• It's time to bring your new dog home. Are you ready?

    The big day is here.  You’ve probably made a list - and checked it twice - of all of the things you’ll need when you welcome your dog into his new home.  Like all new pet parents, you have plenty of toys, but here are a few other things to consider.  These items will help to insure that your bond with your dog starts off on the right foot.

    Grooming: Even if your dog does not have long hair, you still need a brush.  Short-haired dogs shed too.  Brushing your dog regularly is not only a great bonding opportunity; it also goes a long way toward keeping hair off of your couch and reducing allergens.   When choosing a dog brush, some things to consider are hair length and skin sensitivity.

    Teeth: Oral care for dogs is becoming increasingly more important as they live longer - thanks to new medicines and good preventative healthcare.  Veterinarians stress the importance of good oral care both at home and with a professional. At home, this involves brushing your dog’s teeth and keeping plenty of dental chew toys and rawhides around. Remember that your dog needs to become accustomed to having your fingers in his mouth. So start this routine off slowly and on a regular basis:  first, in a playful and caring manner, then move onto the actual brushing.

    Nails: Trimming your dog’s nails doesn’t have to be a daunting task.  The fear of hurting your dog can be lessened by taking a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the structure of a dog’s nail. What you want to avoid is cutting the "quick" — the blood vessel that extends into the nail.  Trimming small bits of nail away frequently is better and easier than large bits less frequently. Investing in a good pair of nail clippers will pay off.

    Your House: Specialized pet cleaning products will smooth the way when housebreaking your dog.  They are formulated specifically to remove animal stains and odors.  This is important not only for you, but your dog will not be tempted to soil the same spot if it is properly cleaned.

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    For Older Dogs: To help ease the transition to his new home, learn everything you can about his past.