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Rescue Puppy


What to expect



How to deal with the newly adopted dog  

Take flight behaviour in to account

The dog in his new home

Walking the dog


Positive reward

Avoid running away


At the airport

In the car: the journey home and subsequent journeys

    In the house

In the garden

During the walk

    My dog's missing.

    How much does a dog cost?

Play & Move



An accident can easily happen

    The Farewell

Adoption fee Happy Dog Maspalomas

    The adopted dog and insurance

    WA (legal responsibility) insurance for animals

     Diseases in Gran Canaria :


Hartworm (filaria)





    Dog missing or life threathening situation



How very nice that you are thinking of adopting a dog from Gran Canaria! To make an informed decision , we offer you this information brochure. Read it carefully and see if you can ultimately offer a dog what it needs and whether an adoptive dog suits you and your family. You may already have a lot of knowledge, but perhaps this brochure will add some more. Do you know what to expect from a rescue dog? What do you have to take into account? Are there any diseases regarding these dogs? And what does it cost to adopt a dog? All these questions are answered in this brochure.

We wish you a lot of reading pleasure!   

Team Happy Dog Maspalomas Animal Rescue                                                

How to deal with my newly adopted dog?

When a dog comes to the Netherlands from abroad, this dog often comes to us from a completely different living environment. Many dogs have not lived in a house with a family and often do not know anything of our human habits at all. Just think of all our homely sounds, our habits of walking outside and wanting to pet and cuddle with a dog! These dogs have often lived on the street or kept in a killing station. Humans usually meant bad news. And now these dogs are expected to live together with humans in a small space, often without the support of other dogs!

Below are some tips to get through the first time as good as possible ,and to let the dog get used to his new life:

Take escape behaviour into account when adopting a dog from abroad .The dog is confused and scared on  arrival. No matter how sociable and calm this dog may be in the shelter, the long journey has a lot of impact on most dogs. Even though the adopted dog still looks so relaxed, he doesn't know you yet and doesn't see you as his trusted base yet! As soon as the dog is startled, possibly a intsintive survival urge will resurfe and the dog will do what he did in his previous life;  FLEE .

The dog in his new home

If there is already a dog in the house: Let the dogs meet for the first time in the garden or, for example, peacefully in the house. DO NOT bring your own dog to the airport. This environment is very stressful and the drive home also creates a stressful situation.

Let the dog slowly get acquainted with living with his new family. Take the time to get to know the dog and give the dog the chance to get to know his new owners and living environment. Building trust in each other and forging a bond takes time and adjustment for both dog and owner. Thid proces will take time. Don't expect too much from the dog in the first few weeks: he is still recovering from the journey and the big change in his life. The most important thing is: peace and tranquility.  Don't over-ask a dog by immediately taking him to crowded places, dog schools,'s really too much to comprehend for him.

< >The first few weeks in his new home we work on the bond and the trust. Don't force anything. Find out how the dog reacts to all the daily things that occur in the family in question and get to know each other better and better. Discover together what the dog likes to do. Let the dog have as many pleasant experiences as possible. Then life becomes more and more extensive. There will be visitors in the house, the dog will be left alone for a while, a visit to the vet will be scheduled, a visit will be made, other dogs and so on will be introduced. All at the dog's own pace. Always provides the dog with support when he is anxious. The myth that a dog should be ignored when he is anxious is long gone. Dogs, like humans, also like it when they notice that they are not alone and that there is someone to support them. Talk to the dog quietly, let him be close to you. With most frightened dogs, it's best to let them take the initiative.. You can try to lure them with something tasty. Never pet a dog you don't know well and don't look them straight in the eyes, especially with a frightened, insecure, or dominant dog. Know what you're getting into and don't give up too soon. The dog may have been through a lot and at least deserves time to recover.  It is advisable to sleep with the dog at night for the first week. For example, you can sleep in the living room with the dog or let the dog sleep by the bed. This way you can comfort the dog and teach the dog to gain confidence. Provide a good resting place for the dog where he can sleep away all the stimuli of the new environment. In this place you also leave the dog alone at all times so that he knows that he gets the peace here if he needs it and knows that he is safe here. A tranquil dog is able to learn. It is important to take small walks for the first period. There is a risk that you want to give the dog beautiful walks and a lot of exercise too quickly. After all, the dog has always missed that. Nevertheless, it is important to build this up. The dog gets so many new impressions (new people, smells, language, environment, nutrition, etc), the extra impressions of the beautiful long walk are  better to hold until he is used tot walking . Start with a 5-minute round and slowly build up the walking routes. Also, keep in mind not to walk too long with young dogs. As a guideline, for every month of age, 5 minutes walk. With  At the age of approx 6 months,  half an hour of brisk walking is enough. You first train learning to run free with a long line. After that in a closed area. Working on the bond/relationship between you and the dog is much more important than letting them run free. Realize that hunting- or stray dogs may never be able to run free because the hunting or stray instinct is still present. It also affects whether you already have a pack or not.


