October is Adopt-A-Dog Month! It’s HARD! Am I right? Seeing all those cuties in need of homes. Every time you visit a shelter, you’re just tempted to make the snap decision and adopt them all. Right? If you’ve endlessly tried to convince your spouse or even yourself to take on the role of a full-time dog guardian… here’s your window! This time it might actually work.
We even went ahead and outlined six things to do when adopting a new dog!
Dog-proof the area where they will spend most of their time
Letting a dog into an unfamiliar environment can bring trouble. It’s a safety precaution to dog-proof your house, especially in areas you think are unsafe for dogs. Depending on the dog you’re adopting, stairs and cables may need to be covered to prevent injuries and unnecessary harm. The most important room to dog-proof is the room they will be sleeping in and spending most of their time. Sometimes life is too busy to keep an eye on dogs 24/7, and if they are trouble makers, they will find a way to cause trouble, especially if they’re in an unfamiliar setting. Be sure to be cautious and make your home safe until your dog gets used to its surroundings.
Get the doggy supplies
Getting doggy supplies is a must when getting a new dog. It’s recommended that you get their supplies ready the day before or the day of their adoption so you can have everything ready for them when you get home. Things like water and food bowls, beds, toys, and a collar are all staples you should have prepared for your new family member. Not only is this welcoming to your new dog, but it also helps your dog feel comfortable by associating similar things they had at the shelter. Be sure to ask your store associate for product recommendations, as they may suggest things and items that fit the specific needs of your pup.
Introduce the family
Once your dog is situated and comfortable at home, it’s time to take the next step and introduce them to friends and family. Socializing your dog is very important, especially around those you love, since you want them to behave accordingly. We recommend introducing new people to your dog outdoors, so they are in an outdoor environment and do not get territorial. We also recommend keeping your dog on a leash to assess their reactions and have control of any situation. Initial meetings should be short and sweet so that new scents can become familiar to your dog. It’s important not to let new people or dogs get too close in the initial introduction unless you notice that everything is fine. Using treats and positive reinforcement can help during new introductions.
House & yard tour
The initial introduction to your home should also include the outside of your house, including your yard. You want your new dog to get a good understanding and sniff of their new surroundings, so an outdoor tour is essential. Keeping your dog on a leash for the first time may be ideal just in case something spooks them in the yard. While taking them on the outdoor tour of the yard, keep an eye on their reactions and behaviors. They may be reactive and may want to run away at first. Keeping them on the leash can allow you to keep them safe and reassure them that everything is okay with you by their side.
Start training right away
Training your dog is essential. Whether your dog is old or young, some basic training is always necessary. It’s better to start training your newly adopted dog right away so that they can adjust to your cues and style of training. Training can begin gradually, but the sooner your start, the better. Dogs are quick to catch on; you can always teach an old dog new tricks with patience and consistency. Be sure to make training a part of your routine with your new pup to work on creating and strengthening the bond you have.
Schedule a vet visit
Sometimes adopted dogs do not come with medical records or vaccinations. Be sure to make an appointment with a vet soon after you adopt your dog. This will allow you to assess if the vet is right for you and give you the medical and health information you need about your dog. A check-up and making sure your dog is up to date with vaccinations is never a bad idea. If your dog came from a shelter, be sure to ask for their medical records, as this will help your veterinarian understand your dog’s health in the long run.
Once your new furry friend is all settled and comfortable, spend the first few days bonding with your new dog without being overbearing. This will allow your dog to get comfortable in their new environment. After a couple of days, you should start seeing your dog’s personality coming through. Adopting a dog can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. Since October is Adopt-A-Dog Month, nothing would make us happier than you saving a pet’s life.
We’re always just a call or message away if you ever need someone to help you take care of your future fur-baby. Contact us today!