From Shelter To Home: Easing The Transition For The Rescue

0

Bringing home a new pet is exciting and often met with a little trepidation for both pet and owner alike. We are filled with so many uncertainties. Will he like his new home? What if he doesn’t feel safe? How will he fit into the day-to-day grind? Those uncertainties are often felt to a greater degree when bringing a rescue dog home and it is important to make the transition as easy as possible.

Before Your Rescue Arrives

As with most things, successfully easing the transition for a rescue starts with planning. Always get things ready before your rescue arrives home. 

Start by having all the supplies that a new owner will need. 

  • A leash and collar are important but check with the shelter to determine the best one for your adopted dog. 
  • Toys and treats for your rescue that will give him positive reinforcement that his new home is great. 
  • And a first aid kit is important so you are ready for any emergencies.
  • Create his own “room” where he can relax. This area should have a comfortable bed, along with food and water dishes. 
  • If you want to crate-train, place the crate in this area as well, but don’t force using it when your rescue dog first arrives.

Finally, dog-proof your home. Start by removing anything that could be a potential hazard to your dog. Many rescues offer information on puppy proofing and harmful household products. Place up gates to keep your newly adopted dog out of dangerous areas of the home.

Arriving Home

e

After your house is set up and the paperwork is done, it is time for your rescue dog to come home. This is a very exciting process and it can be easy to feed that excitement. It is very important that you don’t. When you and your new dog leave the shelter, head straight home. Don’t stop to visit people and never head out to dog parks or stores. Your rescue dog will need to build trust with you and busy areas could cause him extreme duress.

This is a very exciting process and it can be easy to feed that excitement. It is very important that you don’t. When you and your new dog leave the shelter, head straight home. Don’t stop to visit people and never head out to dog parks or stores. Your rescue dog will need to build trust with you and busy areas could cause him extreme duress.

Your rescue dog will need to build trust with you and busy areas could cause him extreme duress.

When you arrive home, keep the house quiet. All other pets should be kept away from your new dog and visitors should be avoided on the first day. Now is the time to start the bonding process with your new dog and only family members who live in the house should be there.

Plan to spend the entire day at home. While many rescued dogs can seem perfectly adjusted, moving to a new home can be traumatic for them. They need their owner to be there so they can gain confidence in both their new environment and their new family. Spend the day doing quiet activities with your dog and don’t rush into your regular, daily schedule right away.

The First Few Days After Arriving

After the first day, life can start to go back to normal, but don’t rush it. If you can, take the first few days off with your new dog. Set up a routine around.

Don’t rush it. If you can, take the first few days off with your new dog.

If you can, take the first few days off with your new dog. Set up a routine around house training, exercising, and feeding. Don’t push your rescue to fall into the schedule right away but encourage him to follow it through praise and positive reinforcement.

In fact, those first few days are going to be all about positive reinforcement. Spend time every day just quietly sitting with your dog. Encourage him to come to you for affection but watch your dog for signs of distress. If he is moving away from you, let him withdraw and simply sit with him silently.

Give plenty of treats and praise and encourage everyone in the household to do the same. Only introduce other pets to your new dog when they are supervised. Be careful to start in small steps, such as sniffing with a door between them. The key is to go slowly and to be very patient with your new dog.

In the end, it is important to understand that rescue dogs take time to transition. 

On average, a rescue dog can take six to eight weeks to adjust to their new home, and longer to accept the animals already in the house.

However, with love, compassion, and patience, every rescue dog will come around— the shelter will be forgotten, leaving only memories of home.

Show
Hide