5 Tips for Safely Welcoming Your Adopted Dog Into Your Home
Written by: Paige Johnson for DMK Rehoming
Photo via thatsphotography
Congratulations! If you’ve made the wonderful decision to adopt a dog, you’ve both saved a life and taken a step in making yours even better. There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition to your pup’s new home. Here are five of the most important ones:
- Make sure the kids know the best ways to interact
A new pet is exciting, but an overstimulated child can quickly overwhelm a dog that’s already facing a lot of changes. Talk to your kids about dog etiquette, and explain that the new member of the family is going to need time to adjust. They should give it space at dinnertime, pet it on its side or back, and approach it calmly. They also need to be prepared for the dog to be protective over its toys and to play cautiously.
- Help pets already at home adjust
If you already have another pet at home, you’ll want to take steps to prepare it for the new dog. Start by letting each smell a blanket or towel with the other’s scent on it, even keeping it somewhere nearby. When you move on to a face-to-face meeting, keep the dog on its leash and ease into the interaction. Don’t force either animal to acknowledge or sniff the other, and be prepared to separate them. Make sure they each have their own beds, food and water dishes, and toys, ideally in their own areas. With time, they’ll get used to each other.
- Give your new dog a safe space
Moving to a foreign environment with brand new sights, smells, people, and sounds is going to be a major adjustment for your pup no matter what. Make sure it has a safe spot to decompress, like a crate or designated corner with a bed. If the dog starts to act out, it may just need some quiet time, so be sure to leave it alone if it chooses to separate itself.
- Establish a daily routine
The sooner you can get your dog on your regular schedule, the better. Not only will it make the transition smoother for everyone, it will give the dog a comforting sense of consistency. Feed and walk it at the same times every day, and reinforce the commands and words you want it to learn. Make sure everyone has a turn with responsibilities throughout the day so your dog knows to obey each member of the family.
- Spend special time together each day
There will probably be some days that you get home and feel too tired from work or school to play with your dog, but it’s important that you give it some special attention every day. Everyone in the family should make a point to spend some time playing and petting the dog each day, ideally at different times so that it is consistent affection but not overwhelming. The more secure the dog feels, the more it will realize that this is its new home.
Above all, show your new dog love, patience, and understanding. Give each other time to adjust, and soon you won’t be able to remember not having the new pup in the family!