Dozen Puppies on a Blue Pillow

Important Info For A New Adopted Dog

You just adopted a new dog? Here you can find out what are some of the first steps you need to go through to take good care of it!

Adopting A Rescue Dog Or Shelter Dog

Every town and city has animal shelters for dogs that have been abandoned and organizations that rescue dogs from precarious or dangerous situations and foster them until forever homes are found for them.

It’s a good idea to look into adopting a dog or puppy from one of these organizations. You and your family can choose your dog, meet your dog, and even introduce the dog(s) you already have to be sure they will get along.

Cute Puppy Behind Bars

If you want a specific breed, many rescue organizations exist for specific breeds. This is one example among many - Golden Rescue. If you aren’t fussy about the breed, go on down to one of your local shelters. Mutts often don’t have the health problems that many purebreds do.

Most agencies will make you jump through hoops with their application process because they want to ensure a good fit. You will also have to pay a fee – this is for various treatments and shots that the dog has already been give.

Buying A Dog Or Puppy

You can find dogs or puppies for sale at pet stores, on sites such as Kijiji or Craig’s List, or on the websites of individual breeders. Please do some research to be sure that you are not helping the puppy mill industry to thrive.

Starting Out

Here are a few important tips for a start.

Supplies Checklist

  • Dishes for food and water
  • Food
  • Dog brush
  • Chew toys (such as a Kong)
  • Collar and ID tag
  • Harness
  • Leash
  • Dog bed with washable cover
  • Treats for training
  • Dog crate or kennel
  • Registration / Dog License
  • Dog sweater (depending on breed and season)
Cute Little Puppy Pushing Trolley

Dog Proofing

  • Get rid of anything he could chew or get tangled in
  • Move all things you don’t want destroyed by chewing
  • ​Move all breakable keepsakes
  • ​Keep the toilet lid closed so he can’t drink from it or fall in
  • Examine the yard for hazards
  • Get rid of anything that could help your dog get over the fence

Going Home

  • If the dog is young or small a passenger can have the dog on their lap
  • Have an old towel in case he vomits or pees – if it has your scent on it that will begin the bonding
  • Larger dogs should be in the back of the car, even better, in a crate
Dog Resting in its Home

Arriving Home

  • Take her to an area that is prepared for sleeping with a bed, crate, or blankets
  • Provide toys, a feeding area, and water
  • A puppy should be kept in a separate, secure, warm, ventilated room for a day or two


  • Keep the house calm and quite
  • Don’t have gatherings of friends or family for the first few weeks
  • ​Don’t let everybody cuddle or play with the dog all at the same time
  • Don’t force interaction – let the dog come to you

Explore Slowly

  • Keep the dog on a leash, especially if there are children or other pets
  • Show your dog each room
  • ​Show your dog her food area and sleeping area
  • Let her sniff around as long as she wants
  • ​Take the dog outside to visit the designated bathroom areas in the yard
  • If your dog is not house trained yet, take her outside every hour at first and after meals, naps, playing, or drinking a lot of water (puppies every half hour)
Child Covered With Puppy Love

Rules For Children With A New Dog

  • Young children must always be supervised with a dog
  • Have the children stand quietly and allow the dog to approach them
  • ​Teach children not to hug the dog, not to chase the dog, and not to pull at, poke, or squeeze the dog
  • Teach children to leave the dog alone when he is in a crate, eating, sleeping, or playing with his toys

Signals That You Should Remove Your Dog From A Situation

  • Barking or growling
  • Tail between his legs and ears hung low
  • ​Turning his head away, lip licking
  • Showing his teeth
  • Showing the whites of his eyes
  • Becoming stiff like a statue

New Dog With Another Dog

  • Give them a chance to meet in a neutral area ahead of time and see how they interact – let them have fun together
  • Have them both on leads, let them interact and sniff
  • ​Remain relaxed yourself
  • When they seem relaxed let them off the leads
  • ​Monitor but don’t interfere
  • When the new dog moves in, monitor – when unsupervised put one or both in a crate or a different room
  • ​Introduce toys once they are getting along but still supervised
  • Keep feeding areas apart and always supervise feeding
  • Your current dog may resort to old bad behaviors – marking her territory or chewing things – don’t punish
  • ​Ensure that the current dogs gets extra treats and attention
  • If the new dog is a puppy, keep him exhausted so he doesn’t bother the older dog
Small Puppy Playing With Older Dog on a Grass Field


  • Premium dry dog food is best. Ask your vet for recommendations
  • Under six months – 3 times a day
  • Six to 12 months – twice a day
  • Adult – once or twice a day
  • ​Dog biscuits can help clean your dog’s teeth
  • ​Feed your dog the right formula
  • Puppies need high-energy food for growing bones and developing a health immune system
  • Large breeds might need puppy food for 18 months
  • Dogs over seven should be moved to senior dog food with reduced calories, lower proteins, help for bones, and stronger smell

Foods To Avoid

  • Cat food
  • Human food – has sodium, sugar, additives
  • Cooked bones or small bones can get stuck in your dog’s throat or intestines
  • Milk – dogs are lactose intolerant and it will give them diarrhea


    • Puppies can hold out for about an hour for each month of life
    • Be consistent and regular
    • ​Have a designated bathroom area in your yard
    • Supervise while in the house
    • Consider crate training
    Small Cute Puppy Chasing a Ball on a Grass Field

    Exercise & Play

    • Dogs need exercise every day. Even lazy dogs
    • Walking your dog on a leash teaches him to stay by you and pay attention to you
    • ​When you have a chance to go off-leash, practice teaching your dog to come when you call
    • Play is good for your dog’s state of mind and good for her brain

    Rules & Boundaries

    Have clear rules and boundaries for the dog that everyone in the household can agree and stick to. Dogs feel confident and settled when they know they are doing the right thing.

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