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Before You Adopt.....
“Select” is defined in the dictionary by such phrases as “a preferred choice” or “carefully chosen”. Selecting the family dog should be a well-researched and carefully soul-searched activity. Are you and your family willing to make a 10 – 15 year commitment to this sentient being in sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, for as long as all shall live? Let’s pose some of the questions family members should discuss before obtaining a dog.
HOW OLD ARE THE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY?
If the youngsters in your household are under seven years old, they are usually not developmentally suited for puppies 5 months old and under or toy-sized (under 15 pounds) dogs of any age. Puppies have ultra sharp “milk teeth” and toenails and often teethe on and scratch children, resulting in unintentional injury to the child. The puppy becomes something to be feared rather than loved.
Toy dogs are fine-boned, touch-sensitive creatures that do not weather rough or clumsy handling well. They break relatively easily and are quicker to bite than their larger boned, mellower relatives.
Unless your children are unusually sensitive, low-key, respectful individuals, a medium-to-large sized dog over 5 months old is usually the safer choice. Regardless of size, all interactions between small children and dogs should be monitored by a responsible adult. When there is no one to watch over them, they should be separated.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, are there frail elderly or physically challenged individuals in the household? If so, strong vigorous adolescent dogs are not a wise idea. No aging hips or wrists are safe from these yahoos. People who were one-breed fans throughout their lives may one day find that their favorite breed demands more than they can physically handle. The new dog must fit the current physical capabilities of his keepers with an eye toward what the next 10-15 years will bring.
WHO WILL BE THE DOG’S PRIMARY CARETAKER?
A decade or so back, this was an easy question to answer– Mom. She stayed home and cooked, cleaned and raised the family dog. Most families these days do not have that option. All adults have to go to work and the kids head off to school. This leaves the family dog to be sandwiched in between lessons and sports and household chores and so on. One parent should be designated Primary Caretaker to make sure the dog does not get lost in the shuffle.
Some parents bow to the pressure their children put on them to get a dog. The kids promise with tears in their eyes that they will religiously take care of this soon-to-be best friend. The truth of the matter is, during the 10 – 15 year lifespan of the average dog, your children will be growing in and out of various life stages and the family dog’s importance in their lives will wax and wain like the Moon. You cannot saddle a child with total responsibility for the family dog and threaten to get rid of it if the child is not providing that care. It is not fair to child or dog.
Choosing the family dog should include input from all family members with the cooler-headed, more experienced family members’ opinions carrying a bit more weight. The family dog should not be a gift from one family member to all the others. The selection experience is one the entire family can share. Doing some research and polling each family member about what is important to them in a dog will help pin down what you will be looking for. Books like Daniel Tortora’s THE RIGHT DOG FOR YOU or The ASPCA Complete Guide to Dogs can be tremendously helpful and can warn you away from unsuitable choices for your family’s circumstances.
How Much Can I Spend?
The price to obtain a dog runs the gamut from free-to-a-good-home to several thousand dollars. It does not always hold true that you get what you pay for. The price you pay in a pet shop is usually 2 to 3 times higher than what you pay a reputable breeder for a puppy of similar (or usually better) quality.
Too many folks spend all their available cash on a pet shop purchase and then have no money left for initial veterinary care, a training crate or obedience classes–all necessary expenses. Remember, the purchase price of a dog is a very small part of what the dog will actually cost. Save money for food (especially if it is a large or giant breed), grooming (fancy coated breeds such as Poodles, Cockers, and Shih Tzus need to be clipped every 4 to 6 weeks), chew toys (the vigorous chewers like a Bull Terrier or Mastiff can work their way through a $8.00 rawhide bone in a single sitting), outerwear (short-coated breeds like Greyhounds, Chihuahuas, and Whippets must have sweaters and coats in the winter or in lavishly air conditioned interiors), and miscellaneous supplies (bowls, beds, brushes, shampoos, flea products, odor neutralizers for accidents, baby gates, leashes, collars, heartworm preventative etc.).
