When people consider adding a new dog to their family, one of their thoughts is to go to a rescue center and choose one of the abandoned animals. Across the US, there are many thousands of rescue dogs who are all looking for a new home. If you have decided to go down this route, then you may soon find yourself bringing home a new addition to your family. However, you need to make sure that your home and your new furry friend is ready. Here are a few things you need to do.
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Before your new dog arrives, you will need to make sure that you have the supplies to make your new family member feel at home and to keep them happy and healthy. Some of the things you will need to buy are some food and water bowls, combs that are suitable for your dog’s fur and some dog shampoo and toothpaste. You will also need a harness and lead for taking your dog out for walks. The food that you buy will depend on what your dog likes, speak to the rescue center and ask what they were giving them. You should also find out if they have any allergies or any conditions that prohibit certain foods. You can also get them some nice treats such as Betsy Farms treats so that they feel pampered when they first arrive.
Make Your Home Safe
Before your new dog comes home, you need to make your home safe for them to live. That means you need to eliminate potential hazards and protect things that you don’t want the dog to touch. If you have any breakable things that are on a lower level, then these should be raised up higher or placed somewhere safe. Try to hide any electrical cords or power sockets, especially if you are getting a puppy as they love to chew. Make sure that any household chemicals such as bleach are kept out of the dog’s reach, although they might not do anything to it, some puppies and young dogs like to investigate things. The same applies to the garage; you need to put any chemicals high up out of reach, even if they are on shelves, your dog might try to get them off.
Safety in the Garden
The garden can also pose some potential hazards, so you need to check and make sure everything is safe. Check the fences around your garden and make sure there are no cracked panels or holes large enough for your dog to escape. Some dogs are highly intelligent and might try to escape from the garden, even if it’s secure, so make sure you have nothing near the fence that they can climb up on to get over it. If you are planning to give the dog an outside kennel, then you need to place it in the best place for them. It needs to be somewhere that provides sun and shade so that they don’t get too hot. The kennel also needs to be big enough to house your dog without them being cramped.
Naming Your Dog
You have probably already thought of a great name for your dog, but here are some tips on helping them remember it better. Ideally, it should be no longer than two syllables long to help them remember it but avoid single syllable names as this can get them confused by commands such as “sit” or “no.” Once you have chosen a name, get everyone in the house to use it. If some family members use a different version, then they will take longer to learn it. Finally, if they respond to their name, you should reward them with lots of praise and play. That will encourage them to respond to it all the time.
For the First Few Days
When bringing your new dog home, make sure the house is quiet as this will be easier for them. Also, avoid having friends over, or any overnight stays for a few days until the dog acclimatizes to everything. Take them to the area of the garden that you want them to use as their toilet. Let them spend some time there, but don’t expect them to use it straight away. Next, take them to their new den which should be a crate with clean bedding and some toys. Let them hang around there and get used to the new surroundings; you should also be interacting with them the whole time as this encourages a sense of pack and you as the pack leader.
Dealing with Fear
Sometimes rescue dogs might be a little frightened about their new surroundings. It can be normal for any dog, but especially one that has been rehomed. It is important that all the family are gentle and kind and interact with the dog as much as possible. Once it knows that you are kind and caring, they will start to be less afraid. During this time, don’t allow anyone to come around with any other dogs, your new pet will be learning their new territory, and so another animal might scare them.
Walking Your Dog
After they have had time to settle into their new home, you can take them out for a walk. It will be nice for the whole family to go with them as this will make them feel more secure. You can let them interact with the local dogs but be careful in case they get scared. If they start to get upset or nervous, then just carry on with the walk, they will often look to you for guidance, so if you walk on without any hesitation, they will likely follow you.
There are so many great experiences that you can have with your new dog, and they will be keen to get to know you and your family. For a rescue dog, in particular, they will be happy that you have given them another chance.