Last Updated on February 10, 2022 by Dogs Vets
The Ultimate Checklist For Bringing Your New Rescue Dog Home
Choosing to adopt an animal is one of the best choices you can make when searching for a new pet. There are countless animals in rescue centres up and down the country, and providing a home for one of these animals is truly admirable and can be very rewarding for you and your family.
When bringing a new animal into your life, though, especially one that has an unknown history, either from previous homes or as a stray, there are some more considerations to take to ensure they’re happy and safe in their new home.
We’ve put together a handy checklist for you to use to help with this process and hopefully ensure a safe and happy introduction for your new pup.
Secure Your House
One of the top considerations when bringing a new dog back to your home is to make sure it’s safe and secure. Rescue animals may be skittish, and when scared, dogs love to bolt and just keep running.
There are many ways to prevent escape attempts and even eradicate this desire entirely.
Holes in fences, gates and doors should be blocked up, and it’s worthwhile creating an air-lock system in your home to avoid escape attempts when leaving the house.
Keep a door closed between your dog and each exit wherever possible to reduce this risk. Not only would a runaway attempt be distressing for you, but it’s also a huge safety risk for your dog, as well as pedestrians and drivers too.
Agree On House Rules
As with your air-lock system, it’s important that everyone in your household is aware of the rules and regulations for your new dog.
Both safety rules such as keeping doors closed, when possible, as well as rules relating to feeding and treat times. It’s important that everyone sticks to these rules; otherwise, your dog could become confused and even stressed.
If certain members of the family feed the dog treats at random, when you’re trying to reserve these treats for your dog following commands and being well-behaved, they could start begging and getting stressed if they don’t receive treats when they beg.
Ensure everyone agrees with the rules and knows why it’s important to stick to them.
Find Out Their Diet
The rescue shelter you adopt from should provide this information for you, but make sure you know what they’ve been eating so you can continue to feed them the food they’re used to. Even if you have a specific diet in mind for your new dog, you’re going to want them to feel as comfortable as possible.
That means changing as little as you can while they get accustomed to this new space. If you do want to change their diet, do this gradually and only start doing this once they seem to be getting used to their new home.
Acquire Some Essentials
It’s worth not spending a huge fortune on dozens of toys for your new dog as you must remember that you need to see if they’ll adapt to your home or if they’ll sadly need to return to the rescue centre.
Sometimes, especially if you already have pets or if there are children around, a dog won’t always gel with their new environment, and you must do what’s right for them.
However, there’s a good possibility that everything will go smoothly if you’ve got to this stage. While you don’t want to go overboard with purchases, it’s important to get some essentials ready to keep your new dog happy and comfortable.
The TimeForPaws online pet shop has everything you’d need, from leads and collars to beds and pet foods. It’s important to get some treats and toys as well for both rewards and mental stimulation too.
Get To Know Your New Dog
While the rescue centre may have very limited background information to present you with about your canine companion, it’s important to learn as much as possible about the dog so that you can be prepared for any quirks and bad habits. It will also help you to gain an understanding of what they enjoy.
Strays are often quite jumpy and fearful of noises after growing up on busy streets, whereas dogs from abusive homes may be fearful and aggressive in certain situations or with specific types of people.
Patience and kindness are key to getting your dog to feel content and comfortable in their new home, and having an advanced level of understanding about your new dog, which you can share with the whole family, is imperative for a successful introduction.
Provide A Base Camp For Your Dog
This is a similar method to introducing a cat or other rescue animal to your home, and that is to create an area for your new dog to feel safe and secure. This room will serve as a sort of basecamp or headquarters for your dog to return to if they feel overwhelmed, as it will quickly feel like home.
This room should contain a majority of your dog’s comfort items, including beds and blankets, as well as toys. It’s important to include a water bowl in this room if you’re ever planning on shutting the door to reduce your dog’s anxiety.
Remember that while this may be a space for your dog to get away from noise and commotion, shutting doors can be a problem for some dogs, especially those with separation anxiety.
Knowing that they can get to you, if possible, even if they’ve gone away for some space, is very important.
Show Them Around Their New Home
Once they’re happy with their safe space, it’s a good idea to give your new pup a tour around your house and garden. If you’re going outside for the first time, it may be worth putting them on a lead, even if the garden seems perfectly secure.
You’ll be surprised as to how high a dog can jump and scramble over a fence when they’re concerned. Either way, showing them around their new territory will quickly help them to feel more confident.
Let them take their time taking in new scents, sights, and sounds, and if they wish to return to safety, allow them to head back to base camp.
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