Frequently Asked Questions

After You Adopt

How can I help my dog if they have separation anxiety?

Some pets show distress when separated from family members.  It isn’t clear exactly what causes separation anxiety – some pets may be genetically predisposed, or it may be a learned behavior. Either way, there are things that you can do to help prevent separation anxiety, and ways to lessen the anxiety when you’r not there.

Some great resources:

Fear Free Happy Homes Website

Some great videos about separation anxiety and what you can do about it.

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“I’ll be Home Soon: How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety”

Learn how to love your dogs without spoiling them and provide boundaries without intimidation. This booklet clarifies how to be a benevolent leader and avoid aggression related to fear or dominance. If you want to be a natural leader to your pack, this book tells you how to do it in a peaceful, kind way. The ideas and exercises in this booklet are based on the way dogs communicate with each other, so they are highly effective and easy for your dog to understand. An essential part of any canine library! Would make an excellent hand-out in classes, for vet offices, or humane societies!

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How to Help with Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety in dogs can be treated with these tried and tested training methods. How to help a dog with separation anxiety depends on the dog and his symptoms – here are ways you can calm an anxious dog who hates to be alone.

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What Should You Do if Your New Dog Won’t Eat?

You’ve brought your new dog home, and it refuses to eat. Argh, now what?

While it can be a nerve-wracking experience, it isn’t uncommon for an animal to take a day or 2 to settle in and start eating consistently.

Read more here on to learn what to do if your new dog turns its nose up at your food offerings.

Helping dogs integrate with current family pets

Dogs are pack animals, and in most cases, enjoy the company of others of their species. Many dogs are able to cohabitate with other types of animals.

NOTE: It is important when helping pets establish a relationship that someone is always present to monitor interactions. 

Tips for helping dogs get started with other dogs:

Take lots of “pack walks”

This is especially important on initial introduction when you are bringing your new dog home. Meetings and activities early on in neutral areas are helpful for first meetings and welcoming. Physical and structured exercise is a key activity in establishing a healthy routine for your dog. This is crucial to a dog both physically and mentally. Walking as a group can help further the bond between dogs as well as the humans that provide this activity.

Always keep food (and bones) separate

Dogs have an instinctual habit to guard their most basic resource from other animals – food. It is always imperative to respect your animal’s need for this. All animals’ food in your home should be separate so that your dog understands there is no need to protect or guard their meals from other animals. Although it is less common for dogs to protect resources from humans it is always beneficial to teach children as well as for adults alike to respect an animals’ needs and space while eating.

Toys, and beds can be resources too

Although it is less common, some dogs may have a need to be possessive of toys or certain other belongings in the home. It is most common that the established dog would claim these as their own toward the new addition to the family. If you experience guarding of any items in the home it is best to remove the items until a later time that the dogs have built a more solid relationship, routine and foundation. If you are unsure, it is always best to remove these items initially.

Provide separate spaces and outlets

Your newest addition needs a space to retreat and decompress from the wide variety of changes and activities they are undergoing. Your current dog will likely need this time as well, as they adjust to a new member of the home and change of dynamic. Providing separate crate and down time in addition to separate training and outing time is just as important as bonding time. Your newest friend will likely need a good deal of attention and training to get settled but make sure your current dog receives ample special attention too to prevent frustration and jealousy. 

Do not leave your new dog unattended

A dog new to an environment adjusting to a multi-pet or family member home should never be left unattended without the supervision of an adult. Your new dog lacks understanding of their new routine, rules and boundaries. Crate training is always a helpful technique if your new dog must be left alone. Do not leave a dog that is not bonded with the other pets in your home for any amount of time.

Be present

When integrating dogs in a new environment with others, an adult should always be present. A dog new to any situation should never be left unattended with another dog, a child or in an unfamiliar area. Being present requires that this adult remain aware and attentive (phone down, computer/tv off etc.). 

Tips for helping dogs get started with a cat:

Meet on leash

It is always helpful if you are unsure how your new dog and cat will react to one other if you manage the first meeting on leash. This will give you peace of mind that you have control of the initial meeting, and your dog an understanding that they cannot and should not chase. Your cat is then free to react and leave the area if they feel necessary.

