New dog check list

Download checklist: FAW-New-Dog-List

Before you even bring your new dog home, ensure that everything is ready for them so that their arrival is stress-free for everyone. This means that:

  • the property is secure
  • their bed is in place
  • you have all the ‘bits and pieces’ you need (including food)
  • the entire family knows the rules and routine ahead
  • there is nowhere that the dog can get out of the property.

Newly-adopted dogs are often curious, scared, or bewildered and may try to leave the property/run away*; it is during the first few days that this risk is greatest, and they can get lost or injured. Look at your property from a dog’s eye view to spot possible weak spots – this includes anything leaning against a wall that your dog could use to climb over.

*This doesn’t necessarily mean you have adopted an escape artist – remember, the dog doesn’t know that he or she is at their new home or where the home’s boundaries are. Invariably, when people handle this calmly and consistently, it isn’t long before they dog is very happy to stay put.

 Check out our advice on why newly-adopted pets may try to escape – and what you can do about it! 


  • Collar with tag and a strong leash
  • Bowls for food and water
  • Food – dogs at the shelter eat a wide variety of foods, from different brands of pellets, to raw food; foster dogs’ diets vary so please check with the foster. It’s your decision what you’re going to feed them in future, but we recommend choosing good quality food as this keeps their overall health good, which reduces vet visits.
  • We also recommended getting a small tub of probiotic for animals, such as Protexin, as many dogs get a bit of an upset tummy due to the change in food and environment. If stored correctly, it lasts a long time and is useful for all tummy upsets.
  • Toys – don’t be disappointed if your newly-adopted dog doesn’t play with toys; many have never had this luxury. Keep trying and, chances are, they will eventually catch on! They will, however, always enjoy chewable treats like hooves or marrow bones.
  • Bed and blankets – some rescue dogs take time getting used to the luxury of having a bed of their own and may initially choose to lie on the floor. Don’t force them but keep showing them where they may sleep (putting some treats in the bed helps!).