Bringing an adopted dog home is very different from bringing a new puppy home. It can be exciting, rewarding, and sometimes challenging. But don’t worry, we’ve got some great tips, tricks and advice to help you introduce your adopted dog into your home as quickly, and comfortably, as possible.
Before you bring your adopted dog home
Gather the essentials to help your dog settle in
You’ll need to make sure you have everything your adopted dog will need on his or her first day in their new home. This could include:
- A lead, collar and harness
- Beds and places to sleep
- Food, bowls and treats
- Any toys you think they might like
Toys and treats could really help your new dog settle in on their first day. Setting everything up before the dog arrives and finding the perfect place for their bed and food bowl, will help your dog to feel right at home the moment they put one paw through the door.
Dog-proof your home
Dogs like to get their teeth into everything and anything, so it’s a good idea to move anything dangerous or expensive that they could chew their way through. A dog that has been housed in a shelter could have picked up a few bad habits, but removing any triggers should soon eliminate this.
The first day
Just like a child’s first day at school, your rescue dog could be somewhat anxious about their new surroundings. Here are a few steps you can follow to help them settle in:
- Bring your dog straight home. Try not to take them to the supermarket or the pet shop and bring them straight home. Your adopted dog needs to know they are going to a safe place, and too many people could make them anxious. You might want to carry blankets in the car to help your dog have a more comfortable journey.
- Introduce your dog to each family member one by one. Rescue dogs might appear timid at first, so it’s best to slowly introduce them to your family members. Bring along some treats for extra doggy points!
- Introduce your dog to other pets slowly. If you happen to have any other pets, it’s a good idea to ease your new dog in. Don’t rush it and let your new dog keep its distance. Make sure you follow the advice given to you by your adopting shelter. Some rescue dogs aren’t good with other pets, but the shelter should give you all of this information beforehand.
- Be mindful of their past. If you’re rescuing a dog, there is a chance its previous home wasn’t one it wanted to be in. But that’s okay because now they’re going to be safe living with you! Just be mindful of this when bringing an adopted dog home.
- Give them some space. We all need a little me-time occasionally, and your adopted dog is no different. Allowing them a little space, if required, will help your dog get used to their new surroundings on their own terms.
Read our guide on how to handle your dog’s first night at home for more useful tips and tricks.
Establish a routine for the future
Sleeping, eating and walking should become a routine for your new dog. Create set feeding times and toilet breaks to help them settle in much more easily. Our four-legged friends are so intelligent and will soon realise these are both a part of their daily routine.
Don’t fall into the trap of feeding your dog on demand. He or she will most certainly be adorable, but bad habits picked up in their first few days will carry on for the rest of their life.
Caring for your adopted dog
The key to a healthy and happy dog is often similar to humans. They'll crave love, care, attention, plenty of exercise and a healthy, balanced diet. Our range of vitamins for dogs blends all of the essential nutrients needed to give your dog the best start to its new life.
Adopting a rescue dog is very rewarding and he or she could soon become your new best friend. Following the above steps will help both of you adjust to your new lifestyle.
If you’re considering adopting a dog, take a look at our SuperDog Selector. The selector tool will help you find the right breed for you, taking into account where you live and the size of your home, amongst a few other simple questions. Happy adopting!