Walking your dog is one of the best bonding activities you can do with them. Why not shake up your typical walking routine? We picked 7 of the best places to hike or walk in Washington County, MD. It’s cold outside, why not make it more of an adventure for you and your pup? Depending on where you live in Washington County, several of the locations are easy to pop over during the week to add a little variety into your typical daily walk. Check out the 7 hot spots for hiking and walking below.
In this blog, I’ll be covering the following essentials when bringing home a new dog or puppy:
1. Kennel with a spacer
The first and most important thing on my list was to purchase a smaller kennel with a spacer. The kennel for Patience was extra large. Even with a spacer, the kennel would be too big. Patience hated the kennel, but it took about a year before she was trusted to be home alone. With Zoey—only four months old and not house trained— kenneling her would be my only option. If adopting a larger breed puppy, I highly recommend getting a spacer and purchasing a larger kennel so you can expand their space as they grow. If your dog is 100% terrified of a kennel, there are other options to limit their full access to your home. Kennels are pricey investments, but well worth the money and investment. If money is tight or you plan on not using it long, look online for used ones.
2. Baby Gates
Having baby gates are essential and especially helpful to keep an eye on your new fur family addition. They also can be a great alternative to kenneling if your pup is fearful of a kennel. Baby gates will allow for you to keep a better eye on what your pup’s activities, especially during the house training time. During your new pup’s transition into your home, having full access to your home in your absence or when you’re home can be overwhelming. As a result they may destroy furniture or if they are not fully house trained yet have accidents. It is also a great way to keep your dogs separate during feeding time. Allows for them to have their space until they are 100% acclimated to each other. If you have cats, the gate can keep the pup from getting into the cat’s space, food, and litter box.
3. Poop Bags
I confess, I do already have more than I need because I am a pet sitter/dog walker. However, they are a business expense and I needed to purchase my own to use for personal usage.
Poop bags are an essential must have and some people use the plastic bags from the grocery store, but I find they are not as reliable as they used to be. Eco friendly bags are available online, but I prefer the plastic ones I get from Amazon. Unfortunately, they are not eco friendly bags, but as soon as I find more durable bags that don’t break when picking up large dog poops then I will switch. Nothing worse than having poop bags that are not big enough or break when you go to use them. Poop bags are also handy for cleaning up inside messes, throw up or pee accidents. Makes it easier to clean without your hands from getting dirty while cleaning up the mess.
4. Bed With Blankets
We all know that the new dog will end up sleeping in your bed, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need their own bed. Now I may be on the extreme side, but I have one in every room of the house. Patience loved blankets. While she had a bed in every room, she also had multiple blankets on each of the beds, too. I feel like dogs and cats need their own space that is exclusively just for them. Especially important as they get older or even for the puppies that are not able to jump up onto the furniture. I usually purchase the inexpensive blankets from Walmart. Or you could do as one of my client’s suggested to me, which I love, purchase a foam cushion material and wrap it in a blanket/fabric.
5. Chew Toys, Treats, and Bones
Patience’s favorite and only chew toy, was a Kong stuffed with peanut butter. I knew that to bring home a new puppy, I would need much more than one Kong. I now use Patience’s Kong to feed Zoey’s kibble. I decided to pick up a variety of toys or bones to keep her occupied. I chose to grab some antlers, stuffed hooves, nylon bones, and stuffed bones. I also bought some fun play toys of all sorts, they either squeaked or crinkled. I also bought plenty of instant blueberry oatmeal, too, to stuff the hooves, bones, and kongs to help keep her busy. Patience loved treats, especially my homemade peanut butter treats, but honestly she loved anything with peanut butter. I didn’t have any homemade dog treats on hand, so I bought a couple different types that were smaller to help with house training Zoey. Having yummy treats helps with teaching/reinforcing the behavior for any new dog in your home.
6. Dog Food
It’s best to find out what brand and flavor food the dog is eating before you bring them home, even if you don’t agree with what they are eating. A good practice is to keep feeding them on their current food. Coming into a new environment is stressful on your new family member. Changing their diet quickly will likely cause GI issues, leading to possible loose or runny stool. After they are settled in, then you can start transitioning your dog to the food of your choice.
7. Extra Paper Towels and Cleaning Supplies
Accidents are going to happen, better to have the extra supplies on hand. I would also not skimp on the quality of paper towels. The cheap ones may be less expensive, but you will use more cleaning up the messes resulting in costing more for supplies. Cleaning solutions, everyone has their preferences to what they like or what is available at time of purchase. Suggest reading the label to choose the formula that will eliminate the peed and poop smell.
8. Leash, Harness and Collar
All dogs need to have a collar with an id tag. Your phone number needs to be on the ID tag even if your new pup does not have a name. Harnesses are for all dogs, of any age or breed. Personally, my favorite harnesses are ones with a ring attachment in the front. I am able to hook their collar to the harness, making it harder for the pup to slip out of the harness. Don’t forget the leash, and some stores have a match set of all three so they can look cool while strutting their stuff.
My go-to on rainy, snowy days, and/or windy days will always be a poncho. It’s easier to throw it on and off, especially when I get in and out of the car. Umbrellas can be a hassle and cumbersome when trying to manage holding a leash in one hand, then giving a treat when they do their business. I like to keep my hands free of too many things. Also, make sure to wear a baseball cap too with the poncho, helps keep the rain off your face.
10. Dog Walker
Hiring a dog walker from Platinum Paws Pet Service is vital to your new dog’s success, especially if they are a young dog. The first couple days, weeks, and months after bringing home a new dog are known to be hectic, especially establishing their bathroom schedule. One of our experienced and professional dog walkers will alleviate your stress with scheduled visits for the times you are unable to be home. Check out this page to start with us.