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Adopting a Dog: What You Need to Know

Woman and Dog

(Photo by Adam Griffith on Unsplash)

Adopting a dog is a wonderful thing. You give them a loving home and you also get a new buddy to spoil. However, settling an adopted dog into a new home does take time and there are a number of things you need to do during the adjustment period.

Your dog might be nervous at first, but with time, it will settle into its new surroundings and show its true personality. Have a look at these tips below.

1.   Take Your Time Making a Decision

Don’t be in a massive hurry to make a decision. This a large commitment and you want to make sure it’s right for both you and the dog before you proceed. Evaluate whether you have the right environment for homing a shelter dog and figure out which dog is best suited to your home.

Many of these dogs have been through stressful situations in the past, so it’s important to be able to offer them a home that’s going to suit their needs.

2.   There Will Be an Adjustment Period

Just as a human would take time to settle into a new home, so too would a dog. It might take weeks (or even months) before your new dog becomes accustomed to its environment, so it may be quite timid in the early days.

Make sure you keep persevering and offer a loving, healthy environment, and eventually you will see your dog’s true personality coming through.

3.   Maintain a Routine

Dogs will feel more comfortable if they have a routine and they know what to expect from their day. If you can mimic the schedule your dog had at its shelter by allowing it to eat, sleep, and exercise at similar times, then this can help your dog adapt quicker to its new surroundings.

As your dog adjusts, you can gradually adapt the schedule to your needs, but make sure there is still that sense of routine in your dog’s life. You can gradually introduce them to new experiences over time as they becomes more confident in their new home. Activities such as going for a walk or a light jog in the morning will increase their sense of awareness. However, do make sure that you put them on a running harness for dog for their safety. You can also reward it with treats from places like CeeBeeDoo.

4.   Training

As your new dog starts to become more comfortable in its environment, it’s important to start setting the rules of the house through training.

When you’re making rules, it’s important that you’re consistent with them, otherwise it can confuse the dog and cause stress. If the rule is that the dog isn’t allowed on the couch, then that has to be the rule all the time, not just when you choose to enforce it.

Mixed signals can be very stressful for dogs, so make sure you are very clear in your training, especially when it comes to crate training. Training is a gratifying experience and a terrific way to bond with your dog. Some people enjoy teaching their dogs so much that they decide to start a pet training franchise to help others reap the same benefits with their furry friends.

5.   Check-Ups

Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and that they have been microchipped. Accidents can happen, so if you’ve ensured that they’re microchipped, then it can put your mind at ease.

Regular check-ups are a great opportunity to ask your vet about any questions you might have and to get professional advice about integrating your adopted dog. Make the most of these opportunities and learn as much as you can.