And then, there is the veterinary emergency! Very few dogs live their entire lives without at least one accident. Your puppy eats a battery or pair of pantyhose, your fine-boned toy breaks a leg, your big boy has bad hips, your dog gets hit by a car or beaten/bitten by the neighborhood bully. These surprises can cost $500 or more. Unlike our children, most of our dogs are not covered by health insurance.
But “How much can I spend?” is not only a question of money. How much time and energy can you spend on a new dog? Various breeds and ages of dog make different demands on our precious spare time. In general, the Sporting, Hounds, Herding, and Terrier breeds will demand more time in training and daily exercise than will the Guardian or Companion breeds. A puppy or adolescent will need more exercise, training, and supervision than will an adult dog. And the first year with any new dog regardless of age or breed type will put more demands on the owner than any other time, for this is when you are setting up house rules and routines which will last for the lifetime of your dog.
America has become a nation of disposable pet owners. Doesn’t your family dog deserve better? Choose wisely, for when the bond breaks, everybody concerned suffers. Make selecting your new family dog a life-affirming act.
- Tips by Petfinder.com
A Word From Cesar-The Dog Whisper
• Take your family and children feelings about adopting a dog into consideration. Kids recently returned to school. Do you have a routine in place? Do you have structure in your life? The environment we bring a dog into is very important. Who is going to be doing the dog walking, feeding him, taking him to the vet? Is everyone on board with bringing a dog into the home? If not, trust me, your new dog will know and sense the resentment.
• Are you honestly ready for the responsibility of a dog? Open your mind and determine where your state of mind is. Do you know what if feels like to be calm and assertive? Why do you want to adopt a dog? Be honest! Your own behavior will be a direct reflection in the dog’s behavior, so look at clues in your life that tell you where your head is. For example, take a look at your closet. Is it neat and organized? Does that have any clues as to how you live your life? Your actions tell a story. No matter how many people I’ve consulted over the years, the state of the closet has always been a true test of their ability to provide a dog with a structured life that has rules, boundaries, and limitations.
• Figure out how well you can schedule your dog into your life. What is your work life like? How punctual are you? If you can’t be honest with yourself, ask your friends and ask them to be honest. If you are not reliable or a good manager of time or if you make excuses for being late, you might be one of those people who makes excuses for why they didn’t go on a dog walk that day or didn’t make time to go to the park. It might seem like a small minor detail, but when it comes to fulfilling your new dog and keeping him balanced, these oversights matter!
• Check out how dog-friendly your neighborhood is. How are the dogs that live near you? Is there a park or hiking trails nearby? Where’s the closest vet and 24-hour emergency? Do you have relationships with your neighbors? How socialized your neighbors’ dogs are is an indication of how your own may be – of course, this is up to you as the pack leader, and if your neighborhood doesn’t provide socialization opportunities, you will need to find other ways to properly socialize your new dog.
• Choose a dog with an energy level equal to or lower than your own. Never adopt a dog with higher energy. Consider their age and your own. Make sure you evaluate the dog when he’s been out of the cage for some time and has had a walk. Take him out and see how he behaves. A dog in a cage is not going to give you the reality of their natural energy.
• Don’t generalize based on a dog's breed, but do consider the characteristics of that breed.Just because you loved German Shepherds as a child doesn’t mean you are at a stage or place in your life to properly care for, stimulate, and exercise such a smart and powerful dog.
• Consider Fostering a Dog First. If you’re unsure of whether the new dog you’ve chosen is right for your family and lifestyle, consider fostering before making a commitment. Fostering is incredibly important part of rescuing dog. It’s also a responsible way to know whether you’re ready to take on a new dog in your life and properly care for it. Plus, fostering takes them out of the shelter and if you are armed with the proper information, you can help transition the dog from shelter life to home life. Even if you decide that this particular dog isn’t a match for you, he may be the perfect dog for someone else who better matches his energy level or lack thereof. If you have a cat, fostering is a great way to test the waters to see if the cat is ready or able to live happily with a dog in the home. Tread lightly and take baby steps in the beginning!