When adopting dogs from abroad, you should always take into account that the dog is not potty trained. After all, on the street they do not learn this and in the shelter the are not taught either. You will therefore have to put a lot of time and energy into your dog's potty training yourself. Most dogs will pick this up quickly, but it may take weeks or months for your dog to realize that  pee doesnt belong in the house.


Never punish the dog when it reacts differently than you expected or would like, but find out why your dog is acting like this and start working on the underlying cause. Be sure to keep in mind that a dog must first get used to you and your ways, and that you will only see its true character afterwards. That could take up to  at least three months. Dogs that have been relocated several times will have a harder time giving themselves. Their trust is so damaged that they no longer dare to give confidence. 

Avoid running away

Only when you have built up enough trust and the dog comes to you joyfully can you try to let the dog run free once. This will take a few months.  Do this for the first time in a fenced area until you are sure that the dog will come back and will not run away.  Always add a long thin line (without loop) tot he collar first. This way, the dog feels free and you can still intervene when the dog does not dare or does not want to come to you. You can hold the line and start dropping short pieces and expand it that way. There are also several GPS trackers for sale. These do not prevent your dog from running away, but can help you to find your dog should it ever happen. More about this can be read in the piece "How to prevent escape".

Ensure a good registration of your adopted dog: your HDM contact will tell you how to do that. A  badge or address case with the same information  (name and telephone number, address) on both the collar and the harness. This way you can be contacted if your dog is found.

Schematic representation of the development of the adopted dog:




Every day, posts appear on the internet about dogs that have escaped,  with the most terrible consequences..... That is why we try to do everything we can to prevent this from happening to our dogs. 

Life in the Netherlands, with strange smells, strange people and habits for the dog, with busy streets, is  very exciting for most adoptioned dogs. We often don't think about it because we want the best for the dog , but you have to understand you take an animal away from everything it perceives as safe. His world was predictable and it's not anymore. It's become a big mess for him. His safety is gone. He will want to go back to what felt safe to him, familiar. Even though that was the dirtiest kennel. The dog will try to do everything in  its way to escape, back to its safe harbour.

Dogs often escape during the takeover moment: At a parking lot or gas station ,where some frescue organizations have their takeover moment, they escape at the airport during the arrival or during the arrival in their new home where someone forgets to close the door properly. Dogs can also escape at home by opening a door themselves, jumping over a fence or climbing the gate door. Children or even adults within the family who open a door and do not realize that the dog is sitting by the door. All these  moments a dog can use to escape. Below are some tips that helpyou to keep the dog safe:

How do you prevent your adopted dog from escaping?

To put the safety of the adopted dog first, we have listed some tips:


At the airport

We always work with extreme caution. The dogs arrive at the airport with a collar and are given a harness by the HDM volunteer, and two leashes. (the so-called "double leash"). We advise you to continue using this technique at home. Of course you can also take off the harness at home. What is double leash: A leash on the safety harness and a leash on the collar. A small line is also placed between the collar and the harness, as an  additional safety measure. Especially at the busy airport, where you walk with your dog who is still completely disoriented and anxious from the trip! If the dog then pulls away, or he pulls his head out of the collar, you still have a leash attached.  Small dogs are often better carried. The airport is very overwhelming and they will feel safe in your arms.

