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Preparing for new dog- help with to-do list

It looks like DH and I finally found a foster dog that we are going to adopt, and I could use help on putting together a "to-do" checklist, especially when it comes to the health care aspect of adopting a dog. Can any of you help?

We already have a number of dog items, such as a crate, bed, food/water dish, leash, harness, and a few toys. 

We will ask the foster what kind of dog food she is currently on so that we can stock up on that.

What else do we need for taking care of the dog day-to-day? 

I'm also completely clueless when it comes to healthcare. We live in MN, and I hear things like heartworm preventative...how does that work? Is there any preventative for lymes disease? How do you know what other immunizations, meds, etc. that the dog needs?

FYI, she is a 4-year old Australian Shephard mix, who the rescue tells us is in good health.

TIA!!

Re: Preparing for new dog- help with to-do list

  • Congrats on your new family member!! It sounds like you have a good to do list already.

    I think your best bet is to schedule a vet appointment after your new dog arrives. The foster family will hopefully have copies of all the dogs past immunizations that you can bring to your vet to see what, if anything, needs to be updated.  The vet can also go over heart worm preventative, tick/flea preventative etc.

    We give our dog a heart worm pill once a month, he thinks its a treat.  The tick/flea stuff is also once a month- we use a liquid type med thats gets placed on his skin between his fur but they also make collars you can use. 

    Im sure the others can chime in on anything im not remembering at the moment. 

    imageimage
  • Ditto PP on setting up a vet appointment so the vet can review the dog's previous records (the rescue should have them; if they don't offer them up, just ask).  Many rescues actually require you to have your own vet examine the dog within a certain amount of time after you adopt him/her.  The vet can determine whether any immunizations need to be update and help you with heartworm and flea/tick preventatives.  We use HeartGuard for heartworm (one chewable tablet per month based on the dog's weight) and Frontline Plus for flea/tick prevention (liquid application once per month also based on the dog's weight).  We get the HeartGuard from the vet, but I order Frontline Plus online because it is significantly cheaper (particularly since we buy 12 doses at once to cover our 2 dogs for 6 months).

    Just a note regarding food - you don't necessarily have to keep the dog on the same food the rescue is feeding.  Our second dog was eating a food that I am not a fan of when he was in rescue, so we bought a very small bag of that food, fed him that for about a week (just so he wasn't getting used to a new home and a new food at the same time), and then used it to help transition him to the same food my other dog was on over the course of several weeks.  Luckily, they both do very well on the same food; otherwise, I would have tried something else for the new guy.  If you want to transition to a different food, just do it very slowly, starting with mostly the old food with just a little new food and gradually (I do it over several weeks) decreasing the amount of old food in each meal and increasing the amount of new food.  Of course, it's up to you whether to stick with the same food as the rescue or switch.  GL!

    [url=http://www.thebump.com/?utm_source=ticker&utm_medium=UBB&utm_campaign=tickers][img]http://global.thebump.com/tickers/tt136343.aspx[/img][/url]
  • I forgot to mention what prevention brands we use. thanks PP! We also use Heart Guard for heart worms and we get it at the vet.  We use Advantix for ticks/fleas and i was able to find it at PetSmart.
    imageimage
  • Thanks for the advice on switching over to a new dog food. I am fairly certain she is not on the greatest dog food right now, so we will probably transition. When you did this, did you mix the old food and new food together in your dog's bowl? Or give them separate bowls with some of each?

     

     

  • image flower_lover:

    Thanks for the advice on switching over to a new dog food. I am fairly certain she is not on the greatest dog food right now, so we will probably transition. When you did this, did you mix the old food and new food together in your dog's bowl? Or give them separate bowls with some of each?

     

     

    we mixed it in the same bowl

    imageimage
  • I haven't read the responses, so I might be repeating them.

    First, read the FAQs in the Board Header; there's a whole bunch of helpful info on bringing home a new dog.

    If you want to feed your dog a high-quality kibble, check out dogoodanalysis.com. You can start out feeding what the foster feeds, but then gradually work in more and more of the new food to transition the dog. You can feed less of a higher quality food because it contains less useless filler, therefore your dog gets better nutrients, with less waste, and the cost evens out somewhat.

    You definitely want to get on a flea/tick/heartworm preventative immediately. I use Trifexis for my dog, which is a flea/heartworm combo preventative given in pill form. I really like it. It doesn't protect against ticks though, so if you're going to be in heavily wooded areas or long grasses a lot, you may want to consider something like Frontline or K9 Advantix 2 instead for the flea/tick prevention, and Interceptor (my preference) or Heartguard for heartworm prevention.

    Your new pup is bound to be FULL of energy (as Aussie's typically are), so working on a LOT of training/mental stimulation along with physical exercise will be key! You can check out mentally stimulating toys that dispense treats as the dog figures it out, feed meals in a Kong Wobbler or Tug-a-Jug (or something similar), or just work on lots and lots of commands and tricks. 

    Thank you for rescuing!!  

    image image
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  • image chrisnjay05212010:
    image flower_lover:

    Thanks for the advice on switching over to a new dog food. I am fairly certain she is not on the greatest dog food right now, so we will probably transition. When you did this, did you mix the old food and new food together in your dog's bowl? Or give them separate bowls with some of each?

    we mixed it in the same bowl

    Ditto. You can mix it all in the same bowl. You can start out feeding 75% current food/25% new food for several meals/days, then go 50/50 for several meals/days, then 25/75, and finally 100% new food.

    GL! 

    image image
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    TTC since July 2012
    BFP #1: 11/9/13; spontaneous m/c at 6w2d, 11/25/13
    BFP #2: 12/31/13. B/w 12/31: betas >1000, progesterone 13.6; B/w 1/2: betas 3065, progesterone 10.2
    B/w 1/8: betas 17,345, progesterone 25.6
    Progesterone suppositories started 1/2. Please stick, baby!!
    Fiona Elise born 9/9/14 - welcome beautiful girl!
    image
    Badge Unicorn
    image
  • image flower_lover:

    Thanks for the advice on switching over to a new dog food. I am fairly certain she is not on the greatest dog food right now, so we will probably transition. When you did this, did you mix the old food and new food together in your dog's bowl? Or give them separate bowls with some of each?

    Sorry for the delay - as PPs said, we mixed the food in the same bowl.  We transitioned over the course of 2-3 weeks to be conservative - we wanted to avoid any tummy upset from the new food if at all possible, and there was a concern that our pup might have an allergy issue, so we were monitoring him very closely for any signs of reaction. Luckily, we didn't have to worry about either one!

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