When you first get your new dog, you can expect him or her to out of sorts for a few days. Moving to a new home is stressful and your dog may be reserved when you get him or her. Your dog may pace or whine which are also normal signs of stress in a dog. This will stop once the dog settles in to the new routine. Your new dog may be thirsty and not hungry, so do not be surprised. Many dogs are anorexic when stressed and this too will pass. We feed Acana and Orijen brand foods, which are high-quality, human-grade holistic good, but any quality food is fine. We do recommend you avoid anything with corn or wheat as an ingredient as both are known allergens. You do get what you pay for and a quick scan of a dog food label may cause you to rethink what you’ve been buying. This website has good information on dog foods and what is in them and how they compare.

When you get home, your new dog may be really tired or wired and ready to play – every dog is different. Your dog is completely vetted unless we tell you differently and your dog should see the vet within a week to have a base line well-dog visit. If you have a puppy, you will likely need to see your vet to continue shots as are age-appropriate and follow up with more fecal exams. Your dog’s medical records should be in the packet. We will let you know when the dog’s last flea treatment and heartworm preventative was given. We generally use and recommend Advantage Multi to prevent heartworms, but this does not cover ticks. We are fans of Bravecto and Seresto collars which work well as flea and tick preventatives. Talk to your vet about what is best for your dog to use in your environment.

When your new dog comes home, expect an adjustment period. We always advise adopters to avoid taking your new dog everywhere and introducing them to extended family and friends. Your new dog needs to know what its new environment is and what the routine is before you start introducing new people. After a few days when your dog is calm and relaxed is the time to broaden its horizons. We crate train our dogs unless you are told otherwise and we suggest you continue to crate your new dog until he or she earns inside privileges. Crates are not cruel. Crates keep curious puppies safe and insecure dogs more secure. Our resources page has some great information on how to crate train your dog and housebreaking rules plus information on introducing dogs, cats and kids to your new dog. The key to a successful transition is to let them ‘chill out’ for a few days. Remember that the dog is in a new place with new smells, new people and a whole new routine. This is scary for a dog. The dog will figure it out, but dogs like to watch and observe to learn the lay of the land. Do NOT introduce your dog to the new dogs and cats by giving them all bones together. This is a terrible idea and may result in a dog fight. Keep a slip lead on your dog until you are secure with the dog and vice versa. A dog has an amazing ability to back out of a collar, but can’t do that with a slip lead. We like these slip leads which are comfortable for the dog, but hard to be chewed up. You would be amazed at how fast a dog can sever a leash.

Your dog is in good health. We do a lot of things for every dog in our rescue, and we check them out from top to bottom. We send each dog to the vet for a health check up before they are transported to check for any issues and to perform fecal exams. Stress in moving can cause minor sniffles, diarrhea and similar irritating, but not life-threatening issues. We do vaccinate for kennel cough, but be warned it is very contagious and the vaccine does not cover every strain. If a cough is kennel cough, it will sound like the dog is trying to clear its throat and your dog may have a runny nose. If you see this, let us know. We vaccinate for canine influenza where the vaccine is available. This disease is rare, but can be serious, and any time a dog has labored breathing and a high fever, the dog should immediately go to the vet. We always tell people to pay attention to things that would cause us concern. Fever over 102.5, vomiting and/or a dark bloody stool are things that would cause us to be worried. Diarrhea in and of itself is not a big deal and is fairly common. It happens because of stress and because of changes in food. If that occurs, switch a dog to a bland diet like chicken and rice for a day or so. In order to travel originally, your dog had a clear fecal exam. That said, fecal exams are a snapshot in time and they do miss things. Not all parasites are obvious either and a foster can miss them. All dogs need to be re-screened for parasites – puppies in particular are spectacularly un-hygienic little creatures who think nothing of romping through all manner of gross things. We deworm every dog and we test for coccidia and giardia, but it can be missed on exam, so please have your vet recheck your dogs. We also use Advantage Multi which is very effective at preventing and killing parasite infections and recommend you continue to use it as well. If you have any problems, please let us know immediately. We strive to send very healthy dogs and we want you and the dog to do well.