In the car: the journey home and subsequent trips

  ALWAYS go home by car from the airport and NOT by public transport. The dogs are disoriented, can be anxious and do not know what is happening to them during and after the flight. A ride on public transport is too impressive and dangerous for a dog that has just arrived in the Netherlands and is therefore NOT DONE.

There are seat belts for sale for your  dog. You click this into the belt holder and you attach the hook to the safety harness. Always check that this belt is securely fastened. As a result, the dog has no chance of escape if he is in the car. Therefore, onlyun loosen your dog when you have hold of  the leash in a way  that the dog can not suddenly run. Don't stop on the way home from the airport to let the dog drink or pee. Don't open doors. An anxious dog will take every opportunity to escape. The dog can start gassing during the trip but this is mainly stress. If there is someone else with you, you can ofcourse let the dog drink during the trip home  but leave the dog in the car and the doors closed. You will usually notice that the swallowing does not come from thirst but because of stress. 

You can buy this seat belt for under 5 euros at Zooplus:

In the house

 Make sure you close all the doors and windows properly when your dog has just arrived at your house. Prevent anyone from walking in from the outside. If necessary, stick the familiar yellow stickers with CAUTION on them on the doors .Also, be extra careful when someone goes out. You'll be surprised how quickly a dog can slip past someone to escape.

Doors that open are always very attractive for dogs. They go out for walks and there are all smells and sounds coming through an open door. Also, the dog can be anxious for the first time in the house (after all, most dogs are not used to this). A way out is very tempting for the dog. The "lock system" is a solution for this. The lock system means that you make sure that there are 2 'doors' before you and the dog can go outside. This can be a living room door + outside door. But possibly also a stair gate + outside door. Always make sure that when the outside door opens, the living room door or gate is closed so that the dog cannot suddenly run outside when you are not paying attention.

In the garden

 We have already taken into account what the dog needs during the adoption process, but some dogs are real houdini’s. They climb over the fence when they have a chance. Make sure that there are no items against the fence/gate where  a dog can jump on to climb over the fence. Always stay with the dog at first when he is in the garden, never leave him unattended in the garden for the first few weeks. Like a cat, a dog in distress makes weird jumps. You don't have everything under control yourself ! For example, it can start to storm, loud bangs can come off the street, a bird can fly by that the dog wants to chase .... You don't know how your new dog will react to this yet.

If there is a gate in the garden, make sure it is locked so that no one can open the gate without you noticing. If children are present in the family, teach them to always close the gate door properly. Also pay close attention to whether the gate door is really closed. Don't let friends of children, family and suppliers enter the garden without prior notice. 

All this  applies to every dog, of course, but with a rescue dog you better be 100% sure that the  garden is really completely safe.

During the walk

Our dogs often come from the street or the killing station. How they end up there is mostly unknown.. Were they stray dogs? Were they domestic dogs? Were they tied up in the garden? Anyway, often they are not used to many things, and certainly not to the busy Dutch traffic: Cars, trucks, cyclists, people on inline skates, runners, children playing. All of them things that can scare the dog andmake him run off because of it.

Therefore, always use the double-straped technique: A safety harness and a collar, both with a leash and small safety line(these materials are supplied by us during adoption). This may feel excessive, but if your dog is startled and squeezes out of the collar or the harness, the other leash will provide extra safety in this way. 

You can also attach the leash to the harness and to a waistband so that you only have 1 leash in your hand. Do not use a flex line!!! Due to the enormous power that the dog has while running, this flex line can suddenly slip out of your hands and hit the dog like a rocket, which of course brings extra fear tot he dog..

Some dogs are so smart  that they manage to escape from any harness. Check the safety harness and collar regularly and before each walk to make sure that they are still intact and do not show any weak spots. Extra safe is the 5-point safety harnesses. We are happy to deliver it at an additional cost, ask your contact person for this. Use the doubleleashed technique for at least the first three months. 

If you want your dog to run free always try this in a safe place that is fenced! And preferably a high fence ,so that your dog can not easily climb over it. On you will find several dog playgroundswhere it is safe to let your dog run free with others. Happy Dog Maspalomas also organizes several days every year, on which you can let the dogs play with other dogs in a safely fenced environment . Ask your contact person for info. If this goes well, you can practice again in a safe fenced place near your home. Only when your dog listens well, you can safely let go of your dog. This often takes several months to learn properly. Don't go too fast because before you know it, we will have to look for a missing dog. 