• Don’t overlook the senior dogs. Senior dogs need homes just as badly as the cute puppies. They may not be suited to a home with very young children, as they’re not as accustomed to being around kids’ high energy. But they are wonderful companions for homes that are not as active. They may need less exercise and more health care, but the love they give in return is the reward.
• Don’t make an emotional decision when choosing a dog. When you decide the time is right, leave your emotions at the door. Going into a shelter is devastating and sad. But if you let your weaker emotions control your brain and feel sorry for the dog, you may end up adopting a dog that isn’t right for you, your family, or your environment. Save yourself the heartache and struggles later by being methodical and aware now.
• Know what it means to be your dog's pack leader. From day one, establish the relationship and bond with your new dog. Knowledge is power, so do your homework!
• Enjoy the Process of Adopting a Dog. Dogs have brought me more gifts and taught me more than I could have ever dreamed of. Balanced dogs bring us calm, peace, joy, and love, as much as we bring them. So get started on the right foot and you can look forward to a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment with them.
The "Right" Energy
Adopting a dog is a decision that should be made with care and deliberation not on the spot. A dog is not a toy or a clothing accessory; it's a living creature. The decision to adopt a dog should be treated with the same careful attention that you would use if you were deciding where to live, to have children, or whether or not to get married.0
Too often, people adopt a dog because it is "cute" or "fashionable" rather than based on the merits of its behavior and energy levels. In these situations, the dog may be returned to the dog rescues, shelter, kennel, or breeder, and each return is a black mark on that dog's record. It suggests that the dog is un-adoptable, and the more often a dog is returned, the more likely it is to eventually be euthanized.
Evaluate your own energy level
When selecting a new dog, it is vitally important to take into account how that dog’s energy will harmonize with your own, or the existing dog in the home. The most important step is to take some time for self-reflection and to identify what your own energy levels are. Do you wake up early every morning, pound a power bar and a health shake, and go for a run in the mountains? Or do you take life at a more leisurely pace? When energy levels conflict, resulting frustrations on the part of both human and dog can create tensions and issues with dramatic repercussions, so take into account how your energy will affect your decision.
Dog breeds and energy
Once you’ve identified your own energy levels, begin your research on dog breeds and their energy levels. Remember, dog breeds don’t necessarily dictate its personality, but some dog breeds are known for having a certain energy or disposition. Once you’ve done your breed research, you can begin your search for a dog with a few ideas in mind. It never hurts to be prepared.
Dogs in cages
If you decide to begin looking at shelters and dog rescues, keep in mind that a dog in a cage at a shelter will be difficult to appraise in terms of its level of energy. Dogs in cages for any significant length of time can be frustrated and edgy. It may help to have a professional or someone with some expertise assist you in gauging your potential dog's energy levels.
Questions to ask
Don't be afraid to ask the rescue staff about the dog. They aren’t concerned with getting dogs out the door at any cost - most are dedicated to finding good homes for the dogs in their care – so you can be pretty confident that they'll give you the straight story. Find out what the dog is really like and how he gets along with the staff and the other dogs. How does he act at mealtimes? What is he like when people come by to view the other dogs? The answers to questions like these will give you a better idea of what he will be like with you and your family at home.
Take the dog for a walk
The dog walk is an excellent litmus test for a new dog. Find out from the shelter if you can “test drive” the dog that you're interested in. Take him out for a spin around the block and see how the two of you get along. Not only will you get an early idea of how you work together in a pack-oriented activity, but you’ll get a better understanding of his underlying temperament once you’ve drained away the frustration and pent-up energy he has from being in his cage.
