Preparing Your Home for Your New Dog

Before welcoming your new dog into your home, it’s essential to have the necessary items and plans in place.

Here’s a checklist to guide you:

Home Arrangements:

Key things to consider:

  • Eat

    Where will your dog be fed, away from other household pets and people?

  • Sleep

    Will you be crate training? Find a quiet location where your new dog can feel safe.

  • Go Potty

    Where will you bring your pup for potty breaks?

  • Spend Time Alone

    Designate a safe space for your pup to be when they are not being supervised (Example: Crate)

  • Ride in the Car

    Consider a designated crate or seat belt for car-rides

Sleeping dog in bed

Preparing Your Family

Introducing a new puppy to a household with children requires careful planning and supervision to ensure the safety and well-being of both the puppy and the children. Here are steps to help set your family up for long term- success.

  • Finding the Right Match

    The shelter staff at Baypath will play a vital role in helping you find a dog with a temperament and energy level that is suitable for your family. Some topics to discuss during your match making call may include:

    • Temperament: Explain your family’s lifestyle and the personalities of your children. Do you need a dog that is calm and gentle around kids, or one that is more energetic and playful? Consider the age and activity level of your children and their comfort level with dogs.
    • Compatibility with Children:Ensure that the shelter staff understands the ages and personalities of your children. Some dogs may be better suited for families with older children, while others are excellent with young kids. Discuss any previous experiences your family has had with dogs
    • Behavior and Training: Mention any specific behaviors or training needs that are important to your family. For example, if you prefer a dog that is already house-trained or has basic obedience skills, communicate these requirements to the shelter staff.
  • Preparing the family

    • Before bringing the dog home, (or prior to the first meet & greet), talk to your children about the responsibilities and expectations of having a dog.
    • Teach your children to respect the puppy’s signals and body language. If the puppy shows signs of stress or discomfort, instruct your children to give the puppy space.
  • Establish Boundaries

    • Always supervise interactions between the dogs and children, especially in the early days. Teach your children how to approach and interact with the pup gently. Show them how to pet a dog without being too rough or overwhelming.
    • Set clear rules and boundaries for both the dog and the children.
    • Teach children not to disturb a dog when they are eating, sleeping, or in their crate. Create safe spaces for the dog where he can retreat when needed.
    • Teach your children to respect the dog’s signals and body language. If the pup shows signs of stress or discomfort, instruct your children to give them space.
  • Routine and Consistency

    • Dogs thrive on routine. Establish a consistent schedule for feeding, potty breaks, and playtime. Involve your children in these activities to teach responsibility and create a bond with the pup.
  • Positive Reinforcement

    • Reward both your children and new dog for good behavior and positive interactions. Use rewards like treats and praise to reinforce the desired behavior.
    • Involve your children in training sessions to help them understand how to communicate with your dog effectively.
  • Post Adoption Support

    • Pay close attention to how your new dog and children are adjusting to each other. Be ready to make adjustments as needed
    • We are always here to support you after adoption. If you encounter challenges or if there are signs of stress or aggression from either your dog or children, do not hesitate to reach out for guidance.

    Dog Supply Checklist

    Items Provided by Baypath

    • Food for transition

      About a week’s worth of the food they have been eating to help with the transition to a new food (if desired).

    • A Martingale Collar

      A martingale collar is designed as a ‘no-slip’ collar, recommended to prevent slipping out or backing out of a collar.

    • A Fitted Harness

      If your new dog has been walking with a harness while in our care, we will send this along (typically on).

      Frequently used harnesses include: Easy Walk Harness by Premier

    • Treat Pouch

      Thanks to a recent generous grant from the Laura J. Niles Foundation, we are happy to equip our wonderful dog adopters with a treat pouch. While it’s probably not exciting as a new pet ☺, we are pretty happy to be able to include this essential item.

      A treat pouch – and the coveted treats it will hold – can go a long way toward establishing a bond and reinforcing good behavior… the foundation for success!

    • Current Bedding (if desired)

      We send along any favorite toys or bedding that the dog has (if they are clean and desired by the family).

    • Resources & Reading Material

      We love to provide any education and support possible to adopters. Please let us know if there are particular topics you are interested or like to know more about! We send all adopters with fun and engaging reading material for all ages (including picture books for young children!).

    Dog Supplies to Have Before (or Shortly After) Bringing Your Dog Home

    • Leash

      Avoid retractable leashes for safety. Opt for a sturdy 6′ nylon or leather leash to as it provides better control and safety during walks.

      Consumer Reports has found tens of thousands of hospital-treated injuries as a result of retractable leashes. In addition, if you accidentally drop a retractable leash it can scare the dog into running away.

    • Identification tags

      Ensure your dog has proper identification, including a tag with their name and your contact information. Your Baypath pup will come with a microchip. Notify the microchip company of your address and phone number, and update this information if it changes.

    • Food and Water Bowls

      We highly recommend mixing enrichment with mealtime for most dogs. Examples of this include: Puzzle feedersLick- Mat, KongToppl Feeder

      The Baypath team will discuss your dogs current feeding routine before or at the time of adoption

    • Training Treats

      Have high-value treats on hand that your dog really loves. These treats should be more enticing than what they typically receive. This may include: String cheese, chicken breast, cream cheese.

    • Bedding

      Size appropriate bedding for your pouch to rest

    • Toys

      Squeaky, Rope Toys, Kongs, and other interactive toys for mental and physical stimulation Ensure to purchase appropriate toys and chews for your dogs size

    • Helpful Cleaning Supplies

      ☑️ Poop bags for cleaning up after your dog on walks

      ☑️ Cleaning supplies for accidents (enzyme-based pet stain remover)

      ☑️ First-aid kit for dogs

    Dog sniffing a food puzzle