Are you planning to adopt a furry friend in the near future? Perhaps you’ve recently adopted and welcomed your new companion into your family. Either way, bringing your best friend home can pose a few lifestyle changes for both you and your pet that you should be aware of. Help your shelter dog comfortably adjust to their new home with these tips.
What are tips to help my shelter pet adjust?
Something to be aware of is that adult shelter dogs, as opposed to puppies, can be much easier to train. Although puppies can come with less baggage, shelter dogs may have histories before they come to you, and some of their stories may not be positive. They may have been isolated, neglected or, in some cases, physically abused. Common obstacles dog owners experience are:
- Lack of socialization with other animals and/or people
- Health problems that may have developed from malnutrition or life as a stray
- Behavioral issues like barking, growling, biting, potty training regression, separation anxiety and eating problems
What things should I do before I bring my shelter dog home?
What to buy for a new dog.
If you’re adopting a shelter dog, you, of course, already have a love for dogs and a big heart, but you’ll need some equipment if you want to help your pet successfully transition from shelter to home. Some dogs will have their own unique set of needs, but here’s a basic checklist of items to have on hand before welcoming your pet into their new home.
- I.D. tags
- Dog beds
- Baby gate(s)
- Old towels
- Food and water bowls
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Veterinarian-recommended food
- A reliable veterinarian
Always be sure to check with the shelter you’re adopting from to find out if your dog will require additional equipment.
How should I introduce my shelter dog into my home?
Bringing your shelter dog home can be one of the happiest days of your life. You will likely be excited and want to kick off your lives together with full speed ahead. To avoid overwhelm, take the necessary steps to help your pet settle in comfortably.
- Don’t bring your shelter dog around the other pets too soon.Your shelter dog is surely happy to be headed home with you, but your new best friend has a lot of changes to deal with. Introducing them to other pets too fast can be overwhelming. Take one step at a time, and let them get used to their surroundings first. If you have another pet at home already, most shelters will require a meet-and-greet with both pets to ensure they have positive chemistry before the adoption. If this is your case, introduce your new dog to your other pet slowly when you bring them home, and always watch them when they interact over the first few weeks to months.
- Properly train your dog. Many shelter dogs have had little training or have forgotten what they used to know during their time in the shelter environment. Starting the training process right away will help them start off on a good paw, especially when it comes to obedience and potty training.
- Respect your shelter dog’s limitations. As you learn to understand your shelter dog’s past and possible emotional baggage, it’s important to respect their boundaries and help others (both in your family and strangers) do the same. If your pet is not friendly with strangers, you may invest in a shirt that says, “Don’t pet me” to wear on walks or outings where you’ll come into contact with new people.
- Don’t expect perfection from day one. Like most things in life, your shelter pet will take time to adjust to their new environment. They may have sleepless nights or potty training-related accidents. You may have to take extra time to socialize your pet or get them used to walking well on a leash. Knowing that these challenges will inevitably arise, you can learn to anticipate them and overcome common obstacles.
Whether your pet has been around a while or is a new addition to your household, we want to make sure that you and your pet are living your best lives. Since 1988, we have been the poop scooping professionals. We will do the dirty work for you, so you can focus on welcoming your shelter dog into their new home.