How to Make Your Shelter Dog Feel At Home
It’s exciting to bring home a new puppy, but transitioning a dog from an animal shelter into your home can be difficult for a rescue. You’re responsible for making them feel at home.
If you’re thinking about adopting a dog from a shelter, or if you fall in love with puppies on the Instagram of your local shelter, it’s a great time to start planning for your new pet!
What to Expect
You should first set realistic expectations about what you can expect when bringing your dog home. Adopting a dog is similar to adopting a baby. We all want our pups to feel secure and happy in their new home. You and your new family member will go through a period of adjustment as you adjust to your new lives together.
Most commonly, the phases involved in rescuing your dog are:
You’ll experience the honeymoon phase, just like in any new relationship. During this phase, your dog will often behave well as they adjust to their new environment. It can be the opposite, as a dog that is afraid may misbehave as it tries to fit in a new and intimidating home. The honeymoon period for rescue dogs usually lasts 2-4 weeks following your dog’s arrival.
The Adjustment Period
Your dog will reveal his true personality as he gets used to his new home and people. You’ll learn all about their quirks and habits, both good and bad. As you learn about them, they also learn more about you and what you want from them. This period of getting to know you can last weeks or even months.
The Settlement Period
The settlement period begins when your dog is finally comfortable around you, your home, and your daily routine. You can finally imagine your future together once you have settled into a cozy relationship and rhythm.
How to Prepare
If you have everything ready, it will be much easier for your pet to settle in. Here are some tips to help your new rescue dog adjust:
Prepare Your Supplies in Advance
You should ensure your dog is happy and comfortable in its new home. This includes food, treats, a collar, a leash, and pet tags. You can also consider asking the shelter what their dog eats and gradually switching to a new food. It includes everything you need to adopt a dog, such as a leash and treats.
Take Things Slow
You should start doing all the fun things you’ve always wanted to do with your new puppy as soon as it gets home. But they must get used to the basics and adjust before moving on. It would help if you waited to take your dog to the park or to introduce them to family and friends until they are comfortable with you.
Make Space for Them
If you plan to crate train your dog, set up a cozy crate or a comfy bed for them. Add some toys and make sure they feel safe. If you plan to crate train your dog, set up a cozy crate or a dog bed. Add some toys even better if the dog’s scent is on a blanket or toy. This space will make your dog feel more secure at night or whenever they need space.
Ensure that you supervise and dog-proof your home
You should schedule your dog’s arrival for a time when you can stay at home for a few nights. As they learn the rules of their home, you want to supervise them as much as possible.
If you must leave them alone, you should make your home dog-proofed. Shelter pets can suffer from separation anxiety, which can cause them to behave unpredictably while you’re away. Close doors or install a baby gate in areas where dogs are allowed to roam freely until you learn how your pet will behave.
Expect Potty accidents
Even potty-trained dogs can have some strange accidents in their new home. Accidents are familiar with new dogs, whether caused by fear, anxiety, or a change to their routine. As you learn about their needs, provide frequent bathroom breaks. Have cleaning supplies available. Don’t punish your dog for making mistakes. They’re still learning to feel comfortable and safe in their new home.
Establish a Stable Routine
A daily routine is essential for dogs, providing them stability and security. This is particularly useful during times of change. Your dog will feel less anxious if they know when to expect food, walks, and playtime. Keep your dog’s routine consistent, and you will notice that the tail starts to wag when it is time for dinner!
Use Positive Reinforcement
It’s essential to use positive training techniques, especially during the transition phase when your dog is learning all the new behaviors and habits you want from them. During this time of turmoil, yelling at your dog and punishing them for bad behavior can cause trauma. It will also damage your relationship.
It would be best to ignore the behavior you wish to discourage and reward them for good behaviors. Soon, they will try to get your approval and show off the good habits you have taught them.
Consider Each Person’s Unique Needs
Are you considering adopting an older dog? A dog with special requirements? A dog that’s been traumatized? It would help if you learned as much about the situation as possible to provide them with all the emotional and physical support they need. You will know more about your dog as you spend time together.
It can be a rollercoaster of emotions to welcome a dog into your family. But with love, patience, and preparation, you will have an incredible bond. They’ll always be grateful to you for bringing them into your family.