Most importantly, do your best to leave your emotions at the door. You will have plenty of time to bond with your new dog once you've brought him home and incorporated him into your family. For his sake and yours, try not to let the environment of the shelter and the weight of the decision influence you to adopt a dog. Dog rescues can be heart-breaking places if your thoughts are focused on the fate of every single dog present. It’s crucial for you to choose the right dog, and not just one that you feel sorry for. Feeling pity for a homeless dog won't benefit him or you in the long run.
Keep an open mind, do your research, and have patience! In the end, you'll both be better off for it.
- Cesars Way
Bringing Home a Second Dog (Or third)
"The dogs will need time to adjust to your home, your animals, your pack. It will not be instant, they may be distant at first or seem "aggressive" to other pets but give them time and be calm. The life of a Rescue dog is often terrifying and they only recover after an adopter opens up home and heart and gives them a chance to acclimate into their new home at their own speed. So dogs its days, others take weeks, but sooner or later they all relax and learn to be loved. " -Kate's Trainer
There are many great reasons to add another canine family member: more to love, more to be loved by, companionship for Dog One, saving a life, companionship for a child and more. There are also many reasons not to: more vet bills, more food and toys to buy, more poop to scoop, less individual attention for Dog One, more potential behavior problems…
Assuming you’ve carefully considered the pros and cons and made an educated decision to adopt another, here are some tips for a successful introduction of your new dog to your existing canine pal(s):
1. Make sure Dog One is dog-friendly. If you don’t already know that One is the life of the dog park, find a friend with a very dog-friendly dog and introduce One to Friendly in a safely fenced neutral territory. One may tell you in no uncertain terms that he’d rather be an only dog. If so, consider maintaining your one-dog status. Or, if you’re dead-set on another dog, find a good, positive trainer/behavior consultant to help you convince One of the benefits of having a canine pal. If the introduction goes well, take the next step.
2. Select the right dog. If your current dog is very assertive, adding another “top dog” could be the equivalent of holding a lit match to an open gasoline can. Look for a dog who defers to your “Boss Dog.” However, if your current dog is a Wilting Willie, an assertive new dog may take over. Willie will probably be fine with this, but you may have a hard time seeing him pushed around. If so, look for a non-assertive dog.
Size needs to be taken into account. If you have a three-pound mini-dog, there are inherent risks in adopting a large-breed dog. Even in play, big dogs can cause serious, sometimes fatal, injuries to toy-size canines. It’s not impossible to have very disparate sizes in a household, but it requires committed supervision and management.
Grooming and energy levels are still other considerations. If Woolly Bully requires daily grooming to stay mat-free, perhaps a shorthaired dog is in order. Or, if you finish brushing Woolly and are eager for more, a second Old English Sheepdog may be right up your alley.
If your current Border Collie mix is an Energizer™ bunny, another active dog might help wear her out—or you could end up with two bunnies.
3. Script your introductions. Set up your introductions in that safely fenced neutral territory. This is best done prior to your commitment to adopt Dog Two. Both of you armed with hot dogs, have a friend, hold one leashed dog at the far side of the area while you enter with the second. Watch body language; they may become alert and a little tense, or act all waggy and playful—both are acceptable responses. If one or both dogs exhibit serious aggression—lunging, frenzied barking, snarling or snapping—stop the introduction and seek professional assistance.
When the dogs notice each other, calmly feed hot dog bits, until each is focusing on the person providing the treats. Now slow the rate of hot dogs until the dogs glance at each other, then look back at you for hot dogs. If both dogs appear happy and/or reasonably relaxed in each other’s presence, drop the leashes while still at a distance and allow them to greet each other. Leash restraint can sometimes cause otherwise compatible dogs to behave aggressively. Leave the leashes on for a few moments so you can safely separate the dogs if necessary. When it is clear that they are getting along, call them back and unclip the leashes so they can play without becoming entangled (which can also cause a fight!).
