Crate – discuss with foster parents, as not needed for all dogs. You will need to know the size to purchase.

GPS Tracker – DIBS Rescue has decided to use Tractive GPS systems. It has great technology for tracking, has a battery life of 2-5 days, and is mid-priced. Every DIBS dog goes home with a brand new Tractive device, thanks to Tractive’s amazing shelter program. For adopters, this means they get the device free of charge, and are only responsible for the price of the annual subscription (about $6 a month).

If you want to purchase an additional Tractive device for another dog, you can shop via the DIBS link, we do get 12% back to help fund our rescue dogs.  (An easy way to find the link – – it is at the bottom left of every page in the footer.)  

You can read more about keeping your new dog safe and secure on our website.


  • Deer antlers or animal horns. This is something that they can chew on, but it’s non-toxic. Safer bet is frozen carrots.
  • Toys – stuffies vs hard? Most dogs like squeaky. Durables may be needed
  • Tennis balls for outside – big or small?
  • Treat ball – Don’t forget to buy small treats to put in it! Some dogs like to learn this.
  • Kong – don’t buy the treats to put in them. Instead, you can use plain yoghurt, pumpkin, peanut butter, wet food and kibble, or a mix of these things and freeze.

Harness – Ask a foster parent what they recommend as the best option for your dog. It will depend on their leash skills, dog size, etc. Pet Valu has good ones, as the dog can step in. (PetSmart sometimes carries, but not always). Ask foster for neck and underarm/belly measurements. Harnesses come in xs/s/m/l/xl. Please bring for adoption day.

Collar – Ask foster for neck measurement and recommendations (we suggest a martingale collar for safety). Please bring for adoption day. We ask that all fosters assist adopters with any required changes for collars, as this can be a scary time for a dog. All rescue dogs are a flight risk, and having a dog bolt, without a collar on, is a worst-case scenario. Please be mindful of which ring the leash attaches to (it’s not the ring for the tag).

**New – If your dog comes from our rescue partners near Mexico City (Dog-Go Project), they are currently wearing a beautiful custom fit collar.  Adopters have the option to purchase the collar for $20, with all funds going back to the front line rescue partner.

Dog beds – HomeSense is a great source for this. Be sure to think about washability. For some beds, you can wash the entire bed (our preference). Some, you can just wash the cover. You may want several throughout your home.

Poop bags – no need to explain!

Leash – different leashes work for different dogs. If you worry that your dog may not be used to walks or spook easily, you’d want to start with a few options (on the dog at the same time). A slip lead is often a good option if your dog may bolt. Lots of bad press on retractable leashes, so perhaps not the preferred option. We recommend double leashing your dog to begin with until you get to know each other.

Bells – PetValu sells these – attach to the door handle so the dog can signal to go outside. About 50% of foster dogs figure this out and use to request to go outside.

Coat/Sweater – Mexi’s may need an additional layer to keep warm. Ask foster for size. If using a harness on walks, ensure there is an opening at the back, between shoulder blades, for the leash to attach to the harness.

Dog food – ask foster what they have been using. Recommendations may be for sensitive skin or stomachs. Dry vs small amounts of soft. Meat vs seafood. Best to stay consistent or you may have irregular poops during the adjustment period. Have canned pumpkin and cooked rice on hand if poop becomes irregular (soft, runny, too frequent)