After You Adopt...

Congratulations! You have brought home a new family member. I am thrilled for your new chapter, and for this dog to have a happy life. Adoption is the best option!

As a new dog owner, you will want to educate yourself before and after the dog arrives. There are many habits of new dogs, whether they are puppies or full-grown adults, simply due to their adjusting to a new home. Remain positive, and have fun. This is a very exciting time!


Here are some tips I'd love to share with you:

  • Health Matters: Book your dog's first vet visit ASAP, to meet the vet and ask any intitial questions! Ensure that you have your dog's health records, sent by the rescue organization. This may take a couple weeks in some cases. Young puppies may need vaccinations within their first few weeks in a new home, and the shelter / rescue group can let you know when those are due. 

  • Grooming: When your new dog comes home, if he or she needs cleaning (dirt, ticks, fleas, hair from other dogs/cats, etc), give a brief bath in the shower or tub just to start off on a clean slate. If you can wait a couple days and your dog is appropriately vaccinated, bring the dog to a local groomer (if a hair cut or nail trim is needed). Be very gentle with brushing / nails / face, since some dogs might be scared or unfamiliar with this process.

  • What to Expect: Things may be touch-and-go in the first few days, or even weeks. Your new dog may be fearful, anxious, endlessly energetic, vocal, and may even be recovering from an illness/cold. A dog in a new environment may display characteristics that will improve in time. New routines take TIME, and you and your dog will both adjust accordingly. Foster Dogs Inc created a manual for new foster dogs, which also translates for newly adopted dogs! Download the free PDF.

  • Need a Trainer? Just ask The Dog Matchmaker for recommendations of trainers around NYC! Read crate training & housetraining tips online. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day; your dog will learn through consistency & positive reinforcement!

  • Have a Young Child? He/she can visit this web page to learn about resonsibility and play fun pet-related games. It's great for families considering adoption or fostering, even before making the decision. Here is Amazon's list of children's books about pet adoption.

  • Spoil Your Pooch! BarkBox is a monthly subscription of toys and treats for your dog ($20-$29/mo). If you sign up and use the code FOSTERDOGS, nonprofit organization Foster Dogs Inc receives a $25 donation - no matter which plan you register for!

  • Daycare, Walking, & Boarding: Consider what to do with your dog when you are at work, and when you travel. Ask The Dog Matchmaker for recommendations of walkers and kennels. Ask dog-owning friends in your area whom they'd recommend! Daily dog walkers are available all over NYC, though for dogs with separation anxiety or endless energy, you may consider daycare some days during the week. Consider what your budget and schedule allows!

Photo: Milla Chappell, @realhappydogs

Photo: Robert Stoetzel, @shop_dog_and_co