At home, introduce them again in your fenced yard, and, to minimize indoor stress, don’t bring them into the house until they’ve tired themselves out playing.
4. Train and manage for success. Installation of baby gates and tethers in strategic places can help keep the peace. When dogs are still getting to know each other, separate them when you’re not home. If there are food-bowl or feeding-station issues, feed the dogs far apart, perhaps in separate rooms or crates, to avoid confrontations. Make sure there are enough toys to go around, and ample beds located in low-traffic areas.
How To Introduce The Dogs
According to the Humane Society, about forty percent of US households that have dogs have more than one dog, with the large majority of that number (twenty-eight percent) having two dogs. It’s probably safe to assume that not every dog in those multiple-pet households arrived at the same time. So, if you’re considering adding a new dog to your pack, what are the do’s and don’ts of the introduction?
The number one rule when bringing a new dog into a household that already has dogs is to do it gradually. The worst mistake people can make when adding a new pack member is to just bring the dog into the house. To the dogs that were already there, this is an intrusion on their territory by a stranger. To the new dog, being thrust into an unknown environment leaves it without any rules to follow or boundaries to respect.
This method of introduction is the formula for disaster. Do it this way, and you’ll wind up with a pack that fights, competes over everything, and is generally not fun to deal with.
A proper introduction
In order to bring a new dog into the pack, you’ll need the assistance of a friend or family member who is well-known by your current dog or pack. All of you will meet on neutral territory — a place where you do not walk your current dog regularly, and which is probably not familiar to the new dog.
As with bringing home any new dog, the process begins with a long walk. In the case of bringing a new dog into a pack, this is even more important, as it will drain energy from the pack and allow them to become familiar with each other in a place that none of them “owns.”
At the start of this walk, you will take the lead with your existing dogs, while your friend or family member follows behind with the new dog. After a while, it’s time to drop back and let your original dog sniff the new dog’s rear, but don’t let them meet face-to-face yet, as that can lead to fights. Resume the walk with the original dog in front, and then let the new dog have a sniff.
Gradually, you can bring the entire pack together, with the dogs walking on the outside and the humans in-between. When they are in a calm state and walking together without incident, then it’s time to bring the pack home.
The one essential difference with multiple dogs is that your original dogs enter the home first with you, and then you bring the new dog in. This allows your original dogs to “invite” their new pack member into the territory.
After the first day
Finally, once your dogs have become a pack, it is important that you let them establish the hierarchy among themselves, with you and the other humans in the house as the pack leaders, of course. It can be a natural tendency for us to show favor to the dogs that have been in the pack longer and try to make them the dominant dogs, in the same way that parents may give more responsibility to their older children.
However, dogs don’t work this way, and if you try to force a submissive dog into a dominant position, it will only make the submissive dog very anxious and insecure, while making the dominant dog resentful. Your new pack will let you know which dog is dominant and which one is submissive (or they will take equal positions on their own), and they will be happier for it if you allow them to make this one rule for themselves. Remember: Work with Mother Nature, not against her.
When adopting or fostering a rescued dog from the pound/shelter, it’s a happy time for you and a relief to the
dog. For one, you’ve taken them away from that loud, scary place. As the new owners or foster of the dog,
you’re also excited because you’re bringing in a new member of the family into your home. This new situation
is exciting for everyone with new interactions and adventures to come.
BUT WAIT! Before you go showing off your new pet to your family, friends, and resident pets, please give the
new dog time to relax for awhile. The last thing you should do at this point is rush them into a whole new
dramatic situation and making them interact that could get them into trouble if they’re not ready for it.
Think of it like this way as humans; you’ve been looking desperately for a job to support your family; you’ve
been looking for over three months, your savings is dwindling fast, and you’re worried; VERY worried. You’re
getting up everyday looking at the paper/internet, going to interviews, and finally you get a job.
