Rescuing a Dog? Everything about Adopting a Dog from a Rescue
Are you thinking of introducing a new furry friend to your family? Rescuing a dog can be a rewarding experience for both you and the newly adopted dog. By adopting a dog from a rescue, you will gain a loyal companion and give your new dog a second chance at a loving home.
Bringing home a rescue dog is a challenge whether it is your first time or you have been a previous dog owner. You need to understand what your rescue dog is trying to tell you so you can build effective communication and have a strong relationship with your new adopted dog.
Since you’re bringing home a shelter dog from a familiar place to somewhere new, it is vital to establish a relationship on the right foot. This article contains many tips for adopting a dog, whether you’re rescuing a puppy or an older adult dog.
The first 30 days are critical in bringing a rescue dog home; observe your dog during this period. The next 30 days won’t be fun and games, but they will test your patience and wallet. Sometimes, you will feel that you don’t know anything about the dog; other times, you will think you have just found a best friend for life.
To help you make your road more enjoyable and a little less bumpy, here is our ultimate guide for the first 30 days with your rescue dog. Our adopted dog tips will help you get a jump start on your ownership responsibilities. After all, adopting a rescue dog makes you a hero!
Buckle up and dive into the heart of the topic!
Benefits of Adopting a Dog from Shelter Center
Before going into the details of the process of adopting a rescued dog, here is a quick overview of why you need a pet in your house.
- Have Your Own Security Guard
Having a canine in your home can make you secure from outsiders. Dogs have remarkable active, alert, and vigilant instincts, especially at night.
- Be More Active
Playing with your dogs, taking them for a walk, or giving them a belly rub will not only make you happier but also helps you be physically more active.
- Cure Anxiousness
Do you need a warm cuddle on a cold night? That’s not a big deal if you have a cute furry friend. Scientific results also prove that curling up on your bed with your pets can improve your sleep and help get rid of stress and anxiety.
- Unconditional Love
When you care for your dogs, they give you unconditional love and friendship in return. They will always stand by your side, giving you a sense of relief and comfort.
- Cheaper Option
When adopting a rescued dog, you only need to pay a small adoption fee, which is a far cheaper option than buying a dog from a pet shop.
- Lifesaving Act
All over the world, millions of dogs get abandoned every year due to numerous reasons. By adopting a rescue dog, you will get them the love and the care they deserve. In fact, you’re saving a life!
Things to Consider Before Bringing a Shelter Dog to Home
Bringing a dog to your home is a multi-year commitment of care and love. You must take all the measures to ensure your pets’ safety and good health. Before getting a new dog to your family, here are the following things you need to consider:
- Talk to Your Family
Do any of your family members have allergic rhinitis? Talk to your family and neighborhood before adopting a dog from a rescue center because dog fur may cause allergic reactions in people with rhinitis allergies.
- Spend Time with Dog Before You Bring Them Home
Go to the rescue shelter and spend time with the dog you want to adopt. Meeting your selected dog will help you understand its personality, temperament, and any other history you need. Before leaving the shelter site, make sure to have all the information about the habits and diet of your dog.
- Prepare Your Home
New puppies are notorious for exploring, knocking things off, and chewing up anything. So, prepare your home temporarily before bringing a dog home. Put away poisonous things and cleaning supplies in places away from their reach. Close off the parts where you don’t want your pets to go.
- Set Up a Space in Your Home
Set up a special crate in your home that includes a bed, blanket, or pet toys. You can add something from the shelter into your space to make it more familiar for your dog.
- Arrange Training Classes
The puppy you adopt will need the training to settle in your home. Expect your rescued dog to refrain from obeying or understanding your commands. You can find plenty of online training courses with the right reinforcements to build a strong bond with your furry buddy.
- Escape Artists
Your newly adopted four-legged friend will find a spot to escape from your house and return to his former site. You should ensure proper measures, so your dog does not escape your place. You can set dog gates to give your dog a place where they don’t feel threatened.
Extra Safety Precautions to Consider
Your newly adopted dog will be so nervous about accommodating your family. This can especially be more challenging if you have other pets in your house. In this case, you need to consider the following measures:
- Ensure your new dog has separate feeding areas and bowls
- Gradually introduce your other pets to the newly adopted puppy
- Have your new and old pets in close vicinity so that they can spend time together
Tips for the First 30 Days of Dog Adoption
Adopting a rescue dog is an overwhelming and delightful process. It is similar to welcoming a new member to your family. You’re always excited to greet your new friend with all the love and care they deserve. The whole process is also exciting and delightful for your new furry friend, but they can be more nervous and confused than you.
