mishaps and spills so here is a list of some cleaning supplies that will come in handy.
- Paper towels – for when you inevitably need to clean a mess up.
- Baby wipes – an easy way to wipe your dog down without a full on bath if they get into something icky.
- Stain remover – if you have carpet anywhere in your house this will come in handy if there are any accidents.
- Training pads – especially for puppies you may want to line the area they’ll be in with training pads while potty training.
These items aren’t absolutely necessary to have but are very convenient to have!
- Bag Dispenser – Having a place to keep all your doggie bags neat comes in handy. You can purchase the bags separately or like us just save and use plastic grocery bags.
- Pooper Scooper – Especially if your yard is your dog’s main restroom one of these will make picking up after your pet much easier on your back. I try to go out and clear our yard of dog droppings once a week or so.
- Food Scooper – If you monitor your dog’s diet a dedicated scoop that measures out the perfect amount of food is awesome to have.
- Dog Literature – If you’re going to own a husky, or any dog for that matter, it’s good to do a little research on the breed. We recommend Siberian Huskies for Dummies by Diane Morgan as a good start.
A Whole Bunch of Love
The most important thing on this checklist is love. Dogs are very intelligent creatures that pickup on whatever energy you’re putting out there. If you’re stressed or angry they will know it. They’ll give you unconditional love and will know if you’re giving it back.
Bringing home a puppy or new dog is an amazing experience but can also be a stressful one. I hope this new puppy and new dog checklist helps prepare you a little better if you’re thinking about adopting a dog.
Leave a comment below with your new puppy checklist and let me know if there’s something I missed!