Provide your cat their own “safe” space

Your cat should have their own space where they do not have to interact with a dog when desired. This space should contain their food (which is in most cases unhealthy for a dog’s consumption), their litter setup, and a space to sleep and rest apart from their canine housemates. Setting your new dog and cat up for success with the use of baby gates, cat doors, and other forms of barriers from this allotted cat space are some of the most efficient options.

Do not leave your new dog unattended

A dog new to an environment adjusting to a multi-pet or family member home should never be left unattended without the supervision of an adult. Your new dog lacks understanding of their new routine, rules and boundaries. Crate training is always a helpful technique if your new dog must be left alone. Do not leave a dog that is not bonded with the other pets in your home for any amount of time.

Other small animals:

As a result of a dog’s natural prey and chase drive – all other small animals of any kind should remain diligently separate. This includes birds and other fowl, rabbits. guinea pigs, other small rodents, and reptiles. If your family possesses small animals of this kind it is important to have a proper setup and family plan in place to ensure the safety of these current pets.

Common Concerns with Newly Adopted Dogs

Remember, chances are that just about everything they encounter will be “new” to your new pet when you get them home. Some will adapt easily – others may display some signs of stress or anxiety. Some common examples of such behavior:

  • Decreased appetite or nervousness being observed eating
    • Try feeding your new pup in their crate to make them feel safe.
  • Loose or lack of stools and or frequent or infrequent urination
    • Your veterinary professional will rule out medical reasons for this at your wellness exam.
  • Restlessness or panting
  • Decreased energy
  • Cowering or hiding – especially from loud noises

Although your dog may experience some of these concerns to some degree please contact a veterinary professional if your dog’s behavior or health appears concerning.

Things That May Be New to Your Dog

Dogs that have not been largely indoor members of a family home prior to joining Saving Grace may not have experienced some of what most pet owners consider “normal” everyday activities. Examples include:

  • Walking on lead – especially in more urban areas
  • Basic manners and commands
  • Bathing and other routine grooming
  • Riding in the car
  • Stairs and slippery flooring
  • Televisions, vacuums and other appliances
  • Visiting public places – pet stores, parks, outdoor restaurants
  • Toys, playing fetch or other games
  • Eating meals on a consistent schedule

Even dogs that have experienced these, are in a new place with new people which makes things a little different than what they were used to prior to their adoption.

Key Ingredients for Success

  • Ensure your dog has a consistent and adequate daily exercise routine – This will be different for every dog based on age and possible breed mix. Different dogs require different levels of exercise and activities. Dogs that are not properly stimulated will display a variety of bad habits out of frustration. Working breed mixes will require the most vigorous training and exercise regimens.
  • Seek out a professional training schedule – Whether you have raised 1 dog or 10 (or NONE) – it is always beneficial to work with a professional. This keeps learning consistent (especially for families) and helps to keep families more involved and motivated and committed to the training investment. Dogs enrolled in classes tend to be more engaged and compelled to learn when working outside of the home. Training is essential to bonding as well as the continued success and understanding of expectations and boundaries. Dogs and owners gained added confidences from 
  • Invest in your dog’s health and wellness – Get to know your veterinary professional. Ask questions and research available options for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing. Discuss with a professional, the best approach to your new pet’s diet, medications and continuing health routine. A veterinarian you can count on to stay up to date with animal health, and trust with your personal pet’s needs is peace of mind to any pet owner. 

Investing heavily in training and diet/health are the two best investments you can make for your new companion. Dogs are not impressed by fancy bowls, collars beds etc. – spend your savings where it counts! For Saving Grace’s recommendation sheet for all of your pets needs click here

Crate and House Training

The Saving Grace team works to lay the groundwork for your new dog’s crate training. The dogs are housed in a group building and crated for periods throughout the day each day and overnight. Crating in your home will be different as there is not a group of other crated dogs for companionship. House training will be the responsibility of each dog’s new family. Every home environment, schedule, setup and routine is unique. This is something you will have to work on together.

Follow these links for tips on crate training and house training.

What to expect – 3 Days / 3 Weeks / 3 Months

Your new dog will be experiencing a big change joining your family – A GREAT one – but BIG. Our 3, 3, 3 timeline will give you a better idea of some of the things your new dog is experiencing. Click here to view our 3-3-3 Rule. 

