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Bringing home your newly adopted or rescued dog.

March 5, 2011 11 comments

My brother and sister-in-law just adopted a dog from a rescue. Dozer is adorable and a bit shy, so I wanted to send them something to help them along in the first few days of their new life with Dozer.

What I discovered is that there are a lot of great posts on the internet about the things you need to buy to get ready for bringing home a new pet, but for some reason most of them focus on the “things” you need (i.e., food, food bowls, crates, etc.) and not on the most important part – what TO DO and what NOT TO DO when you bring home a newly adopted or rescued dog.

I finally found one that had some of the advice I was looking for here.

Among the things it lists are:

1. Limit the space your new pet has access to (in your home).

2. Limit the amount of people visiting the animal or your home.

3. Always supervise your pets to make sure they are getting along.

4. Do exercise activities daily!

I wanted to add onto this list with a few extra thoughts:

5. If you can, wait until the weekend to bring your new dog home – It can be a bit overwhelming for a dog to come into a new environment. It makes it a little easier to adjust when they have someone there who can show them the house, get them into a routine and help them to bond.

6. NO DOG PARKS or VISITS TO THE PET STORE – I cannot tell you how many times I have a seen a dog (that was adopted from our shelter) at the dog park or a pet store only a few hours after being adopted. It is extremely overwhelming for a dog to be placed into a new home with people they don’t know (and no, hanging out with them for a few hours at the shlter does not mean they know you). Taking them to a dog park or the pet store is like throwing them into the deep end of a pool if they don’t know how to swim. Buy your pet supplies ahead of time and stay closer to home when you get your new dog. Trust me. It will pay off in the long run.

7. Never leave your new dog along with kids– This is especially true for families who have no children, but maybe have nieces or nephews who stop over. Kids are generally overwhelming to dogs anyways. They’re erratic. They run, they stumble, they change directions suddenly, they can be loud, and they can be scary to new dogs, especially if they haven’t had previous exposure to kids. Keeping the environment low-key is so important in the first few days. Wait to introduce kids to your new dog (unless they are your own). When you do introduce them, make sure they (kids) know not to run at or away from the dog, not stare the dog in the eyes, and if they do give the dog a treat, it should be on an open palm. Also, consider doing it in the yard or neutral location.

I welcome other recommendations from my trainer, rescue and shelter friends, but these are just a few of the important ones I wanted to share.

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