My dog's missing.

Please contact us directly. See form: "What to do in case of missing persons".

Go and post on the spot where your dog went missing. Put down clothes that smell like you at the place where the dog ran away, often dogs come back to this place. Also, secure clothes in a plastic bag so that there is no loss of odor. This is important if the dog is not found quickly. For example, put down food and drinks and then sit at a distance so that you can  call your dog.

When dogs escape out of fear, they go into flee mode.They do not recognize their owners anymore and people are scary to them. When you see and want to catch your dog, make yourself small and use words/phrases that you often say to your dog. Do not walk towards the dog and stay calm. 

Try to catch/grab your dog only when you are sure that you will get hold of your dog, if this fails there is a very good chance that your dog will run away again and that you can start again from scratch. Ask us for advice.

When you find your dog again, please report it  to us.


How much does a dog cost?

A dog, like any other pet, costs money every month. This will not only be the food ,but also veterinary costs and the necessary care. Unfortunately, many people buy or adopt a dog without setting a budget and then later find out that a dog costs quite a bit of money. This is also one of the main reasons why dogs are brought to the shelter. Drawing up a budget so that you know exactly how much money to spend on your dog is very important!

How much money do you have to spend on your dog? What care does he need? Does he have to go to the grooming salon? How much does a dogschool cost in your area ? Are you going to practice a dog sport? And also important, do you have enough time or do you need to use a day care or dog walking service.  Good preparation is important!

Of course, a small dog needs less food than a larger dog, so the costs will vary a little. On average, you can assume from €40 to €60 per month, depending on the brand and size of your dog. If your dog has problems with, for

example, his coat, you need special nutrition, this costs a little more than normal food.

Play & Move

A dog needs exercise, so you will also have to buy stuff for this.  Chew toys, mind games, bones and how about a dog school? If you have a boat and you often take the dog with you, a life jacket is very wise to purchase. 


Each dog needs his/her own place to sleep or to be able to retreat for a while. So you will have to buy a bench, basket or pillow. There are a lot of sizes.


Some dogs have to go to the grooming salon every 6 to 8 weeks. You also need things to keep your dog's fur neat and well-groomed. Brushes, dog shampoo,and anti-flea agents are examples of this.

An accident

In addition to the annual check-up and vaccinations at the vet, you also have to set aside money for emergencies. What if your dog suddenly gets ill and needs surgery? You can also get insurance for this, take a good look at the conditions and what they do and do not reimburse!   

The farewell

Het inescapable farewell to your faithful friend costs, in addition to enormous emotional suffering, also the bills of cremation or burial.


Adoption fee Happy Dog Maspalomas

As shown in the information already provided, Happy Dog Maspalomas charges an adoption fee of € 400,00. This amount is used by us for part of the costs incurred.

What is included in this amount? 

< >Microchip Vaccinations: pup / cocktail / rabies /  booster Deworming / flea treatment Test filaria / Mediterranean diseases (leishmania is not common in Gran Canaria) Castration / sterilization if the dog is older than 7 months  European passport Flight to The Netherlands  Collar and harness* with small safetyline and 2 leashes

Other costs / donors 

All other costs,  such as the dog's stay in the rescue (food, medicines, extra treatments, operations, purchase benches) transport benches and dogs  etc. are paid for from the proceeds of donations, auction proceeds etc.    


The adopted dog and insurance

Many of you know that there are health insurance possibilities for animals. But which one should you close, and which ones should you not? How much does it cost and what costs are covered by the insurance?

This differs per insurer. Also the age of the dog often plays a major role in this; also the breed of the dog can play a role.  

If you want to take out insurance, ask yourself the following questions:

< >What should be covered by the insurance? Is there still a deductible on the insurance? What are the "weaknesses" in your dog; What should you need the insurance for? These are a number of questions that you need to address before taking out insurance. Often it is easier and cheaper for younger dogs to take out insurance than for older dogs. With some insurers you can even insure your dog up to a certain age. A call for information to a certain insurance company is therefore definitely recommended before you take out insurance. Also pay attention to the fine print, often under the information. And as soon as you want to take out the policy, read the concept very carefully so that you do not face a surprise in the future.  

