8 Tips When You Bring Your Adopted Dog Home
14 May, 2013

If you have just adopted a dog and this is a first time for you, you are probably excited and nervous.  As with any new pet, it does take a little time to adjust.  But, with patience and preparation, the new addition to your family will be happy in no time.  Of course, this could apply to cats too, but dogs are a little more work (sometimes).

1. Buy your pet supplies in advance

When you bring your new dog home, make sure to have all your supplies ready for your pup.  Make sure to buy a leash, some dog food, a water bowl and then, of course, a toy or two.  And order an identification tag.   Some shelters will recommend or already have a pet identification chip implanted in your pup which is always a good idea so you can always find him if he runs away.

2. Make sure to bring your dog home when you have time to bond

When you bring your newly adopted dog home, make sure it is when you have some time.  If you work during the week, it might be a good idea to bring the dog home over the weekend when you can spend some time with him or her.  It is important to have some initial bonding time with your new found pet.  If you have other pets, you might want to separate them for a while until everyone gets to know each other.

3. Take your dog to the Vet for a check up

When you bring a dog home from a shelter, many of the shelters and/or rescue groups are really great about giving your pups the shots they need.  However, if it is an older dog, the shelter might not have the exact medical records for your pup, so it is best to bring your dog the vet.  Further, if you have other pets at home, make sure they are all up to date on their shots and vaccinations.

If your dog has not been spayed or neutered, make the appointment as soon as possible.  There are too many homeless puppies and dogs which is why you adopted your dog from a shelter in the first place! Your veterinarian will let you know when is the best time to spray or neuter your dog.

4. Your dog will need to training and discipline

Dogs need rules and a semblance of order.  Make sure your dog knows that you are the ‘boss’ from the start.  If you catch your pup doing something you don’t want him to do, don’t get angry.  Simply let your dog know right away in a disapproving voice that he or she has misbehaved.  On the flip side, make sure to reward your dog for doing the right thing with love and praise.  It is also recommended to enroll your dog in a dog obedience training or group.  A well trained dog is a happy dog.

5. Your dog might not be housetrained

When you bring home a dog from a shelter, he or she might need a housetraining reminder.  If you haven’t housetrained a dog before, you can get some tips on how to housetrain your dog from your trainer or from the rescue group.  Like all training, be consistent, do NOT get angry if your dog has an accident and praise your dog for eliminating in the correct places.

6. Crate Training

People and dog advocates have different thoughts on crate training.  Some dog owners don’t like the idea of putting a dog in a crate.  But, it really is more of a room for your dog.  It certainly makes housetraining a lot easier.  And the crate does not have to be for the entire day, just a few hours a date.  If you decide to go this route, make sure that the crate does not have wire where your dog’s paws will get caught and it should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and sit comfortably.  If crating isn’t an option for you, try another kind of confinement to a dog-proofed part of your home, such as a kitchen or family room.

7. Make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise

When bringing your new dog home, you need to make sure to you give your dog plenty of exercise and game time.  Take your dog on a run or walk with you.  Go to the dog park and throw a Frisbee or twig; get your new pup up and out.  If you go on an outing, take your dog with you.  This will give your new pup a sense of freedom and fun.

8. Patience and understanding

The most important thing you can do for your dog is to be patient and understanding in your expectations.  Remember that this is a big (but great) adjustment for your dog so you will need to give your pup a little time to acclimate.  But with love, caring and understanding, your dog will be a new happy member of your family in no time!

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