My friend is adopting a rescue puppy (and hopefully, our Biscuit and Victory had something to do with this) and she asked me to put a list of questions together that she needed to follow-up with the rescue along with a list of items to purchase to get ready for her rescue puppy. I thought I would share this information on the blog, and I hope that you find it helpful!
Below are questions to ask the rescue organization prior to taking home your rescue puppy; and a list of items one should have ready at home for the arrival of his/her new rescue puppy!
*Please note that every dog is different; and these lists, shown below, are not exhaustive.
Questions to ask the rescue organization:
- Vet Records: Ask to receive copies of all vet records. This way, when you go to your first appointment with your vet, you will have the applicable records to share your rescue puppy’s medical history, which also helps determine any outstanding treatment, vaccinations, etc., that needs to be addressed.
- Microchip: Ask whether the rescue puppy comes microchipped. If not, your vet can complete this simple procedure at your rescue puppy’s first appointment for a nominal fee.
- Tags: Make sure that the rescue provides appropriate tags evidencing vaccinations.
- Food and Feedings: Inquire about the type of food; amount of food; the number and typical times of daily feedings. This way, you can have the puppy’s food on hand and you can then decide to keep the puppy on his/her current food or wean him/her off the food. It is also good to know his/her feeding schedule to help with transitioning your rescue puppy to your new home.
- House Broken or Potty Training: Ask whether the dog is house broken or is still in the process of potty training so that you have potty pads ready, a dog walker, etc., if needed.
- Ask what you need to bring when you pick up your new rescue puppy: It is good to ask the rescue organization what you need to bring with you when pick up your rescue puppy. This will facilitate a smooth pick up for everyone.
Getting Ready for your new rescue puppy:
- Vet Appointment: Make a vet appointment within a week or so of the arrival of your rescue puppy. Most rescue organizations require that you see a vet within a specific period of time. Be sure to do your due diligence and check with friends and family, including checking reviews such as Yelp, Google reviews, etc. You want a vet to work with whom you feel comfortable with his/her knowledge, abilities, and bedside manner, etc. It is also important that the vet interacts well with your rescue puppy. Always trust your instincts. If something feels off, then it is always best to follow one’s intuition and seek another vet for a better fit. Finding a vet is a similar process to finding a doctor for a human.
- License: Make sure you research your local jurisdiction, i.e., city, town, county, etc., and have the paper work printed out and ready to complete simultaneously with the arrival of your rescue puppy. Most jurisdictions require a yearly pet license for a nominal fee.
- I.D. Tag: It is prudent to have an identification tag for your rescue puppy that includes the puppy’s name; address; and telephone number. This is for safe measure in addition to the microchipping. We like these I.D. Tags.
- Collar: It is good to have a collar on hand if you know your rescue puppy’s collar size; If not, you can measure and purchase a collar soon after your rescue puppy arrives. We like the Premier martingale collar.
- Leash: It is good to get a leash. We avoid the retractable leashes. We like this leash, which has held up well.
- Monthly Flea and Tick/Monthly Heartworm Prevention: If you know your dog’s weight, you can order flea and tick prevention; and when you go to the vet, you can get a script for heartworm prevention.
- Food: It is good to have a small bag of the rescue puppy’s current food. Then, you can talk to your vet and decide whether another dog food is more appropriate and, if so, you can wean your rescue puppy off of his/her current food. A high quality diet is always recommended. We like Fromm wet and dry dog food.
- Treats: It is good to have treats on hand. Your rescue puppy is going through a transition, and having treats will help him/her feel more comfortable for being rewarded for the smallest things to help build confidence. Plus, most dogs like treats! We like these training treats.
- Feeder: Depending upon your rescue puppy’s size, it is good to get a feeder that is the right height for your rescue puppy so he/she is not bending over too far to eat. We like this feeder and this custom feeder mat.
- Toothpaste/Toothbrush: Brushing your rescue puppy’s teeth daily helps greatly to promote good oral hygiene. We like this toothpaste and this toothbrush.
- Brush/Comb: It is a good idea to brush/comb your rescue puppy’s fur at least once a week, preventing matted fur. We like this brush and this comb.
- Baby Powder: Baby powder can come in handy to freshen up your rescue puppy, especially behind the ears, especially if he/she has longer fur. We like this baby powder.
- Shampoo/Conditioner: If you decide to bathe your rescue puppy versus going to the groomer, it is a good idea to have dog shampoo and conditioner on hand for bathing. We really like this shampoo and this conditioner. If your dog has skin issues, it is best to speak to the vet for the appropriate shampoo and conditioner, etc.
- Nail Trimming: If you are going to trim your dog’s nails on a monthly basis, this is a good nail trimmer to use. Otherwise, if you do not feel comfortable trimming your rescue puppy’s nails, you can have a groomer or your vet’s office take care of your rescue puppy’s nail trimming.
- Crate: Depending upon your rescue puppy, he/she might need a crate. Some dogs need them, while others do not. We really like this crate.
- Dog Bed: Most dogs like to lay on a dog bed, especially if it is not too hot. We like these dog beds, as they are very durable and comfortable. We also love this monogrammed dog pillow.
- Toys/Chew Toys: Most dogs like to have their own toys, especially if your rescue puppy is a chewer! We really like these toys.
- Apparel: Depending upon your rescue puppy and the season, it is a good idea for your dog’s comfort to have a rain coat, sweater, fleece, or jacket. We really like these coats.
- Poop and Pee Pads: Some rescue puppies are some house broken just yet. These poop and pee pads come in handy for those accidents in the house.
- Poop Bags: All dogs need poop bags! We really like these poop bags.
Hopefully this list helps you get started in welcoming and getting your rescue puppy settled into his/her furever home!