Hi there my friends! I am so happy to welcome back Samantha from Top Dog Tips! Those of you that are regulars here at The Cottage Market know that Pet Adoption is truly one of my deep passions in life. Supporting Rescue…being there for Local Shelters…Promoting Adoption and much more is so terribly important. I wish for a world where each pet has a home …is loved and cared for. So when Samantha wanted to share this article How to Help Adopted Dogs Adjust and Relax in Their New Home of course I jumped at it. Sure hope it helps many as they settle in with their new furry friend and my dream is that it encourages you to “Adopt Don’t Shop”. Let’s save them all…one at a time or adopt in pairs like we do ; ) Thank you so much Samantha!
Adopting a dog is a wonderful experience, but it’s also a huge commitment. And as any significant life change, adoption requires a fair bit of preparation. A lot of new dog owners are left unpleasantly surprised by the efforts and problems that come with an adopted dog or any doggie and as a result many canines get returned to the shelter or are being left on the streets…that is something that we want to avoid at ALL COSTS. It’s no wonder that there are over 3 million dogs in the U.S. that find themselves in shelters every year. Adopted Dogs are simply a gift for our souls! They breathe all new life into us and our families…they deserve our patience and love to make their new lease on life wonderful! So today’s article will help you get ready for the BIG Adoption Day and days to come!
The way to prevent this from happening to you and your dog is by being prepared and adjusting your expectations. Here are several tips on how to help your adopted dog adjust and relax in the new environment.
1. Start slow.
Just as you’d find it stressful to move into a new space, so do dogs. It’s even more stressful for them considering that they are also moving in to a new family, and they don’t know what’s happening. Rescue dogs in particular usually don’t have the most positive sounding history and past experiences.
The first key thing to remember is that you shouldn’t pressure the dog – don’t throw a party with friends on the very next day to celebrate the new pup, don’t overwhelm with new and challenging games when he doesn’t initiate them, and don’t throw a bunch of new rules, commands and demands at the pet. Take it slow and allow the pet to gradually fit within the new environment.
2. Give the dog enough personal space.
Dogs may be very friendly and social, but even they need their own personal space, especially when they’ve just went through all the stress of moving into a new place. It could be a corner of the living room, or just a big couch, but you should leave your new pup a place in the house where he can sleep, rest and stay unbothered by anyone and anything. Dogs will usually find their own preferred space when they are exploring their new home, and if you bought a dog crate ahead of time, it’s likely your pet will choose that. Simply follow their preference – as long as the dog knows where the water and the crate are everything should be fine.
3. Be patient.
Remember that the dog is a living animal with his own emotions and thoughts. It’s perfectly normal that your dog will need time to adjust, to calm down and to eventually start learning obedience, the house rules, and other important things. Impatience is the main reason why a lot of new dog owners give up and return their dogs to the shelter or on the street, so keep that in mind. Just as you would be patient with an adopted child, so you should be patient with an adopted pup.
4. Be prepared for stress-related physical problems.
Regardless of how well you are taking care of your newly adopted pup, the whole experience will often be stressful for the dog and there are signs of stress in dogs you must watch out for. You can relive that stress with proper care but every dog experiences new environments differently. So, it’s perfectly possible that your dog will be stressed at first despite your best efforts and with stress come some potential physical problems and symptoms like diarrhea, colitis, and others.
5. Be prepared for feeding troubles.
One of the more common stress-related problem that you might face is a refusal to eat. We’re used to viewing dogs as these insatiable food munchers, but a stressed-out dog can easily refuse to eat for a really long time. It’s important to remember that the cause of this is usually stress and forcing the dog to eat will only increase that stress. Instead, try to further help the dog relax, as well as to tempt the dog with some delicious treats or different foods.
6. Be prepared for house training issues.
Both younger and older dogs can have trouble being house trained. It often depends on the breed, but the personal history of the particular dog can play a huge part as well. Regardless, if you want to crate train your dog or to train him in general – keep in mind that it may take quite a bit of time.
7. Be prepared for escape attempts.
There are different reasons why a dog would escape their home, and when it comes to newly adopted dogs the list is even longer. The dog may be scared and look for a way back to the shelter or he can just as easily be so relaxed that he may decide to go exploring through an open window and get lost. Regardless, it’s important to be prepared for escape attempts. There are plenty of things you can do to puppy-proof and escape-proof your home.
8. Start establishing a routine on the first day.
Routines are built over time and it’s best to start as soon as possible. The more time your dog spends in home without a set in stone food schedule or a walking schedule, the more trouble it will be to get him used to a schedule later on. Plus, creating a fixed schedule is one of the easier ways to help your dog relax as routines calm dogs by giving them the reassurance that things are going as they should be.
9. Start creating habits and establishing rules.
The fact that you should be patient with your dog and that you should start training him slowly so that you don’t overwhelm him doesn’t mean that you should postpone training. To train your dog doesn’t mean just teaching him commands and tricks – it means to establish yourself as the alpha of the home through your behavior, to set up some basic ground rules like “no barking”, “no running/jumping in the house”, “no eating human food”, etc. Establishing those rules shouldn’t happen through yelling at the dog, but by upholding them calmly and firmly from Day 1.
If you are a hugs Dog and Animal Lover…please join us every Saturday on Down The Rabbit Hole. Each week we help another small Rescue or Shelter with a donation and exposure and give you a chance to increase the donation by simply leaving a comment…plus we share some fun links that you will all enjoy.
OPT to ADOPT!
ADOPTED DOGS ROCK! (all dogs rock : )
If you would like to read more helpful posts on our furry friends…simply click here!
If you would love to treat your Pups to something really YUMMY…click here for some delicious Treat Recipes!
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