Your newly adopted dog may find a new place strange and seem lost, but time will fix it all. Maintaining specific boundaries and setting some rules can make the transition smoother and more motivating for you and your pup.
We have sorted you if you’ve adopted a rescued dog or plan to adopt a new one. We have created a comprehensive guide on what you need to implement for the first 30 days of your dog adoption.
Day 1 – Where Do I Start?
Whether you’re adopting a little puppy or an adult dog, they will be pretty overwhelmed on the first day with you and your family. It is essential to strike a balance and give your pet plenty of support and love while giving them space to feel comfortable.
Don’t make your dog uncomfortable on the first day by holding them tightly or restraining them with cuddles. Fill your space with puzzle toys and treats with high-value goodies, like cream cheese and peanut butter. These things will make your dog feel comfortable in your loving home.
Taking extra precautions on Day 1 is also necessary to prevent your dog from unintentionally forming bad habits. Adolescents and puppies are more notorious for exploring things, so you can take some essential precautions to manage your adoption process.
For example, you can:
- Set up a confinement space for your puppy to go to when you can’t supervise them
- Provide your dog with a comfy space like a dog bed where they can feel relaxed
- Place your things away from the muzzle’s reach, such as dirty laundry, remote controls, and poisonous items.
Ensuring all these measures on Day 1 will make your dog feel safe and relaxed. On Day 1, you must take your dog to the bathroom area. So your friend can have enough time to relieve and get accustomed to essential sanitation areas!
It is common for newly adopted dogs to have accidents within the toilet area. So you must be prepared to do regular cleanups and start training your dog on good bathroom behavior. It is also customary for puppies to lose their appetite in a new environment. If your dog does not eat anything at the set time, you should not be scared by this act.
- Introduction to the Family
Give your dog a chance to meet your family members when they are all at home. If you have guests at home, request them to stream sparingly, as it can make you feel scared. Ask your family members to bond with the furry buddy to quicken his transition.
Day 2 – What’s Next?
- Provide Your Dog with Enough Accessories
Give your four-legged friend enough accessories to keep him mentally stimulated and entertained. Give him toys filled with valuable goodies and chew bones. It will help your dog redirect chewing energy from your furniture to attractive toys.
When you adopt a puppy from a shelter center, he might need to be more accustomed to some toys and accessories. Monitor your dog carefully, so he does not hurt himself with the toys and accessories supposed to entertain him.
- Give Your Dog Space and Time
Now it’s time to introduce your new furry pup to the simple fact of life. Don’t set up expectations for your dog that you will always be around them, and begin working with them on alone time as soon as possible.
If you don’t spend time with your dog just after the adoption, they can develop separation anxiety or isolation distress. Introduce your dog to being alone by gradually increasing the length of your absence over a few days.
The following tips will help introduce alone time to your dog effectively:
- Start with leaving your dog alone for 5 to 10 minutes
- The next day, try to leave the house for 10 to 20 minutes
- Increase the length of your absence over several days up to 3 to 4 hours
This technique will help your adopted dog resume a regular schedule in which you can go all day for work.
Day 7 – What Should I Do Now?
- Start Teaching Your Dog New Skills
After a week together, your furry friend is ready to settle into a new environment. Your confident dog will start exploring and testing his new world’s limits. This is the perfect time to teach your dog basic manners and new skills. Teach him basic manners when it comes to behavior inside and outside of the home.
You can sign up for an introductory manners class with your local dog care provider. Look for positive reinforcement training options, as they will help your dog learn things faster.
- Transition to a New Diet
After feeding your dog the same pattern he was used to for one week, it’s a great time to transition to a new diet plan gradually. Suddenly shifting to a new diet plan can cause your dog stomach problems or gastrointestinal upset.
After one week, you can mix your dog’s old food with the new one. Reducing old food with time with clear guidelines can make the transition less bumpy.
Following Weeks. What Else is Involved?
- Vet Visits & Grooming
Preparing your dogs for grooming and vet visits in a safe and positive environment is better. Your newly adopted dog may fear both of these things. So be ready to help him become more comfortable by holding or touching sensitive body parts!
- Look inside the ears of your dog
- Lift his tail
- Hold his paws
- Open his mouth
When touching these bits, make sure not to push your dog beyond his comfort zone. If you notice any sign of discomfort, give your dog a break. Let your dog play games in the waiting room and have a munch on a puzzle toy so that he can have a positive association with the vet.
