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Bringing a new dog home is exciting, but the transition from a shelter to your home can be difficult for a rescue dog. It’s up to you to help them feel comfortable welcoming them home!

Whether you’re flirting with the idea of adopting a rescue dog, falling in love with the puppies on Instagram from your local shelter, or just waiting for the adoption papers to be approved, now is a good time to think about how to prepare your dog. new addition!

What to expect

The first thing to do is to have realistic expectations about what will happen when you bring your dog home. Although we all hope that our new puppies will immediately feel safe and happy with us, the truth is that Adopting a pet is very similar to Adopting a child. You and your new family member will be going through a long transition period as you get used to your new life together!

The most common steps to rescue a dog are:

1. The Honeymoon

As with any new relationship, you enter the honeymoon phase when you adopt a dog for the first time. This stage is often characterized by extremely good behavior, because your dog is attentive to his manners in this new and disturbing Situation. Unfortunately, it can also be exactly the opposite, because an anxious dog can act up when he is trying to find his place in an intimidating new home. Rescue dog honeymoons usually last 2 to 4 weeks after you bring your rescue dog home.

2. The Adjustment Period

As your puppy gets used to his new home and new people, he shows his real personality! Here you will learn all their good and bad habits and all the little quirks that make them unique. As you get to know them, they also get to know what you look like and what you expect from them. This phase of acquaintance can last for weeks or months.

3. The Billing Period

When your dog is finally comfortable with you, his house and your daily routine, he enters the billing period. This is when you finally see what the rest of your life together will look like when you settle into a pleasant rhythm and relationship.

How to prepare

If everyone is ready to welcome your four-legged friend, the first days and weeks in his new home will be much easier. How to help your rescue dog settle in:

Get your supplies in advance

Make sure you have everything you need to make your dog happy in his new home! This means food and treats (check with the shelter what you are eating and slowly switch to your new food), food and water bowls, a collar and leash, pet tags, a dog bed and/or crate and sturdy toys (until you know how much This includes the supplies you need to bring when you adopt a dog, such as a good leash and treats to make the experience enjoyable.

Taking things slowly

It can be tempting to do all the fun things that you dreamed of doing with your new dog as soon as he gets home, but he needs time to adapt and familiarize himself with the basics before diversifying. Wait to take your new dog to the dog park or introduce him to friends and family until he is comfortable in your home.

Making a place just for you

Entering a new environment can be overwhelming and showing your dog that he has a safe and comfortable retirement can help him feel safe. Set up a comfortable dog bed or crate if you plan to train your dog in a crate and add a few toys — even better if you can add a toy or a blanket from the shelter with your perfume on it. If you have this space, you can set up your rescue dog at night or at any time when he needs space.

Ensure the supervision and safety of dogs

If possible, schedule your dog’s arrival for a period during which you can stay with him for a few days. You want to provide as much supervision as possible while learning the rules of your new home!

If you have to start leaving them alone, be sure to make your home dog-proof. Many pets at the shelter may experience separation anxiety, which can lead to unpredictable behavior in their absence. You may want to consider closing the doors or installing a baby gate to place them in dog-proof areas of your home while you are away until you know how they will behave.

Expect Potty Accidents

Even potty-trained dogs can have unusual accidents when they arrive at a new home. Whether it’s anxiety, anxiety, a change in diet or a change in Routine, accidents are common in new dogs. Be sure to take regular toilet breaks when you get to know your needs, have cleaning products at hand and don’t punish them for mistakes, because you will learn to feel safe and comfortable in your new home.

Define a Stable Routine

Dogs thrive with a daily Routine, and this stability is especially useful in times of change. The sooner your dog can learn to expect food, walks, games, bedtime, etc., the less afraid he will be of trying to anticipate what will come next. Stay consistent and you’ll see the tail wagging as the clock ticks down to dinner!

Use positive reinforcement

We recommend that you use positive reinforcement training techniques at all times, but this is especially important during the transition period, as your dog will learn all the new habits and behaviors that you expect from him. Yelling at your dog or trying to punish him for what you consider bad behavior during this volatile period can be particularly traumatic and damage your flourishing relationship.

Do your best to ignore all the behaviors that you want to discourage and instead focus on showering them with treats, praise and love for the behaviors that you want to encourage. Soon they will do their best to get your approval and show all the good habits that you have taught them!

Take into account your individual needs

Are you adopting an older dog? A dog with special needs? A dog that has suffered a trauma? Learn as much as possible about their Situation so that you can give them the body and emotional support they need. Getting to know your unique dog is a learning process, and you will become better and better at taking care of him as you get to know each other.

Welcoming a shelter dog into your home may seem like a roller coaster at first, but with patience, preparation and a lot of love, you will form an incomparable bond. Pets are part of the family and you will always be grateful to be part of it.

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