First day on the job, you’re excited but nervous, and just want to feel your way around. Then, some co-worker’s
trying to make you look bad; trying to push your buttons. You want to do the right thing but if no one gives you
time to know your job and no one’s controlling the guy harassing you, things could happen and (you’re back at
the pound) you’re fired; or, worse, in jail, depending on the reaction. This is just my interpretation as we don’t
know the feeling of being in doggie jail just because we’re a dog, but I bet I’m close. When volunteering at a
pound you see this stress all the time.
Dogs that have been at the pound for an especially long period of time need to decompress and get
themselves back into a calm state of mind; unlike the worrying and stressing when they were at the pound.
I had a foster dog once that seemed to be normal at the pound but wouldn’t make much eye contact. When I
got her home, her eyes seem to be darting everywhere but at me. It was odd; I thought she was “special”, or
I knew she was still kennel-stressed from being at the pound. It took a couple weeks for her to get over that
and get back to herself and finally making eye contact. Basically, I created a routine taking her for walks in the
morning and playing ball afterwards, then I’d put her in the crate to rest for a couple hours. I’d give her
something to do, such as a filled kong or some type of dog-friendly chew toy to get her mind working. When
she returned to being herself, I introduced basic training such as “Look”, “Sit”, “Down”, and “Come”; all the
while I kept her separate from my own dogs. Whenever I felt ready, I slowly introduced her to my own dogs by
taking them out on walks together outside the home.
It’s always best to introduce the dogs away from the home (such as on a walk or at a park) to get acquainted.
The next step, after they seem to get along on the walk, is to let them socialize in the backyard. When that’s
successful, then you can let both the new/foster dog into the home along with the resident dog(s)
together….but only if YOU feel comfortable with it. If you’re the least bit hesitant about it, DON’T DO IT. Dogs
can sense when you’re uncomfortable, and one or the other may feel they have to protect you or other family
members. If, at any moment, that something does happen, go back to the previous step until there’s no worry
Decompression time varies with each and every dog. Some need more time than others, but it’s safe to
recommend at least one week is best for the new dog. Always treat the dog with respect and give them
guidance, exercise (dogs walks, playing), and bond with them. If after the decompression phase, the dog
starts to show behavioral problems, start to address it with training to get him/her to listen to you and gain that
respect. If you need to consult with a dog trainer, that’s what you should do; or ask your family/friends if they’ve
had situations like this, and what they did; or look online for articles/video that may have the answers you
need. One of the top reasons dogs end up at the pound are because their owners didn’t train them, or rarely
interacted with them.
Table of Contents:
Before You Adopt
A Word From Cesar
Picking a "New" Dog -The "right" energy
How To Introduce to Existing Dogs
Decompression in Rescue/Shelter dogs
Adopter check list
(See Education tab for training tips!)
NUMBER ONE RULE: keep your new dog/foster in a crate during decompression time, and always when
you’re not home. After decompression, and everyone’s acquainted and comfortable, it’s up to you, as the
owner, to take responsibility to determine if your pet can stay free in the home, or if they should be crated.
Perish the thought you should come home and find a disastrous situation because you left your animals
unattended to make their own decisions. Not to say it can’t work, but you have to be certain it can; if not, crate
Questions for All Adopters:
Do you have any other pets and how will they react to a new pet?
Is your current residence suited to the pet you’re considering?
How will your social life or work obligations affect your ability to care for a pet?
Do you have a plan for your new pet during vacations and/or work travel?
How do the people you live with feel about having a pet in the house?
Are you (or your spouse, partner or roommate) intolerant of hair, dirt and other realities of sharing your home with a pet, such as allergies?
Do you or any of your household/family members have health issues that may be affected by a pet?
What breed, or species, of animal is the best fit with your current lifestyle?
Is there tension in the home? Pets quickly pick up on stress in the home, and it can exacerbate their health and behavior problems.
Is there an adult in the family who has agreed to be ultimately responsible for the pet’s care?
