Medical Resources

14-Day After Adoption Medical Support

We partner with VCA Animal Hospitals to provide after adoption medical support. At adoption, you will receive a VCA Healthy Start Certificate. We encourage you to schedule your free wellness exam as soon as possible with one of the participating VCA locations listed on the back of the certificate (the certificate is only valid for 14 days after adoption).
As soon as you schedule this appointment, you will have access to the My VCA app, which includes a 24/7 live chat option with a Registered Veterinary Technician. Since we often do not know the medical history of our animals, we are not able to predict whether they are going to start showing symptoms after adoption. Many of the medical concerns that appear after adoption are treatable through VCA’s Healthy Start Program, just make sure to schedule the appointment within 14 days of adoption. Please refer to the VCA Healthy Start Certificate in your adoption folder for more information on covered services, exclusions and scheduling instructions.

Post-Surgery Instructions

At the time of your adoption, a veterinary technician will review your pet’s medical records and any current conditions or medications. If your pet recently had surgery, you can review the post-surgery instructions here.

Heartworm Treatment

If you have adopted a heartworm positive dog, treatment will be provided at no additional cost to you. Unless otherwise directed at the time of adoption, you will contact a VCA Animal Hospital location to schedule heartworm treatment.

Dog Training & Behavioral Resources

Below you’ll find a variety of resources on dog behavior and cat behavior for common issues to help set your new pet up for success.

If you adopted a Max Fund pet, your adoption includes a scholarship for in-home training to make your pet’s transition a success.

If you’re not sure where to turn for help, our behavior team can be reached by email or at (972) 418-7297.

Bringing Home your New Dog

The first few weeks in your home are critical for your newly adopted dog. During this time it is important to set up clear, consistent rules and patterns.

Back to Work

Prepare for your first week away from your new dog. Get our tips on easing your new dog’s transition and adjustment to your work schedule.

Introducing Dogs

Dogs are social and most enjoy the company of other dogs. Read these tips to learn how to acclimate your resident dog and newly adopted dog.

Crate Training

Crates are a great training tool because they give your dog a safe “den” to rest and sleep in. They also help with potty training and reduce the possibility of destructive behavior.

Potty Training

When potty training (also known as house training) a dog, create a predictable and consistent schedule so that your dog will learn what to expect and where to go potty appropriately.

Separation Anxiety

Symptoms of separation anxiety can be common in dogs recently adopted from shelters. Read these tips to learn how to help your dog with separation anxiety symptoms.

Destructive Chewing

Destructive chewing can not only be annoying, it can be costly and dangerous. Dogs naturally use their mouth to explore the world around them, but it is important to teach them the things that they should and shouldn’t chew on.

Demand Barking

Demand barking, or bossy barking, is when your dog barks at you when they want something. If your dog has trained you to respond to their barking demands, use these tips to train them quieter ways to ask for things they want.

Managing a Mouthy Puppy

Puppies learn to explore the world around them by using their mouths. It is important that you teach your puppy when and where he is allowed to use his mouth to avoid bites or chewed up items in your home.

Dogs that Jump up on People

Jumping is a natural greeting and play behavior for dogs. Since most people don’t enjoy being jumped on by dogs, especially larger dogs, it is important to teach dogs that jump on people how to greet more appropriately.

Resource Guarding

Dogs that bare their teeth, growl, snap, or bite to defend things that belong to them are expressing a natural dog behavior that can be dangerous if not addressed. Teach your dog how to learn more appropriate communication.

Learning to ``Say Please``

Dogs are willing to ask for the things that they want in life. With your guidance, your dog will learn to get the things they want without jumping, barking, mouthing, chewing, pulling on leash, or counter surfing.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement works by rewarding your dog after a desired behavior is shown, making the behavior more likely to happen in the future.

Managing a Door Darter

If you struggle to keep your free-spirit dog in the house when you open the front door, then follow these tips for managing a door darter.

Counter Surfing

Dogs may jump up on counters to find food because it is natural for dogs to explore the world around them. Use these tips to manage counter surfing.

Managing a Dog Who Digs

Dogs that dig up your back yard can be frustrating, but this is often a sign of boredom. It is up to us to make sure that they have more appropriate ways to outlet their energy.

Playing Keep Away

If your dog likes to grab things and won’t return them to you, you probably end up playing a not so fun game of keep away with him. Learn how to have your dog give up items to you.

Working with a Fearful Dog

The goal when adopting or fostering a fearful dog is to modify their behavior by making new, positive associations with things they fear, as well as building their confidence.

Adopting a Puppy

Adopting a puppy is a very exciting time! If this is your first puppy, there are lots of things to learn. Raising a puppy is a challenging but rewarding job that requires lots of patience, empathy, and time.

Adopting Littermates

“Littermate Syndrome” is the term used to describe the anecdotal observations of many pet professionals, rescues, breeders and pet owners of siblings that develop behavior issues when being raised in the same home.

Confidence Building in Shy Dogs

Dogs that are shy, fearful, or anxious about new things can benefit from confidence building. Many dogs can get overwhelmed when forced into situations that are too scary for them without any skills on how to cope.

Boredom Busters for Dogs

Humans have quite enriching lives. Whether it is school, work, social activities – there’s a lot we have to do. Dogs need enriching lives, too. One key to a happy, healthy dog in the home is enrichment.

Cat and Dog Introductions

Adopting a new pet into your home comes with lots of new exciting experiences. Despite the stereotypes, many dogs and cats do live together peacefully. It is important to take this introduction slowly.

Cat Training & Behavioral Resources

Bringing Home your New Cat

Adopting a cat can be a very exciting time for you and your family. Cats have very long memories so you want to make the best first impression possible.

Destructive Scratching

Cats that use your furniture to sharpen their claws can cause damage. Cats need to scratch so we need to teach them where it is okay for them to scratch.

Kittens Who Play Rough

Young kittens raised alone may use their teeth or claws more than kittens who grow up with litter mates. We can teach them more appropriate ways to play.

Litter Box Issues

It is not uncommon for cats to experience issues with using the litter box. Learn how to address it promptly.

Declawing Cats

Learn about the effects of declawing and why Operation Kindness does not recommend the declawing of cats.

Rough Play in Cats

Cats stalk, chase, pounce, swat, kick, scratch and bite when they play. These tips will help train your cat to play nicely.

Introducing Cats

When you are bringing a new cat home, it is important to make sure that your current cat’s introduction goes well. Cats have a long memory, and they can be skeptical of new housemates at first.

Bringing Home a Fearful Cat

Cats appreciate routines and patterns so they can feel comfortable and safe. If you are bringing home a fearful or shy cat, the following tips will help your cat feel welcome in their new home.

Boredom Busters for Cats

One key to a happy, healthy cat in the home is enrichment. Check out this list of awesome “Boredom Busters” to enrich your cat’s life.