Updated: Apr 12, 2022
It's so exciting you have adopted a dog but now how will you all adjust? The first few days are so important and can sometimes be a tough transition, so here are a few tips to help you settle your rescue dog into your home and their new life.
Before you bring your new dog home be sure you have a crate or bed set up that will be theirs. If you are bringing them home via car, a dog car seat or sling with a harness tether to keep them safe and secure; they will be excited and nervous and good idea to get them use to the car.
By adopting a dog you a giving them a second chance in life and a well deserved one. Most often you won't know the history of your adopted dog; where they came from, were they mistreated? Were they living on the streets? So for the first week it is a really important time to establish trust and good routines. First create a safe and loving space for your new dog, give them an area for their crate or bed were they can retreat to as it can be very overwhelming and new for them.
Don't go overboard on day one. Keep their environment calm and refrain from introducing them to a lot of people, toys and spaces. If introducing to a family, try one family member at a time just so they can easily adjust to each one of them and build confidence. Let the dog come to each family member. You don't want your dog to feel overcrowded and this lets them adjust to their new life in their own time.
Establish routines, even if your dog doesn't take to them right away start on the first day. Where does the dog sleep, eat and when is it time for a walk. Your dog will settle in faster if you stick to a schedule. If possible it is best to be home the first few days with your new dog as this will help them feel safe and secure, something they have been missing up until now.
Don't be alarmed if your dog doesn't eat much or acts anxious, this is a big adjustment for them. As long as you dog is drinking water and eating something there is no reason to worry.
After the first three days you will have a good idea of your dogs personality, likes and challenges; this will help you make some decisions of what your dog requires in way of socialization and training. You can slowly begin a training routine at home with your furry friend and if need be attend obedience training or dog socialization classes.
Finally at the end of the first week schedule a visit to your vet. Most dogs coming from a shelter have been spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and health checked, however, it is good idea to get them used to the vet and ensure everything is up to date and address and health concerns you have with your vet.
You have done a great thing adopting a dog in need but know it takes time for you all to adjust. They may have an accident or chew something they shouldn't but don't be disappointed some dogs take a little longer to settle in but the love they give to you makes it all worthwhile.