Adopting a dog is a wonderful feeling, especially when their happy tail and bottom wag around to find that they’ve finally joined their new family. But while the initial introductions are an awesome experience, adjusting to their new environment and new friends will still take a little time. That’s why it’s important as your dog’s new and loving owner to ensure that you welcome your dog into their new home as smoothly as possible.
Know who your dog is
Start out by getting as much information from the shelter as possible. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t take just their words to heart. A trip to the vet is your next step which needs to be done as soon as possible. From there, you’ll be able to get an idea of the health and condition of your new friend. This is because most animal shelters are overwhelmingly populated and as dogs come and go, information can be lost or simply misled. An initial visit to the vet will give you an in-depth look into your dog’s care, age, and present health condition which you’ll need to address with a particular diet and other specific needs.
A special place in your home
The next stage involves your home and everyone in it. Family members should be introduced first, and then any other pets you might have. When introducing dogs to each other, it’s always a good idea to set up a neutral meeting zone where they can sniff and inspect one another so that there are no “violation of territory” issues inside the home.
After that, it’s time to arrange household duties concerning dog care. Make sure that everyone knows what responsibilities they are supposed to take care of to ensure the proper care of the new family member. Feeding times should be arranged, as well as a potty training orientation. This is why it is crucial that everyone is aware of the boundaries within the house, such as no access to the bathrooms, kitchen, or particular living areas. This should also incorporate a familiarization with feeding areas and sleeping quarters.
Because your new family member’s habits will be unpredictable, don’t let them run free so soon. Keep them leashed and watch them with a careful eye. Many newly adopted dogs may prefer a crate in order to help them feel secure, especially if they’ve spent a lot of their life in a kennel. If that is the case, giving them a crate to designate as their own special private place in the home will ease their transition into their new lifestyle.
Getting to know each other
Be sure you have the time to spend with your new dog. If you bring them home without being able to spend the time handling and training them, they’ll have a far more difficult time adapting to their new home. These first few days and the proceeding weeks will be the foundation that your relationship will be built on for the rest of your lives.
Start out by getting to know each other through regular activities you would normally do, or used to do by yourself. Go for walks through the park and regularly interact with other people and their dogs (there is an increased likelihood of squirrel chasing during this time of year so be sure you use a leash at all times). You’ll need to focus on basic training, which is an especially effective method for teaching your new dog the basic tricks, such as “stay” and “return” while continuously developing a relationship. These are the basics for safety, and even if they’re familiar with the commands already, it’s important that they become accustomed to hearing your voice and listening to you. Also be sure to frequently use their name when addressing them so they’ll get used to knowing when they’re supposed to be involved in your conversations.
It’s also popular practice taking obedience classes together. Many local pet stores and professionals will work with dogs and their owners, providing helpful hints and covering the basics so that you can teach your dog to learn. This experience also gives the both of you a chance to spend quality time together while associating with other dogs and their owners.
Be patient with them. You don’t always know how your dog lived before they met you and their old habits may still be deeply imbedded. But with a lot of love and plenty of attention, your newly adopted dog will learn that they are here to stay.