Must-haves for your Romanian rescue dog!

Adopting a dog is expensive business, there are many things you need to have ready for your new friend to help them adjust and settle safely. To make it easier, we have put some packs for our applicants. You can find our Essentials Pack and the Luxury Pack in our online shop. If you’d rather shop yourself or if you just want to understand what you need and why we have put together the below shopping list for you.

A Slip Lead

This is the most important thing of all. A slip lead is a lead with a loop on the end which slides over the dogs head and tightens around their neck with pressure, making it secure. It is difficult to buy collars or harnesses before your dog arrives and we advise waiting until they are with you as poorly fitting collars and harnesses can be uncomfortable or provide an easy escape route. You will need to have a slip lead ready for when you collect your dog from the van.


An ID Tag

Your dog must have two forms of identification on them when in a public place, this is a legal requirement. The ID tag should have a house number, postcode and a telephone number. You can add more detail if you want to. Most pet stores offer engraving services, although better value tags are available to purchase on eBay for as little as £2.

A Crate

Most of our dogs are very grateful for a crate. You can speak to your admin regarding the correct size of crate for your dog. You should set the crate up in a quiet corner of the house where possible and cover it with a blanket on the back top and sides. See our crate training advice for more information.

A Long Line

Long lines come in varying lengths. A long line of around 10-20ft will be fine in the first instance. This should replace the slip lead along with a collar or harness once your dog is settled and you feel ready to give your dog a little more freedom. We recommend double leading for at least the first week.

PLEASE DON’T use extendable leads in the first few weeks as these often end up tangled. They are easily chewed through in a panic and can cause injury to you or your dog.

A Collar and/or Harness

Most adopters wait until their dog has arrived before purchasing these to ensure a good fit. Many dogs have had unpleasant experiences with catch poles and so can be quite fearful and distressed by things around their neck and so a harness may help reduce a little extra anxiety on walks. This said, a collar is the very best way to attach an ID tag as it is where people look for them and harnesses are not designed for long term wear. It may work well to use the collar for the ID tag, whilst using a harness attached to a lead to control your dog. You will need to be led by your dog and their individual needs and challenges. Regardless, all dogs should be double leaded with a slip lead in the garden and on walks for the first 1-2 weeks.

PLEASE NOTE: Legally, your dog MUST NOT leave your address for 48hrs after arrival from Romania.

Food and Water Bowls

Buy bowls which are relative to your new dog’s size. In older or larger dogs buying a stand which allows the bowls to be raised to a suitable height help to alleviate neck and back discomfort whilst eating and drinking. Bowls should be cleaned thoroughly before use.

A Bed

If you are buying a bed, choose one which fits into the dog’s crate well. You may choose to use blankets or towels initially until you know your dog better; this is fine, as long as your dog has somewhere safe and comfy to settle. It’s a great idea to put worn clothing belonging to family members in, or close to, your dog’s bed. This will help them get used to your smells.

Poo bags

Although this seems obvious, many people forget this basic necessity. We recommend choosing biodegradable bags where available. You can also buy ‘poop scoop’ devices to help you if bending is difficult.


We recommend feeding your dog plain rice and boiled or roasted chicken (with bones removed) for the first 48hrs. You can gradually introduce their new food into this mix. We recommend Harrington’s dry or if you prefer to give wet food, Chappie.


Smelly treats that can be cut into small pieces work best and the more natural the better. Avoid long-lasting treats like bones as this can resulting in guarding behaviours. We recommend ham or hot dogs, or even better, get your bake on and check out our favourite recipes for your dogs. Factor treats into your dogs daily food allowance so you are not overfeeding them and do not give large quantities, particularly in the first month or so, as this can cause upset tummies.

TIP: We advise against giving rawhide treats and NEVER give your dog cooked bones.

Grooming Tools

Be aware your dogs will be smelly when they arrive, they may also have soiled their crate in transit. We strongly advise not bathing your dog at least for one week. Do not try to bathe a nervous dog. If you are keen to tackle the smell, you can purchase pet wet wipes or dry shampoo. Regularly changing out their bedding will also help.

If your dog has a thick or long coat, you should have a brush ready for when you have built up enough trust to work on grooming – it is OK if this takes some time. Dogs will likely not be happy to be groomed when they first arrive. When they are, start slowly and work at their pace and have lots of little treats on standby. Be careful when grooming not to pull mats or brush too hard. Matts will need to be carefully cut out, being very careful to not get too close to the skin.

PLEASE NOTE:  Some dogs will require professional grooming.

TIP:  Different dog sizes and coat types need different brush types. Your local pet store or admin will be able to tell you more.


Toys are not a necessity and should be introduced with caution. When choosing toys for your new dog, bear in mind squeakers may startle dogs. Don’t be upset if your dog pays no attention to your expensive toys – they may have never seen them before. It may be wise to just buy one or two cheap rope toys and a charity shop soft toy and work up from there once you know your dog better.

In houses with resident dogs, it is a good idea to pick up all toys before introductions to prevent guarding or disagreements between dogs.

Never leave dogs unsupervised together with toys or long-lasting treats such as kongs or bones.

NOTE: You should not introduce resident dogs to your new friend for a minimum of 48hrs.