Prior to bringing home your new dog, it is important that you mentally and physically prepare. The first few weeks of transition when your dog is getting used to a new environment and learning the rules of your home can be stressful for you and them. You can start this by physically preparing your home to nurture your dog’s mental and physical well-being by following these simple tasks.
• Inside safety: Make sure all electrical cords are safely tucked away and that there are no magazines, books, small tempting knickknacks or children’s toys that are easily accessible (or edible) to a curious canine.
• A quiet space: Set up a quiet area or room with a cozy crate that isn’t accessible to other pets or children. This will become a safe space for your new pup to decompress and become comfortable in their new home. A bathroom, mud room, spare bedroom, or even a cozy corner in an adult’s bedroom can all make for great decompression areas.
• Separation: Be prepared to keep interactions with other pets limited and supervised as you all get to know each other. Allow your new dog to get to know your house and other family members slowly with you there for support. Aside from a crate, be prepared to provide separation within the house so no one gets overwhelmed. Separation techniques from other pets and children can include closed doors, baby gates, or x-pens depending on your space and needs.
• Outside safety: If you have a fenced yard, check it over and over again with fresh eyes.
Is there anything a dog can jump on top of to boost themself over the fence?
Are there any holes where they could slip under and run away?
Are there any weak spots that could be exploited?
Make sure you carefully and actively supervise all pets in your fenced yard until you are absolutely positive they cannot escape. If you are unsure how your new dog will do in a fenced yard or if you don’t have a fence, we strongly advise you to purchase a long line so that your dog is able to explore and run while still safely under control.
• Enrichment items: These things will help your new dog (and other dogs in your household) relax. Consider stocking up on some of the following prior to bringing your pup home:
Kongs / Kong Wobblers
Busy Buddy Squirrel Dude
Tricky Treat Balls
• High quality dog food: Typically your new adult dog will have been eating Fromm Adult Classic or Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice if they are not sensitive to chicken. If they do have a dietary restriction, we recommend Fromm Salmon à La Veg®. Puppies will have been eating Fromm Classic Puppy . We never recommend a grain free diet as this can lead to heart disease.
• Appropriately sized crate: Majority of our dogs are crate trained and some actually
enjoy their crate as they use it as their "safe space". If you are unsure what size crate to
get for your new pup, you can ask your adoption coordinator and they can help guide
you. Check out this link about how to use, where to place, what to put inside your
• An ID tag with your home address and phone number.
• Nylon martingale collar: Some of our dogs are very timid and loud noises can really
scare them. A properly fitted nylon martingale collar, could prevent a collar slip and lost
dog. There are a couple different options of a martingale collars; one with a buckle and
one without a buckle - we highly recommend one without a buckle.
• A harness: Some dogs walk really well with just a collar but others need a little
guidance and thats when we recommend a harness. You will need to remember that a
lot of our dogs are weeks out of the shelter or picked up off the street so don't be too
hard on them if they need some help with leash training. Here are a few brands we
• A 4 and/or 6 ft leash: This length of leash is the best for walks and outings.
Doggedly highly advises against the use retractable leashes in any situation.
See the reasons why here.
All of these things will help with a happy transition for your new pet!