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Once you make the decision to commit to adoption, it is then time to prepare your home and set realistic expectations for the transition period. Below you will find a wealth of information on making the rescue to home life transition as comfortable and successful as possible.
Preparing To Adopt
Mentally preparing is very important. Ensure everyone living in your home is on board with the commitment and ready for any new responsibilities. Keep in mind a dogs life can span up to 20 years, adoption is not a short term commitment. Have conversations about expected change in routine and your schedule for walking, feeding and spending time with your new pup. Any pets you currently have in your home will also be adjusting during the transition period, make sure to include them while preparing your plan. There are many things to consider when planning to bring home a rescue dog aside from change in routine.
These things include:
- What food is best for your pup?
- Should you purchase pet insurance?
-What Veterinarian will you go to?
- How often will your dog need grooming?
- Where will your dogs crate stay?
- Will you hire a trainer or use TDO?
- Purchasing crate, toys, baggies, etc
-- What, in your home, can be a hazard?
- How will you advocate for your dog
- Any health concerns?
- What boundaries will be in place?
The First 3 Weeks
Now that you have welcomed your new furry friend into your home, it is time to get started on your normal routine. During this period it is important to keep stimulation to a minimum and take your time introducing new things. We encourage crating your new dog whenever unsupervised, leaving them on leash around the home and treating them as if they are puppies by providing frequent bathroom breaks. Giving your dog mental stimulation by training with hand fed meals will begin to build your bond from day one. If you are introducing your rescue to a family cat or dog, patience and calmness are essential. When introducing two dogs we encourage going for a walk with them side by side until they can ignore each other. Refrain from baby talking or face-face interactions for this time. It can be extremely beneficial to keep all dogs on leash around the house or rotating dogs in their crates to allow for peaceful adjustments. When introducing your dog to a cat, leave the cat in their own room until the dog is calm, then allow exploration. After a few days of checking out the smells you can do brief, supervised meetings with your dog on leash.
3 Weeks - 3 Months
Once your dog begins to settle in you can loosen up on structure and see if your dog will make good decisions on their own. If they present an unwanted behaviour you can tighten up on structure until they are ready to try again. Remember you are still meeting the dog and can't predict their behaviour in new situations and environments. During this period remain crating your dog overnight and when unsupervised. Mental stimulation will be a key factor to keeping your dog happy and healthy. Try some enrichment activities to build your dog's confidence and get their brain working. You can also begin training with added distractions and duration but keep realistic expectations, they're still learning. Stay attentive to your dog's body language when in new situations, keep all introductions short and always advocate for your dog. To be safe never allow your dog off leash in unless in a fenced in area.
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