Adopting a dog can be a very exciting and life-changing experience for both you and your new best friend. With so many animals in need of loving homes, every adoption makes a difference. We’ve put together a few tips for welcoming home your new family member.
It may take a few days or up to a few weeks for your dog to decompress and adjust to their new life. Many rescue dogs have unknown histories, come from stressful shelter environments or have been transported long distances before they land in your home. Know that it will take time for your pup’s personality and comfort level to normalize. In the meantime, you may have to deal with some potty accidents and unexpected behaviors - your new dog may be particularly clingy or aloof as they adjust.
To help both you and your new dog adjust to life together, it can be really helpful to build a routine that works with your daily life. Start with taking your pup out to potty first thing in the morning, before bed, after mealtime, and after any playtime. Consider a feeding schedule - do you plan to feed your dog once, twice or three times a day? Most adult dogs do fine with one or two meals a day, but young puppies typically need to be fed more often.
Staying at home now? Keep in mind how your schedule might change in your more ‘normal’ life. What time do you leave and get home from work?
We all want to show our new best friend off, introduce them to new family members, jump into adventures. This is the fun part of having a dog in your life! Unfortunately, right now with social distancing, that isn’t entirely possible, though that may not necessarily be a bad thing. Be sure to balance new, exciting experiences with plenty of rest and relaxation. For the first couple of weeks, keep new experiences often and short. This not only keeps your dog from getting overwhelmed but builds their enjoyment of new experiences.
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