Are you adopting a shelter dog or an adult rescue dog? What dogs and puppies need is similar but this post is specific to adult dogs joining your family! For a list of things your new puppy needs, click here.
Bringing home a rescue dog is a monumental moment for your family! A new member has just joined the pack! Making sure you have things on hand that your new dog needs will help alleviate any stress to your dog and help them get more comfortable in your home.
When we brought home our rescue dog Peanut in 2017, we had nothing for her! I didn't know I was adopting a dog that day- haha! I had gone to the shelter to pickup a dog to place with a different rescue organization but I fell in love and knew immediately that she was ours forever. She passed away a year ago and I miss her everyday. I feel lucky for the 5-ish years we got with her and that comforts me when I am sad about her. The compilation of items below are what I needed for her straight away. I took my time finding toys and chews that she liked... and she never met a treat she didn't like, so that part was easy. I also think it was good to introduce toys to her slowly because she had never had toys before and wasn't sure what to do with them- I am sure that could have felt overwhelming if she had a whole pile when she came home.
For your new dog
First and foremost- the stuff I can't suggest for you! Often times- rescue dogs need special accommodations that only the foster family or shelter can tell you about. Do loud noises scare them? you'll need a quiet spot for them to decompress. Do they have ongoing medical conditions like de-worming or something similar? They'll need special things... consult the family that was taking care of your dog or the shelter for special items your dog may need.
On that note- also make sure to ask them if your dog has a special item that they can send with your dog to ease anxieties about being in a new spot. Offer to replace you new dogs favorite bed or toy for the foster family so that you can take their favorites home with them.
- Leash and collar: make sure you come in hand with a leash and AS SOON as possible make sure that you get your dog a collar that has your information on it. A nervous dog in a new environment might be a bit of a flight risk for a little while. Also- change the info on the microchip as soon as you can so that a vet can use it to find you if needed. These are my favorite because they are so cute!
- Kennel: Your dog is going to need a space to decompress and adjust. A kennel is a great way to keep everyone separate so that introductions go great!
-Food & Water bowls
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-Treats: Having good treats on hand is crucial when you bring your dog home! Even the shyest of dogs will open up for a treat. You may need them to coax your dog into/out of the kennel, get them to come inside, or help your kids make the first right impression! Look for treats that are healthy and delicious. I recommend our salmon says treats- they are packed with omega 3 which is great for your dog!
Food: Wherever your dog is coming from should tell you what kind of food your dog needs. It is important not to switch their food too rapidly because it can cause stomach upset and GI issues.
-Poop bags: I love these biodegradable kind- they are sturdy but better for the planet!
-Sentimental ornament kit: trust me- buy the kit. No matter how long your shelter dog is with your family, it won't be enough time! I CHERISH the ornament I made of my rescue dog Peanut's paw print and I am so happy I made one for her and look at it often now that she has passed.