Happy Dog Maspalomas (HDM) recommends insuring a dog beause you don’t want to face unexpected expenses. Vet costs can be considerable. HDM certainly doesn't require it. This is the responsibility of the adopter himself. If you do not want to take out insurance, it is very wise to reserve money for this.  

If you are considering insurance, please inform yourself in advance. For Google, type in: dog insurance. Then you will automatically see different insurances, including the costs of them, what your deductible is, and what is reimbursed. However, it is advisable to contact the company by telephone in order to discuss everything that is important to know what is reimbursed and what is not.  Often the insurance company where you already have other insurances has dog insurance.

Examples of dog insurance are:

< >Reaal Animal and Care               Barley < >Petplan Inshared Aegon Hema  On  you can compare different insurers.

Be sure to check with your own veterinarian if he/she knows where to go, and which one he/she has the best experiences with.   



WA insurance for animals


You walk your dog nicely, neatly on the sidewalk.... Right next to you, a cyclist shaves by. It scares your dog and he jumps sideways. Cyclist falls over, bike broken and pants broken. 

You're walking in the woods. Your dog runs free  and gets into a fight with another dog. The dog has severe bite wounds and needs to go to the vet.

You're visiting friends with your dog. You're in the garden. During the time you're chatting, your dog bites a piece out of the sofa . Or bites the glasses of the lord of the house into two pieces. Or like above a bite out of the host's leg....... 

In these cases, you really need your liability insurance. A civil liability insurance that covers these types of costs in most cases. Most people already have this insurance, but if they don't, it's definitely important to get one.


If you let your dog run free unauthorisedly, the insurance doesn't cover anything. If you are unsure whether the data will be properly submitted to your insurer, have the police draw up a police report on the spot. Costs can be huge.

More information via


Diseases in Gran Canaria

In Gran Canaria there are several Mediterranean dog diseases . Our dogs are tested for these deseases before they come to the Netherlands. This is done by means of the SNAP 4Dx. Blood can be used to show whether the dog is tested positive for heartworm and the three main tick diseases.

Below you will find a short summary of these diseases and the symptoms.

Hartworm (filaria)

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites a dog, it passes on the larvae of the worm who then migrate through the body until they reach their final destination in about 3-4 months (heart and pulmonary arteries); there they grow into adult worms (macrofilariae) within another 3 months and begin to produce larvae (microfilariae) that can survive in the bloodstream for about 2 years.

The first signs  consist of occasional coughing and fatigue; later, the cough becomes chronic and is accompanied by difficult breathing – especially during and after exercise – a mild anemia and lethargy. In advanced cases, the dog can collapse even after a slight physical exertion. Most dogs eventually develop a congestive deficiency of heart function.

Treating a heartworm infection is a risky process. Both dying heartworms and their larvae can lead to shock and embolism. During treatment, dogs should be strictly monitored for side effects and their activity should be limited for a few weeks. In addition , in advanced cases, their health does not recover; even after effective treatment.

The dogs that are tested positive for heartworm in Gran  Canaria are treated directly for this.

The treatment consists of twice in injection with "Immiticide". This is a treatment of 2 days. This basically kills all heartworms. We also give an a post-treatment. This post-treatment is not mandatory but as a precaution. This means that the dog receives a table "Carbotec" every month for sixmonths. If this post-treatment is not ready when the dog comes to the Netherlands, this medication is included in the adoptionfee and will be handed over to  the adopter of the dog.


Lyme disease (or borreliosis)  is a serious condition for humans and animals and occurs in the

Netherlands in addition to the Southern countries. It is caused by an infection of the Borrelia bacterium after the bite of a tick.  The type of tick that can transmit the bacterium is the Ixodes tick. The bacteria can multiply in wild animals (such as deer and boar) without these animals getting sick. When a tick feeds on such an infected animal, the tick becomes infected. This tick can in turn infect another animal and even humans.  

