How to Take Care of Your New Adopted Dog

Whether you and your new dog have come together as a result of a dog adoption, dog rescue or other means, one thing is certain…you must take the best care possible of your dog to assure the dog’s health and a long and rewarding life together.

Your new dog will need time to adjust to his new home and family. He just left a kennel or shelter where there were strange sounds and people.. Now he is in a new place with another set of new people and an environment that he needs to get comfortable in.

He’ll want to explore. He’ll want to get to know his new home.. He’ll probably have some accidents as he gets to know his surroundings and will chew a few things. Keep on eye on him but expect this to happen. It’s all common during the adjustment period.

 Here’s a few tips on dog care to get you started:

·    Make sure your dog has been micro-chipped . This is a simple little device injected under the skin and will help identify your new adopted dog in case the dog ever gets lost and is brought to a dog shelter or dog rescue. 

1.   Another important accessory is a soft dog collar with an id tag attached. The ID tag should have your name and a current phone number that you can be reached at in the event someone finds your newly adopted dog after a doggy adventure. Many careful dog guardians have discovered that their pal has slipped out a door, through a fence or run out to play only to get lost. Proper identification will enhance the probability of a quick and safe return home.

·    Make sure you keep your dog on a leash at all times when you go for a walk. This will protect your dog from potential dangers such as cars and other dogs. It also will help you control your dog and protect her in the event the dog becomes excited at the site of other dogs or people.

·    Spay or Neuter your Dog-  Spaying and neutering is a very basic procedure that will help your dog live a longer and healthier life. Spayed or neutered fogs have fewer behavioral issues such as aggression . 

    And finally, spaying and neutering helps control the exploding dog population. This will reduce the stress on overpopulated dog shelters and help reduce the number of unwanted dogs that are  euthanized annually.

·    Choose the Perfect Veterinarian- Your adopted dog should receive regular vet checkups  as a preventative medicine function and to treat any problems that may arise. Certain vaccinations are  required by law such as one for rabies.

      When you choose a vet, ask the doctor what his/her philosophy is as to vaccinations, nutrition and general treatment protocols. One you select the vet that  you feel is best for your dog, you will be started on a lifelong relationship for good canine health.

·    Feed a high quality dog food.- There are a number of different philosophies on the best type of food to feed your adopted dog. Some believe that dogs should eat RAW food as they would in the wild. Others believe that kibble is the best way to go. 

     Yet others decide to cook meats, veggies and rice as a diet.  Talk with your vet as to what is best for your dog nutritionally and as to quantity and frequency of feedings. If you choose a commercial dog food make sure that it is not mostly filler.

     You can determine this by looking at the first agreements on  the package. When you see  grains and by products mentioned  and the price is a bargain…leave it behind. Your adopted dog needs a nutritionally based diet that will help keep him healthy, not junk food. When in doubt, ask your vet.

  To watch a short video on Commercial Dog Food Dangers Click Here

  • Make sure your adopted dog is licensed. You will need to province proof of vaccinations and should get an id tag. Your vet, the local dog shelter or dog rescue can provide you with information.
  • Make sure your adopted dog has a warm place to live in the winter and cool place in the summer. Your dog should always have access to fresh water. I don’t support the idea of “outdoor” dogs.


Dogs enjoy playing in the yard but should have a safe and comfortable place to rest . And never under any circumstance chain your dog and leave her unattended.   Your dog wants to be with you and share your time and space. Having a companion is why you brought your dog home in the first place, isn’t it? 


  • Exercise your dog with frequent walks and play. Both you and your dog will benefit from the exercise, making your relationship stronger . Walk your dog at least 2 times a day. Exercise and meeting other folks along the way with friendly dogs will also help you to socialize your dog. Ask your vet how much exercise your dog should receive. 


  • Join a dog training class. Many places offer group lessons on basic behavior and socialization. This is a wonderful and inexpensive opportunity for you and your new adopted dog to develop a solid foundation. 


  • Be a Pal to Your Dog- Dog behavior and care can at times be frustrating. But almost any situation can be resolved with a little information and help. Don’t approach your new adopted dog with rapid hand movements at his face.


He may be scared and his reaction may be unexpected including fear or aggressive behavior as a defense mechanism. When you have a question or don’t know what to do next, consult with your veterinarian, dog behaviorists, trainers or dog rescue folks who have probably seen the exact same situation countless times.


Your adopted dog is now a member of your family and is counting on you to be a guardian and a pal. 



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