Maryland Pet

Helping Your Rescue Dog Adjust to Their Forever Home

Rescuing a dog can be a joyful occasion for new owners. It’s important to keep in mind that your new dog may not be as excited as you are. Moving out of one traumatic situation like living in a small cage at the pound, taking a drive in an unknown car with strangers and ending up in an unfamiliar home can be very stressful to your new rescue dog. 

Your new rescue dog may not understand what is going on for several days. It can take even longer to build trust with your new dog. Shelter dogs have often experienced a lot of sadness in dealing with abuse and abandonment. It’s important that new rescue parents take their time and exercise a lot of patience with these delicate animals.

One of the main reasons that owners like to rescue dogs is the chance that they are given to make a difference in the life and happiness of an unwanted dog. Your job is to help them integrate into their forever home in the smoothest way possible. Let’s take a look at a few things like picking up new toys, having their holistic dog food ready for them and setting up boundaries in your home that can help your rescue dog to adjust.

Prepare In Advance

Make sure that you have already done all of your shopping and prepping before the big day. Dog accessories like a new collar, leash, food dishes, a comfortable bed, a crate, and toys should all be purchased before you go to pick up your dog. The trip home from the shelter or pound should be enough excitement for one day. 

Calm Environment

Moving into their new forever home can be a scary experience for a rescue dog. They have no idea that your intentions are good, they only know that they are being put in another unfamiliar environment. To help your rescue dog adjust, it’s important to welcome them into a calm environment. 

Keep your tv and music low; you can even dim the lights to create a cozy atmosphere. Talk softly and pet them gently as they start to explore their new home. You may want to hug and squeeze them in an enthusiastic welcome however, this can be startling for nervous dogs.

Let Them Set The Pace

Shelter dogs are often exhausted from a lack of restful sleep after the constant commotion of living with other dogs. Let them sleep and get some rest before asking them to be too playful or excited. Don’t force contact on them. Be patient and let them initiate contact with you when they are ready. This is how you will be able to build trust with your new rescue dog right from the first day. 

Set Boundaries

Everything will be new for your rescue dog and this can be overwhelming. It’s a good idea to block off areas of your home to let them explore a bit more each day. There are many things for them to take in, so it’s important to allow them to get used to things at their own pace. 

Encourage Eating

Your rescue dog may not eat or drink much on their first few days in your home. Nervousness can affect their appetite and make them less likely to attack a big bowl of food. Show them where their dishes are and let them decide when they want to eat.

Bringing a new rescue dog into your family can be extremely rewarding and an unforgettable experience. Make sure that you take your dog’s feelings into consideration by planning ahead, remaining patient and working hard to build trust that will forge a lifelong bond. 

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