You will find several vets that allow your dog to make unique visits before his first medical exam. This practice shows your pup that a vet does not have to be a scary place.
Similarly, you can make grooming sessions of your dog delightful and exciting. For example, if you want to desensitize your dog to a brush, touch it to his fur without actually brushing. You can also simplify bath-time desensitization by spreading peanut butter on the shower wall or a licky mat.
Meet the Developmental Needs of Your Pup.
After a few weeks, you will start to see the full expressions of your newly adopted dog. Now it’s time to check the mental and physical stimulation you’re providing to your dog. Have a regular checkup on the following things:
- Does your dog have opportunities to explore new parks, beaches, or neighborhoods?
- Are you giving your pup regular opportunities to socialize with other pets?
- Are you talking to your dog on long walks?
- Is your dog getting enough exercise?
You can provide your rescued dog with enrichment toys, like puzzle toys, meat-scented bubbles, or sandboxes for digging.
After a month, you and your dog are on the right path to building strong relationships and communication. Keep up the excellent work, and establish a strict schedule of what you want to do with your dog, such as daily walks, training sessions, and meal times. Continue giving your newly adopted pup the right opportunities to engage in mental stimulation and play with puzzling toys.
Additional Tips for the First 30 Days of Rescued Dog Adoption.
- Consistency and Patience are the Keys
Your newly adopted dog keeps shying away or not interacting with your family members. Do you need to be concerned about this issue? Absolutely not! It is common for puppies to get overwhelmed in a new environment. That’s not the case for every dog you adopt. Some dogs, like Labradoodle rescues, are naturally more friendly and adjust quickly to a new environment. In contrast, a Greyhound is not very friendly and takes time to adapt to any environment.
Every dog has distinct traits and personalities. Some get shy or anxious when transitioning to a new environment. Your dog may also manifest his anxiety as an upset stomach, which is normal.
You need to be consistent and give your pup enough time to settle in. Constraining your newly adopted dogs can irritate or make them uncomfortable.
- Stick to a Routine
Plan an exciting schedule for your dog and stick to it. Planned routines always thrive on little furry creatures. Dogs are adorable creatures that like knowing when they have mealtime, playtime, or other activities. Talking with your family about your dog’s routine before you adopt this adorable creature is vital.
When every family member is on the same page about your new dog’s routine, it will make him feel more relaxed and secure.
- Ensure the Safety of Your Dog
When you adopt a rescued dog, it should be your utmost priority to ensure his safety and sound health. Get dog insurance and register your dog with a vet to ensure his good health.
- Take Your Dog for a Long Walk
Once your dog has become familiar with all of your family members, you can take him for daily walks. At first, make sure you walk your dog with a harness or leash that offers more control over where the pup is going. Taking your dog on long walks will keep him fit and allow him to get familiar with the neighborhood and connect with the landmarks.
Responsibilities of Adopting a Rescued Dog.
The parents of the newly adopted pup have the following responsibilities to ensure the safety of their family and dog:
- Never leave your child alone with a newly adopted pup. As the dogs are overwhelmed in the new environment, they can hurt your child.
- Don’t encourage your dog to play with his mouth on human body parts or clothes. This practice may stimulate the dog to play with the children similarly, putting them at risk of injury.
- Feed your dog in a separate area protected and away from the children.
- Put out the empty bowls after feeding your dog, so he won’t consider guarding the feeding area.
When to Call the Dog Care Provider for Advice?
You need to get advice from the shelter if you observe any of the following signs:
- A rough physical play from your dog toward the child
- Any signs of physical strength from your dog toward the child
- Any nipping, snapping, or growling, even during the play
- If your dog tries to escape when the child appears
- Your dog barks or cuts in between people during intimacy
- If your dog is guarding his toys, bones, or food bowls
- If the dog gets wild or out of control with children who are running around
Remember that setting rules and maintaining boundaries will help your newly adopted puppy grow into a happier and healthier dog.
The Bottom Line.
Bringing a rescued dog to your home can be challenging and overwhelming for both you and your dog. You need to ensure all the measures to help your dog settle in comfortably and embrace his new family with good behavior. Make sure to give your pup enough time, support, and care to feel comfortable in the new environment. Regular training sessions, long walks, vet visits, timely food, and care will help in creating a strong bond between your family and the dog.
We hope our highlighted tips for the first 30 days with your rescue dog will help you move on your way to building trust and communication with your new furry buddy.
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