Preparing to Bring Home a Rescue Dog

Introducing a dog into your family can be an incredibly rewarding experience. They can bring so much joy and excitement and love. Adopting a rescue dog gives the animal another chance at finding its forever home. Pets can find their way into a shelter for any number of reasons, some good, some bad. But now is your opportunity to make them part of your family.

Finding the Right Dog

Sometimes the shelter knows a lot about the dog if a family had to relinquish them because they could no longer care for them, were moving and couldn’t take them along, or the previous owner passed away. But sometimes they only know what they’ve observed since the dog came into their care.

When picking a dog, ask questions and gather as much information as you can. Find out about the breed in general and what some characteristics of it are. Let the shelter know about your family and living situation so they can help match you with a dog that might be a good fit.

Clean Up Your House

Some dogs are very calm and don’t bother much except their own toys. Others are very curious and like to explore. Go through your home and make sure small toys or objects your dog might be tempted to chew on are put up out of reach. Lock up cleaning products and tuck cords and wires out of the way. Move breakables to a higher location. Get baby gates or other dividers to keep the dog from going upstairs or into areas where you don’t want them to be.

Create a space just for them with their crate or bed, a blanket, toys, and food and water dishes. Let them be when they are in their crate but leave the door open so they can come and go while you’re home.

Start Slowly

When you first bring your new dog home, remember that it can be a scary time for them. It’s a brand-new place that they haven’t been to before. Keep them in a relatively confined area, letting them explore one or two rooms to start. Stay calm and let them come to you. If you have younger children, you may want to wait a few hours to let your rescue dog adjust to the house before introducing them to children. Avoid having a lot of visitors for the first few days as well.

Be Patient

It will take your dog some time to warm up and adjust to your family and home. Use a lot of positive reinforcement rather than scolding your dog. You want it to trust you and feel safe. Spend time getting to know your dog and letting them get to know you.

If you can, adopt them over a weekend or take a few days off so you can be home with them. Start setting routines and expectations, but don’t forget that you may have to retrain your dog from what it was taught by a previous owner. You can also teach them some new commands.

Keep Them Safe

Make sure your dog has a collar with ID and consider getting them microchipped as well. Always keep them on a leash when going outside. If you are going to be away and are not sure how your dog will do home alone yet, sign them up for doggie daycare or board them at Lake Wylie Pet Resort. You can have peace of mind that they are not all alone or getting into trouble. Contact us to schedule your dog’s stay!