Please remember your adopted dog has recently been through a lot of changes prior to becoming a part of Saving Grace and now your home. They have been in an animal control facility, some have lost their families, and many may have never known family life. Set your dog and yourself up for a successful experience by being prepared and pay attention to their signals, behaviors and needs: 

  • Dogs who have not had positive experiences in public places and may be overwhelmed, while others thrive on a lot of attention and will enjoy busy outings. 
  • Some dogs enjoy a lot of physical contact, while others have not had positive human/physical contact and need space to decompress and gain confidence in the kindness of humans. 
  • Some may need lots of exercise to burn off excess energy, while others need uninterrupted sleep and rest when first leaving the shelter environment. 

Each dog is different since he/she has been exposed to different things and will react in different ways. Always put them in comfortable situations. Even though you have a loving home to offer them, you are still a stranger and your home is new and your expectations are unknown to them.

Post-Surgical or Other Treatment Care

If your recently adopted dog has recently had surgery or other treatments prior to adoption, it is imperative that you follow post treatment guidelines for your dog’s safety and wellbeing. Please click on the links below for post care guidelines and more information.

Spay and Neuter Post‐Operative Care Instructions

Post Heartworm Treatment Care for your New Dog

Host a Dog Sleepover

Step 1 What is a Sleepover?

Find out more about our Sleepover program.

Step 2 Pick a Date

Sign up for each time you'd like to have a Sleepover guest.

Step 3 Pick them up

Pick up your sleepover guest, and find fun things to do!

Step 4 Bring them back

It is tough to let them go, but maybe they'll become a permanent member of your home!

Foster a Dog

Step 1 Understand what it takes

Fostering isn't for everyone. Could it be a good fit for you?

Step 2
Apply to become a foster

Show your interest and let us get the process started

Step 3 Attend a Foster Orientation

Pick a session from the calendar to find out more about the program.

Step 4
Accept an Assignment

Taking them home is just the beginning. Your pup will need lots of patience and TLC!

Adopt from Saving Grace

Happy Tails

Stories shared by happy adopters

Step 1 Understand the responsibility

Make sure you understand how adopting a new pet will impact your life.

Step 2
Apply to adopt

Start the formal process that will get you an appointment to meet available dogs.

Step 3 Take them home

Once we all agree you've found your new pet, pay the adoption fee and take them home (after stopping at the Supply Co)!

Step 4
Love them!

Taking them home is just the beginning. Your pup will need lots of patience and TLC!

About Saving Grace

Meet Molly Goldston Founder of Saving Grace

Saving Grace Cottage A great place to stay!

Our Pack

Spay/Neuter Clinic

Saving Grace Wake Forest

aka “The Funny Farm”
13400 Old Creedmoor Rd,
Wake Forest, NC 27587, USA

Saving Grace Robeson County

273 Kenric Dr.
Lumberton, NC 28360, USA

Saving Grace Wake Forest

13400 Old Creedmoor Rd
Wake Forest, NC 27587, USA

Saving Grace - Robeson

273 Kenric Dr.
Lumberton, NC 28360, USA

Volunteer for Saving Grace

Step 1 Explore our volunteer options

Step 4 Attend a mentor session

Step 2 Fill out the application form

Step 5 Sign up for shifts/tasks

Step 3 Attend volunteer orientation

Step 6 Keep coming back!

We Need Fosters!

Not all our dogs are ready to stay at the Funny Farm – our Fosters help get them ready for adoption!

Host a Dog for a weekend

Will you take a deserving dog for the weekend to give them a break from the Funny Farm?

Donate Dollars

Every dollar donated to Saving Grace helps us help more dogs find forever homes.

Donate Supplies

Create a fundraiser

Raise the ruff

Shop the supply co.

Other ways to give:

Donate to Robeson

Saving Grace Supply Company

Monday – Friday: 12pm – 7pm
Saturday: 12pm – 2pm
Sunday: Closed

4016 Durham Rd Raleigh, NC 27614

Saving Grace Supply Company

Get the basics to help you make your new adoptee feel at home!

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