Getting Prepared

Preparing your home:

  • Please call our helpline if you have any concerns: 630-323-5637
    Prepare a safe room or gated area where your new pet can be left alone.
  • Set up a crate/exercise pen
  • Clear the area of anything that may cause harm or be damaged:  Shoes, papers, electrical/computer wires, children’s toys and belongings.
  • Remove/secure trash cans
  • Keep cat litter boxes/food out of reach
  • Ensure fence/gate is secure and yard is free of sharp objects/poisonous plants

The Ride Home:

  • If you have a current dog, keep them separated while in the car.  
  • Leave the leash attached to the dog’s collar (it can be fastened through the seat belt if your dog is not crated).
  • Do not allow children to excite the dog.
  • Take the dog directly home.  Don’t stop on the way for supplies or to visit friends.
  • If the dog vomits, simply clean it up without punishing the dog.
  • Do not leave the dog alone in your car.
  • Have control of the leash before opening the car door all the way so the dog cannot bolt.

When you arrive home:

  • Take your dog immediately to the area you want her to go potty.  Do not play or interact until she has relieved herself.  Praise/reward for going outdoors.
  • Take your dog inside and show where food/water will be kept.
  • Keep the leash on the dog for control
  • Act very low key and don’t excite the dog with play.
  • Watch the new dog carefully.  If the dog attempts to urinate indoors, do not yell or punish but calmly and quickly go outdoors, then praise for using the correct area.
  • Keep doors closed to any rooms/areas the dog is not allowed.
  • A calm, consistent first few days with minimal visitors and excitement will help your dog settle in, bond with family and experience minimal stress.


  • Food: Speak with your veterinarian about a high quality diet that will meet your pet’s needs
  • Dishes: Ceramic or stainless steel are recommended.  They are easier to clean and are less likely to be chewed than plastic.
  • Bed: Offer a soft, clean and dry place for your dog to relax and sleep.
  • Toys: Providing physical and mental exercise is important for your dog’s overall well-being.  Be sure to choose toys, games and puzzles that are appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing capacity.
  • Grooming Supplies: Brushes, nail trimmers, combs and shampoos should be chosen based on your dog’s size and coat.
  • Collar/Leash: A collar to which ID tags can be attached should be worn at all times*. For walking, a 6 foot leather or nylon leash to attach to the collar or front clasp harness. See our Collars page for examples and descriptions of the types of collars.

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