Rover Rescue :: until every dog has a home

a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue & placement
of homeless dogs from los angeles animal shelters

Preparing Your Home

Tyler was rescued from the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter

Tyler was rescued from the South Los Angeles Animal Shelter

How to prepare for your new pet

Getting Ready

If you already have a resident dog, make sure it is fully vaccinated, including the bordetella shot, before you bring your new dog home. Sometimes a rescued dog from the animal shelter may come down with kennel cough. Although completely curable, it is highly contagious.

You’ll need a few basic items of equipment for your new dog.You may wish to get them before bringing your new dog home.

Food and Water Bowls

Bowls designed for pets, made of metal or hard plastic with a broad base to avoid spilling, (one that a puppy can’t tip over) are best. Be sure to keep them clean, and make sure the water bowl has a plentiful supply of fresh water at all times. Your local pet store can recommend a nutritious food.

Special Note: Never feed your dog chocolate. It is like a poison to a dog and can be fatal.

Baby Gate

Never leave a new dog the run of the house when you are not at home. We suggest buying a baby gate that can be attached to your kitchen where your dog can stay when not supervised.

Collar and Leash

A flat leather or nylon buckle-collar is best. Be sure and attach an identification tag to the collar immediately. If you choose to train your dog with a choke chain, never leave it on after training. The chain could hook on something and cause strangulation.

A leather or nylon lead, about four to six feet, is ideal for walks and obedience training. You may also want a long retractable lead designed for long-distance training and general exercising and walking.

A new puppy will take some time to get used to a leash. Let him drag it around for a few days. Then, pick up the end of the leash (trying to avoid tug-of-war games) and walk with him slowly so he gets the idea. Always make sure that as your puppy grows, you lengthen the collar.


Dogs love to play, and toys are a great pastime. Various sizes of hard rubber bones and balls, rings and tug toys are all good, especially if they’re designed specifically for dogs. Avoid anything which can be torn up or that has parts which could harm the dog if they’re chewed or swallowed. Avoid clothing items too, such as scraps of leather or old socks-it makes it difficult for your dog to differentiate between “toys” that belong to him and items that belong to you!


If your new dog is a puppy, he will teethe between the ages of three and six months, and will need to chew on something to help the teeth come in. A really hard rubber ball (one that’s too big for the pup to swallow or choke on) or a tough rubber bone is ideal.


rover rescue is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization | P.O. box 424, redondo beach, CA 90277 | adoption hotline 310.379.0154 | © 2024

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