Research has shown that the tick must feed for at least 24 hours to transmit enough bacteria to cause disease. Early removal of ticks  reduces the chance of developing disease.  The most common phenomenon of Lyme disease is joint inflammation that manifests itself in sudden lameness and pain in multiple joints. Other symptoms include:

< >fever loss of appetite dehydration sloomheid swollen lymph nodes We do not see a red spot around the bite as we see in people with Lyme disease in the dog or cat. Developing a bump at the site of the bite says nothing about whether or not to develop Lyme.

The treatment of Lyme consists of antibiotics. Preventive measures that can be taken are the regular administration of anti-tick agent.


Anaplasma is transmitted by the same tick as the tick that cares for Lyme disease. It is common in southern countries as well as in the Netherlands.

After 1 to 2 weeks after infection  with  Anaplasma,  the dog becomes ill.

The symptoms are:

< >Acute lethargy poor appetite fever lamenesspale mucous membranes diarrhoea vomit huidbloedingen shortness of breath -      enlarged lymph nodes -      enlarged spleen. fever Chills lack of appetite depression  anemia  

After that, the following symptoms occur (to a lesser extent):

< >swollen lymph nodes aching muscles and joints blood in the urine bleeding in the nose and elsewhere severe back or neck pain  eye problems (excretion, infections) neurological abnormalities such as seizures or difficulty walking occur -    problems with breathing or with the heart.   

Ticks are everywhere, also in the Netherlands!!

Unfortunately, these annoying animals also attach themselves to dogs and cats. In addition, as a dog and cat owner, you are no less than 50% more likely to have a tick bite.

Unprotected animals can take home living ticks. Protect your pet from this. Remove the tick as soon as possible. The longer the tick is in the skin, the greater the chance of pathogens.

Remove the tick with a special drawing tong, tweezers or drawing card.

Grab the tick as close as possible to the skin near the head bite but do not squeeze the body. Carefully pull the tick straight out of the skin. Do not use alcohol, iodine or other substances.

Preventive measures that can be taken are the regular administration of anti-tick agent.




Missing dog or life threathening Situation

In case of missing dog  and/or life-threatening situations: Directly contact the emergency number that you will receive from us as soon as the dog comes to you. Please also contact your contact person at Happy Dog Maspalomas.

                          When the dog ran away, follow the instructions you receive from the HDM employee. They'll call in a search team. 

Do not  engage several search teams on your own because then a manhunt will arise that will only drive the dog further away. Prevent people from running after the dog. A frightened dog flees!

What do you do: 

< >Put some food in a container in front of the door or in the garden and leave the door open. Also put down a bowl of water. When you see the dog, make yourself small and try to lure him or her with some food. Keep your cell phone with you. Secure a fragrance source for a sniffer dog: Use a plastic bag around your hand to put a blanket, toy that only the dog has been lying on or played with in a large bag and button it tightly. No other smells should be added.  

N.B. Do not let the dog run free  the first few weeks! You don't know the dog, don't know what scares it, so letting him run free  is NOT DONE). The dog is given a safe harness and collar with 2 leashes upon arrival. Use the first 3 months double leashes and if necessary longer. Also double-leash in your own garden.

AVOID STRESSFUL SITUATIONS! An adopted dog needs on average between 3 and 10 months to adapt to its new situation.       


We hope we have given you enough information to help you make an informed decision to adopt a dog. If you have any questions, your contacts are ready to answer them. The contact person who did the first introduction to you will also continue to guide you together with a fellow volunteer. As long as the dog lives you keep the opportunity to ask us for advice.  If you have adopted a dog from us, we are always there for you. For the first months, we will contact you several times. If all goes well, it will gradually decrease. However, we will always be there for you with advice. We would also like to invite our adopters to participate in the private group of facebook: The Golden Baskets of Happy Dog Maspalomas. Nice to exchange stories, photos and videos. Also for the rescue staff in Gran Canaria this is ofcourse super nice to see how well the dogs are doing.

 If you have any questions feel free to ask.There are no stupid questions, so don’t hesitate to ask your HDM contact. Together, we want to make sure the dogs get the good life they deserve. They also give you a lot of love and gratitude in return!

And therefore: adopt, don't shop!!  

Team Happy Dog Maspalomas

Jan 2024

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