How to Get Ready to Adopt a New Dog

A Labrador Retriever chewing on a plush toy

When you choose to adopt a dog from a shelter or rescue group, you are helping homeless animals all over the world! You may start preparing for the arrival of your new canine friend even before you've picked the appropriate puppy.

Bringing home an older dog or from a shelter or rescue is different than bringing home a newborn puppy. Each has advantages and disadvantages. You should be aware of what to expect in the weeks after the arrival of your newly acquired dog in your house. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be to shift.

Preparing to Bring Home a New Dog

Make sure you have spaces set up where your dog can feel comfortable and that your home is dog-proofed before bringing it home. The dog's bed, food and water dishes, and toys should all be within reach. If you wish to your dog, make sure the crate is also ready.

Find out whether you may take a particular item from your new dog's or shelter (such as a toy, bed, or blanket). This might help your house feel more like home.

What You Need

You'll need some ahead of time so you don't have to rush to the shop and can spend more time with your new puppy.

  • Dog bed and crate (if using)
  • Food and water bowls
  • Toys
  • Dog food
  • Collar, ID tag, and leash
  • Veterinary records

Prevent a Lost Dog

Have a and ID tag with your phone number made in advance. Bring it with you when you pick up your new dog.

In the worst-case situation, if your dog escapes or wanders away, it will most likely be unable to return home. Remember that the dog will be in an unusual environment and may be nervous or agitated. When it's outside, be particularly careful to keep it on a leash or in a securely secured area to avoid it becoming lost.

Transition the Dog's Food

Make sure you have adequate food for your new dog's first few weeks by finding out what he or she is presently consuming. If you want to change the food, let it at least a week to adjust to the new diet. Then, over the course of a week or so, gently introduce the new meal.

Stomach discomfort and diarrhea can be caused by both stress and a change in nutrition. Keep a watch out for these or any other indicators of sickness, which can be exacerbated by stress.

Bond With Your Dog

Spend the first few days bonding with your new puppy, but remember to give it some room. Allow it to choose to spend time in the crate rather than with you. Treats and a soothing, calm voice, on the other hand, might encourage your dog to interact with you.

You must still develop a routine and establish "home rules." Feeding, walking, and socializing with your dog should all be done on a daily basis. Establish any locations in or around your house that are off-limits to your dog up front. This may be accomplished by either restricting access to the locations or utilizing the " " command.

Begin Training Immediately

should start from the moment your new dog comes home but it's best to start slowly.

The focus is housetraining. Many shelter and rescue dogs are already housetrained, but expect a few accidents in the first several weeks. Start with simple instructions and loose-leash walking for additional training, then progress to stunts and advanced training. Above all, remember to be optimistic.

Schedule a Vet Visit

Take your new puppy to the vet as soon as possible after it arrives home. Establishing a rapport with your veterinarian and opening channels of communication early on is a smart idea. This way, if your new dog gets sick, your veterinarian will have a better picture of its general health.

The shelter or rescue group should provide you with any vaccine and previous health records. Be sure to bring these to your first vet visit.

Let Your Dog Adjust

Be mindful that your newly adopted dog may act differently at home than at the shelter or foster home. A long conversation with the shelter personnel or foster parents might provide insight into the shelter's personality and routines. However, there's no way of knowing how the dog would act until it arrives at your house.

Your new dog's genuine personality may take weeks or even months to emerge. Be patient and compassionate while being consistent. Ensure that it receives adequate exercise, mental stimulation, sociability, and attention. All of these factors contribute to a long, healthy, and happy marriage.

Preventing Problems With Your Dog After Adoption

If you have children, attempt to introduce them to the dog before bringing it home so that the dog recognizes them. Introduce the dog to the children in a peaceful atmosphere at home. Maintain control by keeping the dog on a leash, and never leave youngsters alone with the dog.

You should also develop guidelines with your children that are age-appropriate. Children should be taught not to chase after the dog, play with its toys, or tug on its tail or ears, for example. Teaching children basic dog behavior will go a long way toward reducing bites and nips.

Any pets you already have in the house should be treated with the same caution. Take your time introducing the new dog to the existing dogs and cats, giving those creatures priority and causing as little disruption to their routines as possible.

Within the first few weeks to months of your dog's residence, do not plan any large travels, renovations, or changes. A trip to the kennel, moving furniture, or workmen going in and out of your house may all cause stress to a pet, especially one who is in a new setting.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.