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PO Box 10751 Gulfport, MS 39505-0751 (228) 254-6305
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PO Box 10751
Gulfport, MS 39505-0751
(228) 254-6305
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Just as you have expectations of your new dog, we have expectations of you. Before you adopt a dog from Tired Dog Rescue (or really anyone), please consider the following before bringing home that adorable puppy.

1.  A dog is a lifetime commitment!

Depending on the age of the dog you adopt, a lifetime could exceed 15 years. Carefully consider if you are prepared to care for a dog for the next decade, and potentially longer.

There will be changes in your life and lifestyle throughout the lifetime of a dog. Younger people may marry and have kids. Can you handle a dog when you also have a two-year old? Are you prepared to keep the dog and child separated if there’s an issue down the line?

Just as many younger people plan to have children, retired folks might see it in their future to sell their home and travel more. Are you planning to bring your dog with you on those long RV trips?

Dogs always lose. Jobs change, people move and different variables will be added and subtracted from your life. A dog will be there for you for the remainder of their life. If you can’t in all honesty say you will be there for the dog, then please don’t adopt one.

2.  Use a crate!

We crate train our dogs (unless we tell you otherwise) and we suggest you continue to crate your new dog until he or she earns inside privileges. Crates are not cruel. Crates keep curious puppies safe and insecure dogs more secure.

Dogs must earn the privilege of freedom. This could take weeks, months or never. For many dogs, their crate is their safe zone. Changes create anxiety for a dog. Arriving at a new home will be stressful for the dog. Crates can help.

3.  Let your dog decompress.

When you first get your new dog, expect him/her to be out of sorts for a few days. As previously mentioned, moving to a new home is stressful for a dog. Your new dog may arrive really tired or wired and ready to play. Every dog is different. Your new dog may react to stress in several different ways. For example, they could be reserved when you first get them. They may also pace or whine, which are normal signs of stress. These behaviors will stop when the dog settles into a routine.

Your new dog may be thirsty but not hungry, so do not be surprised if he or she doesn't eat much for a while. Many dogs are anorexic when stressed and this too will pass. We recommend a high-quality, human-grade holistic food, but any quality food is fine. We also recommend that you avoid food with corn or wheat. These are known allergens to dogs.

The key to a successful transition is to let them "chill out" for a few days. Remember: the dog is in a new place with new smells, new people, and a whole new routine. This is scary. He or she will figure it out, but dogs like to watch and observe to learn the lay of the land before they become comfortable.

Most Important Rule: Be patient and do not expect instant perfection.

4.  Do not leave the dog outside without supervision.

Until they are comfortable and have bonded to you, they may try to dig out, climb the fence or find some other way out. New dogs should be supervised outside at all times. In most cases, this period varies 
from dog to dog, but you need to be on guard for at least a month or longer.

5.  Your new dog will dart out of an opened door.

Never open the door to an unfenced area if the dog is not on a leash or crated. While obedience training teaches a dog what we want them to do, dogs will instinctually try to bolt past you out the door. Do not trust your do to stay inside if there is an opportunity to get out. If you have children, teach them to ask permission before opening a door to the outside. Children are notorious for leaving doors ajar. Please plan accordingly.

6.  Never leave children unattended with any dog.

No matter how well-behaved your child is, and no matter how well-behaved your dog is, do not leave your child and dog alone together. If you have to leave the room, take your child or your dog with you. If a child bites someone at day care, the child goes home with a note. If a dog bites someone, the dog goes to a 10-day quarantine and possibly will be euthanized, even if the dog was not at fault. Don’t put your dog in a situation where they could be at risk. Your dog’s life is in your hands.

7. Your adopted dog needs to see a vet soon.

If you are adopting from Tired Dog Rescue, your dog has been completely vetted (unless we tell you differently). Despite this, see a veterinarian within a week to establish your dog's baseline condition. If you have a puppy, you will likely need to see your vet to continue age-appropriate immunizations, and/or to follow up with more fecal exams. Puppies should never be on the ground in public places until they are past the risk for parvovirus. Talk to your adoption coordinator and veterinarian about this for your puppy’s safety.

At your adoption appointment, you will receive your dog’s medical records. Bring this packet to your dog’s first vet appointment. Among other important information, the packet includes the date of your pet's last treatment for heartworm prevention and against fleas and ticks. TDR dogs receive a 12-month injection for heartworm prevention.

8.  ID your dog ASAP.

Your dog should have a tag/collar with your name and phone number. If you are adopting from Tired Dog Rescue, your dog will be microchipped, but without a tag, the average person won’t be prompted to take a dog to a vet's office to have it scanned for a microchip. It is important to keep your contact information current with the microchip company and with us. We will always be a back-up contact for emergencies. If the microchip company cannot locate you, they will call us, which is why it’s important to notify us of any contact or address changes.

9.  Dogs need training.

Tired Dog Rescue works with each dog from the moment they come to us until they are adopted. You will need to continue to work with them. If you experience a behavior issue, we want to hear from you so we can help. Most behaviors are very easy to address, however, for some instinctual or habitual behaviors, you will need to hire a trainer. You should make every attempt to attend the training with your dog. It is important for you to learn how to recognize your dog’s non-verbal cues and be able reinforce what they’ve learned from a trainer.

10.  Dogs are expensive.

Monthly food for a dog weighing 60 to 80 pounds costs between $75 and $150, depending on the brand. Dogs need annual immunizations and regular fecal tests for parasites. Consistent treatment against heartworms, fleas and ticks is also a must. Those necessities are expensive.  Emergencies happen, and those services also are costly. As your dog gets older, he or she likely will need to be seen by a veterinarian more often, and their medical care will become more expensive. Consider your budget and decide if you can afford a dog before you adopt one.

11.  Get solid advice about pet ownership from reliable sources.

Read articles with healthy skepticism and check out the source. Joining a Facebook group of fellow dog owners can be very valuable, but it's best to check with your vet before you make drastic changes in your dog's diet or healthcare routine.

12. What NOT to do when you bring your dog home:

  • DO NOT feed your new dog around your existing dog(s) until you know what each dog will do.

  • DO NOT put out high-value treats with your new dog and your existing dogs. This can cause fights.

  • DO NOT leave your child's toys, or toys belonging to your other dogs, out. This can cause fights. It can also lead to an untimely expiration of your child’s favorite stuffed animal.

  • DO NOT simply open the door on arrival and walk in with the new dog. Introductions are the key to survival. Dogs do best when introduced to each other on neutral territory.

  • DO NOT expect your existing dog(s) to like the new one just because they have liked other dogs they’ve been introduced to in the past. I am still not sure I forgive my parents for my little sister.
Adapted from "Before You Adopt: 12 Rules to Live By" from Big Fluffy Dog Rescue