Congratulations on your new dog! Whether you adopted through us, or found your new friend somewhere else, we hope our New Dog User Guide will make you feel more confident about this exciting time.
New dogs of any age can benefit from the help in the Adopt a Pet Puppy Manual
Housebreaking & House Training
The HouseBreaking Bible by Rebecca Setler; Free housebreaking course for dogs of all ages
Safety & Tracking
We recommend reviewing the collar and harness recommendations in our FOSTERING HANDBOOK as well as investing in a tracker like GETHUAN.com (user code BORDERS at checkout to get 10% off) Your dog is CHIPPED but that’s like a barcode, not a GPS.
Your dog is required to wear visual ID at all times, that means a collar with a tag or a collar with your info embedded (we love the personalized ID collar from Hot Dog Collars). Even if you walk your dog on a harness they should always wear a collar with ID.
We highly recommend getting insurance for your pet to help you manage unexpected medical visits such as broken limbs, obstructions, cancer, heart disease and other expensive diagnoses. Pet Insurance does not pay for procedures up-front but will review a claim and reimburse you.
Feeding and Treats
We recommend feeding high quality, grain free foods. We are all what we eat and a better quality diet leads to a better quality of life including fewer vet bills, shinier coats, no dog smell and healthy poops.
Here’s our preferred brands
- Artemis Pet Foods
- Back to Basics
- Bench & Field Holistic Natural Canine
- California Natural
- Castor & Pollux
- Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
- Dogswell (not some of their jerky treats are made in China. Check the labels)
- Eagle Pack
- Holistic Select
- Instinct Grain Free
- Kirkland (Costco)
- Natural Balance
- Nature’s Select
- Newman’s Own
- Open Farm
- Pinnacle Holistic
- Solid Gold
- Taste of the Wild
- Wellness CORE
- Whole Earth Farms
- Petburger by US Wellness Meats
- Small Batch
- Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen
- Nature’s Variety Raw freeze dried
- Stella & Chewy’s Raw – frozen & freeze dried
- Sojo’s Raw – human grade
- Ziwi Peak “Raw equivalent” air dried
- The Honest Kitchen freeze dried – human grade
- Primal Forumula
- SMACK! Raw Dehydrated
Whichever food you choose make sure to provide fresh water, in a clean bowl, all day long, and let your dog out to relieve itself after each meal.
You may have heard that “grain free” or “boutique brands” are causing heart problems. Unfortunately clickbait headlines have gotten the best of many people and the occurrence of DCM has been found in dogs eating ALL diets including grain-full diets. Here’s a breakdown —Grainfree doesn’t equal DCM
Hazards in the home (dangerous food, plants, objects and more!)
There’s a lot of every items in our homes that we don’t always realise can be hazardous to our pets. Use common sense and pick up loose objects, spilled medications, messy wires and litter from your home to prevent an unnecessary vet visit. Check out a comprehensive list of dangerous household items below!
Although they are part of the family, not all of our foods are safe for consumption by your dog. They should never be fed spoiled or mouldy food and overly fatty foods should be avoided even as a treat. the following foods can be toxic to your dog and should be avoided completely.
- Chocolate (Toxicity calculator)
- Xylitol (sweetener usually found in sugar free gum)
- Grapes & Raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Tea Leaves
- Raw yeast dough
Dangerous Household Plants
If your pet eats a harmful plant, call the Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.
They charge a $65 consultation fee (but it’s worth the money!)
- Andromeda Japonica
- Asian Lily
- Asparagus Fern
- Australian Nut
- Autumn Crocus
- Bird of Paradise
- Bittersweet (American and European)
- Black Locust
- Branching Ivy
- Buddhist Pine
- Calla Lily
- Castor Bean
- Corn Plant
- Devil’s Ivy
- Easter Lily
- Elephant Ears
- Emerald Fern
- English Ivy
- Fiddle-leaf Philodendron
- Gold Dust Dracaena
- Florida Beauty
- Glacier Ivy
- Golden Pothos
- Heavenly Bamboo
- Hurricane Plant
- Jerusalem Cherry
- Jimson Weed
- Lilies (all Lilium species)
- Lily of the Valley
- Marble Queen
- Morning Glory
- Mountain Laurel
- Needlepoint Ivy
- Peace Lily
- Poison Hemlock
- Precatory Bean (Rosary Pea)
- Red Emerald
- Ribbon Plant
- Sago Palm
- Satin Pothos
- Striped Dracaena
- Sweetheart Ivy
- Water Hemlock
Signs your dog may have allergies
Just like people, dogs can have seasonal, chemical and food allergies. If you find that your dog is constantly chewing or licking his paws, gnawing on his rump (or getting under furniture to rub it really hard – even raw), itchy runny eyes, nose or ears, or simply exhibiting a new, strange behaviour he could be suffering from allergies. Dogs can become allergic at any point in their lives so if a new set of symptoms present themselves don’t rule out the old and familiar!
Common allergies include
- Laundry detergent and cleaning products
- Some protein sources such as chicken and beef
- Seasonal allergies (grass, trees, pollen, etc)
- Grains and Gluten (very common!)
- Corn and Soy
- Cigarette smoke (!!!! Don’t smoke around your pets!!!!)
- Dust and house dust mites
Terriers, setters, retrievers, and flat-faced breeds such as pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers tend to be more allergic than other breeds.
Testing for environmental allergies at a vet is a fairly simple process, but when attempting to discover the source of a food allergy you may find a structured elimination of products, or items will help you find the source.
Food allergies tend to result in digestive upset so if your dog is experiencing diarrhea and vomiting, you should consider an elimination diet to determine what food he is allergic to.
Swapping your floor cleaner for vinegar, water and lemon/lemongrass may help identify chemical allergies.
Positive Reinforcement Approved Dog Trainers
Find a Force-Free Trainer in your area
Force free training.
Los Angeles, OC, virtual
Dog Training by Kiko Pup – Free training Videos
Los Angeles Based Trainers
Jocelyn @The Muttineer
Mention Dogs Without Borders and get $25 off a 4 week puppy class
Force free training.
Mention Dogs Without Borders and get a 7 week in-person training class for $100.
Los Angeles, OC, virtual, board and train, reverse board and train
The Polite Pooch Class (at Tailwaggers)
private sessions only
Los Angeles and Ventura Counties
Long Beach and Orange County, Force Free
1800 269 3591
Studio City, SF Valley, Pasadena, Montrose, and Glendale
Sherman Oaks, Canoga Park, and Granada Hills
Westside and the Valley
Westside and the Valley
- 5 Common Mistakes adopters make when bringing home a new dog
- Treating separation anxiety in dogs eCourse
- There’s no such thing as an “Alpha” wolf / Dominance theory