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woman with rescued shelter dog

11 Tips for Welcoming a Shelter Dog into Your Home

Bringing a dog you’ve adopted from a shelter into your home can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a lifetime. It’s hard to know what a shelter dog went through before meeting you, so it’s vitally important to welcome her home in a way that will help her feel safe and acclimate smoothly.

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Before Bringing Your Dog Home

Even if you don’t know everything about the dog you’re adopting, there are still some ways to start getting prepared so that her arrival can go smoothly.

Tip #1: Dog-proof your home.

This pertains to any areas of your home where your dog will be allowed to go. Make sure household chemicals are stowed securely away or out of reach. It’s also a good idea to keep electrical cords out of plain view or to tape them in place. Also, be sure to remove any plants from your home that are toxic to dogs.

Tip #2: Designate a place in your home where your dog can spend most of her time.

Every dog needs a clean, cozy bed to rest in. Whether or not you’re crate-training your dog, it’s also wise to set up a crate that your dog can retreat to if she feels overwhelmed or needs rest. That being said, do not put your dog in a place where she will be totally isolated from you, such as a garage or basement.

Tip #3: Establish a “care schedule” for your dog.

Before bringing your dog home, create a schedule for when you will feed, walk, and train your dog, as well as how often she should be let out to go potty.

Tip #4: Have some toys and treats ready.

It’s important to start reinforcing good behaviors in your dog from day one. Make sure you have some treats ready to reward your dog for going potty in the right place and some chew toys to distract your dog if she starts to chew on your belongings.

On Your Dog’s First Day at Home With You

From day one, you want to start setting expectations by slowly familiarizing your dog with their new home and family and rewarding good behavior.

Tip #5: Keep things low-key.

Avoid bombarding your dog with a bunch of friends and family members upon their arrival. When it comes to introducing your kids to the new dog, make sure they understand some ground rules for approaching and treating the dog. Affection and physical interaction should not be forced on the dog, as it can be very easy for an adopted dog to get scared in a new environment.

Tip #6: Show your dog their potty area right away.

As soon as you bring your dog home, keep her on a leash and take her directly to the area where you want her to go potty. When you see her use this potty area, reward her with a treat to reinforce this behavior. Even dogs that have been housetrained for years can have accidents when placed in an unfamiliar environment, so remember to be patient as your dog acclimates.

Tip #7: Let your dog get familiar with your home.

Keeping your dog on a leash, let her explore and sniff around your home and yard. This will help her familiarize herself with it faster. Keep walks short and close to home until you get a better idea of how your dog responds to her environment.

Soon After Bringing Your Dog Home

It can take a long time for a dog to acclimate to their new home, but there are steps you can take to help make this easier while also ensuring that your dog stays healthy.

Tip #8: Schedule a check-up with the vet.

Bring your dog and your dog’s health records to a veterinarian for a check-up to make sure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on vaccines. Your vet can also recommend a diet and feeding schedule based on your dog’s dietary needs.

Tip #9: Help your dog adjust to time spent alone.

In order to prevent separation anxiety, it’s important to get your dog used to the idea that you’ll be leaving and coming back on a regular basis. You can start out by leaving them in their crate with a toy or two, then returning after a short interval of time, and then repeating this a few more times throughout the day.

Tip #10: Keep your dog’s training and care schedule consistent.

This is especially important if there is more than one person in your household. Make sure you are all using the same language and methods when it comes to training your new dog so that she can learn faster and won’t be confused by mixed messages. It’s also important to establish routines with your dog early on so that she can get used to a consistent schedule and understand what’s expected of her.

Tip #11: Be patient, and monitor your dog’s behavior.

It will take some time to get to know your dog’s behavior and temperament, and it isn’t uncommon for a dog’s personality to evolve over the first few months as she adjusts to you and her new environment. Make sure to spend adequate quality time with her so that you can learn to read her while also building trust with her.

Help Feed a Pup in Need

During the month of August 2019, Bug Commander, “The Pest Control Company for Animal Lovers,” is teaming up with customers to help feed dogs at a local shelter. Here’s how you can help:

  • Donate at least 1 bag or 5 cans of dog food through Bug Commander.

  • If you donate, you’ll receive 15% off initial or one-time pest control services!

  • All food will be donated to a local animal shelter.

Contact us about this “pawesome” August promo: (214) 972-2988

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