Once You Are Home

Once You Are Home

Bringing your new companion home is an exciting time, but are you ready? The next few weeks will be a learning experience while you both get to know each other. Many of our dogs have been neglected and are still feeling the pain and bewilderment of being abandoned. It will take time to build a trusting and lasting relationship. Remember to be patient and try to anticipate problems before they occur. Consider these tips to make the transition easier:

  • Don’t overwhelm your new friend with too many experiences at once.
  • Introduce your dog to the household slowly, starting with the areas he or she will spend the most time.
  • If you have children and/or other pets, let your new dog get adjusted at his or her own pace.
  • Set up an eating area with food and water bowls.
  • Have a comfortable dog bed, toys and treats.
  • Make sure you have a regular collar with an identification tag for everyday use and a Martingale collar and leash for walks only.

What Should I Do the First Night?

The first night is critical. Whether your new dog is a puppy or an adult, he or she will feel more comfortable sleeping near a family member. Allowing him or her to sleep in your bedroom will greatly ease his or her transition.

What Should I Feed My Dog?

Our adoptable dogs are used to the food they have been eating at their foster homes, and if your new dog is a puppy, he or she may have a fairly sensitive stomach. Start your new dog on the same diet. If you want to transition him or her to a different diet, slowly add in the new food, increasing the percentage every day. PetSmart recommends a 7-day transition. If your dog has a loss in appetite, vomiting or diarrhea, consult your vet immediately.

One brand of dog food that we recommend is Ollie, an all natural human-grade dog food that ships customized dog meals directly to your home. Ollie is committed to giving back to pet shelters and rescue organizations like Stray From The Heart.  For everyone new Ollie sign-up, Stray From The Heart will receive a $50 donation towards helping us continue to rescue, rehabilitate, and find loving homes for homeless, abused or neglected dogs

How Do I Get a License for My Dog?

New York State law requires all owners to get a license for their dogs, and the New York City Health Code requires that license tag to be attached to their dog’s collar while in public. To apply online, visit the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website. You can also call 311 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.) for assistance. If you live outside of New York City, contact your local government.

How Can I Make This Relationship Last?

The key to any relationship is communication. Most behavioral problems result from the simple inability of your dog to understand what you want. Where should you begin?

  1. Be patient. Many of our adoptable dogs have had a rough life. Your dog wants desperately to please you, and it will take time for both of you to understand and trust each other.
  2. We highly recommend professional training ­– but if nothing else, familiarize yourself with basic training methods. We love Victoria Stilwell’s articles and easy-to-understand training tips on Positively.
  3. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise on a daily basis. A dog who is tired from playing is a happy dog.

Please view our Recommended Reading list for additional resources.

How Can I Keep My Dog Safe?


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