How To Welcome a Rescue Dog To Your Home
What a wonderful day! You’ve been pondering adopting or fostering a rescue dog for quite some time now, and how lucky those fur babies are to have you think of giving them a loving home.
With great power comes great responsibility.
Having the privilege of being able to house a rescue dog comes with great responsibility, but we’re sure you already know that. Still, we know that there’s room for questions and possible need for more information when it comes to welcoming a rescue dog to your home - adopted or fostered.
Let’s dig into this doggy dish.
Prepare Your Home
Before bringing a dog into your home - especially if this is the first doggo you’re welcoming into the family household - you’ll want to make sure your house is properly dog-proofed. Items, foods, and plants that are harmful to dogs are stowed and not easily accessible and breakables are out of reach. Anything you don’t want chewed on or potentially damaged? Stow those somewhere out of reach.
Have The Right Supplies On Hand
Make sure you have the following:
- Walking accessories (harness and leash)
- Collar with an ID tag
- Dog crate
- Gates if necessary
- Grooming supplies
- Dog bed
- Treats and toys
- Cleaning supplies including an enzymatic cleaner
After you figure out when your dog is ready to bring home, you want to make transportation go as smoothly and comfortably as possible for your dog. This may require having an additional person with you who can either drive or pay attention to the dog while you drive.
It’s important that you don’t add any potential stress to their transition so avoid making stops along the way home, don’t overwhelm your dog with big crowds or strangers, and let your dog check out the house and sniff around while they’re on a leash at least until they seem more relaxed.
If you live in a household that has more than two people, don’t introduce them to your dog all at the same time. Go one by one and emphasize to everyone that it’s important to be calm, taking care to not scare your dog in their new home.
IF YOU HAVE ANOTHER DOG OR CAT: Be sure to monitor their interactions until you’re certain things are clear to go. Pay attention to their interactions, and if you have a cat, it may be best to secure them until you know how the dog reacts to cats. First interactions should be brief and not in an enclosed space that doesn’t have options for your current cat or dog to get away if they feel unsafe.
The Daily Lifestyle
Introduce a routine to the dog’s everyday living. Until they’re fully transitioned into your home, have their crate or dog bed where you would like them to grow accustomed to as their sleep spot.
Consult a veterinarian for recommended foods and portions as they may vary depending on the breed and age or previous circumstances as a rescue. For walks, don’t overwhelm them and keep walks brief until you develop a relationship with one another and until you know they aren’t overwhelmed by their surroundings.
For tips on separation anxiety, check out this blog post.
What’s most important….
Patience is key here. Your dog may require a little or a lot of time to adjust to their new surroundings and create a bond with you. This may call for training. Don’t feel disheartened if the transition doesn’t go as smoothly as you’d like it to. All dogs are different and rescues just need love and patience as they figure out that your home is their new forever home.
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