What do you expect your pet to contribute to your life? For example, do you want a running and hiking buddy, or is your idea of exercise watching it on TV?
If you are thinking of adopting a young animal, do you have the time and patience to work with the pet through its adolescence, taking house-breaking, chewing and energy-level into account?
Have you considered your lifestyle carefully and determined whether a younger or older animal would be a better match for you?
Can you train and handle a pet with behavior issues or are you looking for an easy-going friend?
Do you need a pet who will be reliable with children or one you can take with you when you travel?
Do you want a pet who follows you all around the house or would you prefer a less clingy, more independent character?
Size Considerations (for Dogs):
What size dog can your home accommodate?
Will you have enough room if your dog grows to be bigger than expected?
What size pet would suit the other people who live in or visit your home regularly?
Do you have another pet to consider when choosing the size of your next pet?
How big a pet can you travel comfortably with?
More likely than not, the adopting agency will charge a fee to help defray the cost of taking in unwanted or lost animals. The adoption fee you pay will be a tiny fraction of the money you will spend over the life of your pet.
You may need to pay for your adopted pet to be spayed or neutered before bringing him or her home.
Some expenses are mandatory for all pets, including:
Routine veterinary care
Licensing according to local regulations
Collars, leashes and identification tags
Kitty litter and box
Basic grooming equipment and supplies.
Other expenditures may not be required but are highly recommended:
Permanent identification, such as a microchip or tattoo
Additional grooming supplies or professional grooming (depending on your new pet’s needs)
A spare collar or leash
A bed and toys
A crate or carrier
Unexpected costs: Accidents and illness can result in costly emergency veterinary care. Recovery tools for finding a missing pet can include posters and rewards.
A pet with special physical or behavioral challenges may require specialized professional support to overcome any obstacles these issues present.
Pets need to be fed two to three times a day, more often in the case of puppies, and need a constant supply of fresh water.
A responsible pet parent should spend at least one hour per day giving direct attention to his or her pet. This may include training, exercising, grooming, and playing or, with cats, may just be lap time on the couch. Dogs will need to be taken out to potty several times a day.
A pet with an abundance of energy needs more time to exercise and interactive toys to keep them entertained.
Pets with long coats need 20 minutes a day of grooming to prevent matting.
Pets with certain medical conditions may need additional attention, including specifically timed injections in the case of diabetic animals.
Remember that adopted pets may need additional bonding and reassurance time in the early weeks.
It may be a good idea to wait until you select your new pet before you begin shopping for supplies. For example, some items, such as food and water bowls or collars and harnesses, depend upon the size of the pet you will be adopting.
Also, be sure to find out which food your pet was eating in the shelter or foster home so that you can provide the same in the beginning, again to ease the transition. After the pet has settled in, talk with your veterinarian about switching to the food of your choice.
Once you’ve selected your pet, here’s a checklist of supplies you may need:
Necessary Items for Dogs:
Food and water bowls
Food (canned and/or dry)
Four to six-foot leash
ID tag with your phone number
Hard plastic carrier or foldable metal crate
Doggy shampoo and conditioner
Canine toothbrush and toothpaste
Brush or comb (depends on your pet’s coat length and type)
Super-absorbent paper towels
Sponge and scrub brush
Enzymatic odor neutralizer
Plastic poop baggies (biodegradable ones are best) or pooper scooper
Absorbent house-training pads
Variety of toys (a ball, rope, chew toy and puzzle toy are good starts)
Variety of treats (such as small cookies, larger rawhides, etc.)
Necessary Items for Cats:
Food and water bowls
Food (canned and/or dry)
Litter box and scooper
ID tag with your phone number
Hard plastic carrier
Feline toothbrush and toothpaste
Brush or comb (depends on your cat’s coat length and type)
Super-absorbent paper towels
Sponge and scrub brush
Enzymatic odor neutralizer
Variety of toys (toys including catnip are a favorite)