How to Get Ready for a Rescue Dog and Welcome Him Home
You’ve finally done it! You’ve made the decision to adopt a new family member – you’re giving a rescue dog a second chance in life.
The dog has been chosen that you feel is the perfect fit for your family.
But now what?
What will the reality of bringing your new dog hope be like?
Preparing for Your Newly Adopted Dog
Hopefully before you even started looking for a pet you made sure your apartment or house rental allowed for pets and you paid any fees necessary.
Next, you need to be sure your home is safe for a dog. Especially if you’re adopting a puppy you’ll need to be sure no electric cords are easily accessible to be chewed on. Put cleaning products up high.
Use baby gates to block off a portion of your house. It’s best if your dog doesn’t have access to the entire house at first until you’re sure he’s housebroken.
Buy all the needed supplies:
- Food bowls
Bringing Your Dog Home
Take some time off work, if possible, when you bring your new dog home. It’s good if he’s not left alone too much during those first few days, preferable the first week.
Though this is a joyful occasion don’t make it a party. Just the family should be home so your dog is not overwhelmed with strange people. Make your home as calm as possible.
Resist the urge to take your dog a lot of places during the first month. That can happen at a later date when he’s adjusted to his new owners.
Not all rescue dogs are housebroken so you’ll need to research training methods. Take him out every hour for the first few days and keep him in his crate at night.
Reward him with attention and sometimes treats when he does his business outside and for other good behavior.
Speak firmly to your dog when training him but do not yell or ever hit him. Many rescue dogs come from abusive situations and this will add trauma and make their training go even slower. They need to respect your authority but not be fearful of you.
Don’t be upset if your dog is nervous at first and whines the first few nights. This is not unusual and will stop once he’s more comfortable. Be patient.
The first few days are all about building trust and bonding with your dog. Spend time with them, especially first thing in the morning and right before bedtime. Pet them, talk to them, play with them, give them a few treats. Create a loving environment.
From day one, set up a consistent routine. This will help your dog feel more secure when he understands what happens and when.
Remember, every dog has their own personality and will respond differently to new situations. So don’t expect him to react as your friend or neighbor’s dog did. Let him adjust in his own way in his own time frame.
The transition time might be stressful, but it will be worth as your dog truly becomes part of the family.
You may also want to watch this helpful video to get more advice on preparing for your new pet:
And if you're ready to take move forward and adopt a dog, enter your name and email address to get your free adoption kit below.