I, like so many people, decided to take the plunge and adopt a new dog during COVID-19, shelter in place and now curfews and extended WFH schedules. The new normal is still unveiling for all of us and each adoption experience I've heard about is unique.
Through the highs and lows of a new dog (and the last few months), one thing that has brought me comfort is that I have 1-2 months worth of essentials on hand for the just-in-case scenarios, some of which have already played out.
My new dog is a second dog, so I wanted to make sure I had enough for two pups, and that's when I decided it could be useful to share my tips.
The core essentials on my list are below.
If you think of others, let me know!
The most important essentials are:
- Your regular flea, tick & heartworm preventatives
- Any other medications
- Grooming essentials (dog shampoo, ear cleaner, nail trimmers/dremmel)
- Poop bags
After an emergency incident last year, I ended up paying $650 for an emergency vet visit because I didn't have supplies on hand for a very bloody and desperately torn thumb nail. I decided to put together a first aid kit for my dogs for these just-in-case incidents. Lately, the threat of not being able to find a 24/7 vet nearby has made me grateful to have these:
- Non-stick gauze or non-stick wrap (important to be non-stick to not pull out fur)
- Hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, cotton balls
- Loperamide (Imodium) for diarrhea, Calcium carbonate (Tums), Pedialyte
- Saline solution
- Digital thermometer
- Tweezers (to remove ticks)
- Syringes or droppers for cleaning wounds and giving medication
- Towel and muzzle
- Milk of Magnesia or activated charcoal (in case of accidental poisoning)
I followed this standard first aid kit, recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association. I also love that Bond Vet Clinic with locations in New York is offering televet services - save their number.
Stocking up on dog food:
I feed my dogs Maev Raw Meals (where I work). We transitioned the new dog to Maev a few weeks after he came home. Maev offers flexible subscriptions and offers a compostable bulk bag of food. If you're interested in going raw, we're big fans and would love to have you as a customer.
If you're thinking of cooking for your dog, you're not alone. 1 in 5 dog owners makes DIY dog food at home. Since most of us are doing a lot more cooking now than ever before, DIY homemade dog food seems like an easier jump than it used to. The one watch out that we urge you to look into, is that your dog can't sustain him/herself on just chicken and rice for long. It's great as a bland diet for a week or two if your dog has a stomach bug, but not good for normal day-to-day nourishment. It's important that your dog's diet is "complete and balanced" which means it includes a mix of nutrients in accordance with AAFCO standards set by board-certified veterinarians.
I decided to keep 1 month of food in stock in the freezer. It fits nicely since I'm using bulk compostable bags, and I set a reminder in my cal to re-stock about halfway through the phone (Maev automatically reaches out but incase you go with another option, just note when to restock).