Post Adoption

There is so much that we like to tell adopters before they take home their new dog or puppy!  Unfortunately, sometimes it is too hectic to translate everything that we need to talk about during adoption.  Especially if we finalize the adoption at PetSmart.  This section is dedicated to covering all of the things that we think it is important for our new adoptive parents to know.

Please understand as you read through the following items, that these cautions are NOT limited to dogs and puppies adopted from Tails of Hope Animal Rescue. Behavioral and health issues are universal, regardless of where you obtain a pet. In addition, parasites and diseases can affect any dog/puppy, whether adopted from a shelter or rescue, free to good home, or purchased from a breeder or pet shop.


If you are adopting a puppy from Tails of Hope Animal Rescue, there is a high likelihood that it was rescued from a rescue friendly kill shelter. The shelters that we work with are dedicated to maintaining clean facilities and take many precautions to ensure the safety of their puppies. Parvacide regularly, as well as vaccinating immediately at intake, and holding puppies for a mandatory 7 day hold before releasing to rescues. Regardless of how many precautions are taken, there are always exceptions, and sometimes a puppy can break with a disease after leaving the shelter. Be diligent, and in the event of blood in your puppy's stool, or lethargy with vomiting, please get your puppy into your veterinarian right away. If it is within 7 days of adoption, be sure to contact Tails of Hope so that they can make arrangements with their veterinarian and do what they can to help offset your expenses.

First Day Home:

Please be willing to introduce your new pet safely to all of the existing pets and family members in your home.  This is key, whether it is a puppy or an adult dog.  With puppies, you have to be aware of sharp teeth and nails around children, and their exuberant energy around older dogs, cats and small children.  Introducing them with care, while on leash is an extremely good idea. If you start off on the wrong foot it could put your puppy in danger (with existing pets) and it could also lead to your children becoming fearful of your new dog or puppy. If that happens, there is a much greater chance that the adoption might fail.

Adult dogs should also follow the above guidelines, but it is even more critical that you use caution. It is a good idea to allow your adult dog to meet any other adult dogs on neutral ground before bringing them into your home. If a newly adopted dog gets attacked by an existing dog, not only does the chance that the adoption fails increase, it could also make the adopted dog have issues going forward with other dogs.  With each failed adoption, the dog or puppy can hang on to emotional scars that will make it harder to place in the future.

If you have cats, other small pets/rodents or small children, please introduce an adult dog to each of them with caution.  We would never want to endanger any existing pets, and introducing on leash will help minimize the chance of any injuries in the event that they don't get along.

  • Please take a look at the Vet Records that Tails of Hope sends home with you. If you've adopted an adult dog, they will be fully vetted, but it's important to make a notation on your calendar when they will need to go in for their annual boosters. For puppies, puppy shots should be given at approximately 3 week intervals and they should have at least 3 puppy shots. It is important to make sure to keep up with these, so call your vet at your earliest convenience to schedule the next booster. Vets are usually willing to give the last set of shots at 4-6 months of age, at which time they will be safe.

Days 3-5: 

Pet Health is something to watch very closely during the first week, especially with puppies.  There are some things that are common and shouldn't cause immediate alarm, and some things that would require an immediate vet visit.  I will try to cover some of these here.  Please understand that if your dog gets sick in the first seven days after you adopt them from us, that we will do what we can to help you with that.  However, we must use our veterinarian in order to help with those expenses, and we will need to take the dog or puppy in, or give you a voucher.  IF you take them to your veterinarian or to an emergency vet, we can not help with those expenses, because we do not have the financial resources to do so.

  • May as well start with the big bad, Parvo.  I'll start here because if you suspect that you have it, this is the one that you don't want to mess around with.  If your puppy is vomitting and has diarrhea with blood in it, accompanied by lethergy then you will want to seek the advice of a vet. Bring a stool sample with you if there is one available, because it can help them make a diagosis.  There are other things that can cause these symptoms, so if your puppy isn't lethargic, it could be something as simple as a parasite, or them getting into one of a million things that puppies get into. 
  • Parasites - Foster Families for Tails of Hope, entertain a constant stream of puppies and dogs that are rescued from at capacity kill shelters. It is very difficult to guarantee that your puppy/dog will be free of parasites. We routinely worm our puppies, about every 4 weeks, but it is important that you monitor your puppies stool when you adopt them. Generally you can expect that a diet change will throw off their digestive system for about 3-5 days.  But if a week passes and you still see stool that is loose or doesn't look healthy, please collect a sample and take it to your vet.  Most vets will process a stool sample and prescribe medicine w/o requiring you to bring in your dog/puppy. Do remember that most of your heart worm preventative pills will deworm for most parasites, but some such as Coccidia, Giardia and Tapeworm won't be banished with your regular preventatives.


Early Stages:

  • Until you have completed your puppies vaccination series, it is imperative that you do not take them to high traffic pet areas, such as dog parks, pet stores, rest stops, etc. If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to take them, please keep their feet off of the ground/floor. Some viruses are deadly, and you can lose your pet if you are careless before their vaccination series is complete.