When you’re ready to bring a dog into your family, it’s important to prepare.

  • Get the stuff you will need ahead of time. A water bowl and food dish, food (of course!), a collar, a leash, and toys are just a few things to stock up on beforehand. If you want to crate train your dog, this is another thing you should have set up and ready. Make sure the crate is large enough for your pet to feel happy, safe, and comfortable. The crate should never be a place to fear.
  • Dog-proof the house. Many people are unprepared for the changes that come with owning a dog, including making the home less dangerous (for you and for him). Think like a dog. What would you find appealing? What would you want to put in your mouth? Pay attention to where you store human food and cleaning supplies. Look for cords on the floor. Keep hazardous things behind closed doors or up high.
  • Get an ID tag, microchip, and license. If your dog becomes lost, you need to make it as easy as possible to find him. Tags let others know Fido is up-to-date on his shots and rabies vaccination. Put the dog’s name, a phone number, and an address on a tag. Microchips are another way to identify your pet. Don’t forget to purchase a dog license!
  • Establish chores and routines. Who will take him for walks at night, brush him in the morning, or clean his bowls? Who will pick up the poop in the yard?
  • Give it time. Don’t expect him to immediately take to his new family and surroundings. He might be scared and unsure for a while, but with a little patience and a lot of love, he will soon fit right in.