5 Pawfect Ways You Need To Know To Prepare For Your Adopted Dog
First of all, congrats and thank you in the name of all abandoned creatures, for deciding to welcome an adopted dog into your home! It’s one of those life-altering decisions that will imbue your own existence, as well as that of your dog with love, bliss, and gratitude. While this is indeed an emotionally overwhelming experience, keep in mind that you also need to brace yourself for the learning period. With all of its ups and downs.
If you have never shared your home with an adopted dog before, all the more reason to prepare yourself and your space for greater safety of your pooch. It can also help make the transition a little easier on your new companion. Let’s take a look at a few tried and tested ways to do just that!
Prepare Your Home
Do you know what sort of life your dog has had thus far, before the shelter? Some pooches have unfortunately experienced abuse or trauma of different sorts. Thich means you need to pay special attention to how you organize their environment to help them reduce the anxiety and start feeling more comfortable. For starters, getting them their bowls for food and water is vital to letting them know that your home is their home!
Then, of course, enhance comfort with a few blankets and a comfy dog bed with plenty of chew toys and other stimulating items. This will keep them interested and engaged. Perhaps take your old sweatshirt and place it in the dog bed, for them to have your scent nearby when they feel anxious or afraid.
Don’t forget to remove any sharp objects or breakables, so as to avoid accidents. In the first several weeks, it’s best to remove carpets as well. Bring in the crate and the pads, so that they learn where they can and cannot do their business.
Have A Chat With The Vet
Even if you do know the past of your new dog, make sure to go straight to the vet for a detailed checkup. You will get some guidance on the best ways to care for your pooch. In case you’ve adopted a larger breed or a mix, you should be aware of their mineral needs (growing furballs need calcium supplements) and food intake. As well as the best ways to protect them from fleas, ticks, worms, and other unwelcome creatures.
Your vet will recommend a treatment such as Bravecto for large dog breeds designed to treat and handle flea and tick infestations, so that you make sure your pooch is healthy and your home safe. Even if you intend to keep your dog outside in their own dog house and the yard, preventing flea infestations is vital all year round. Especially during the warmer months of the year. Your vet will also help you choose and portion the best kibble, so take some notes while you’re there!
Treats Are A Must
Considering the stress almost every shelter dog has experienced at one time or another, their fear and anxiety run deep. The best way to handle this while you teach them good behavior from bad behavior is to use plenty of tasty treats. You should also exercise them on a regular basis, ensure plenty of play time, and start introducing a reward system.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to help your pooch understand what is expected of them, and you can use treats during your learning sessions to keep your little pal engaged. This will in turn lower those instances of attacks on your furniture and similar issues that bored, anxious dogs can exhibit.
Set A Routine
In addition to treats, you’ll need a routine in order to help your dog adapt to the new environment, new people and a slew of new rules you’re about to establish. That means that the first couple of weeks will serve you as a getting-to-know period, when you’ll see how often your dog needs to go outside (it depends on their age, breed, health, and activity needs), and what times are best for feeding.
At first, give your pooch a chance to go out briefly every hour or so, to start understanding that that’s the only place to go potty. Use smart doggy toys such as Kong to keep them engaged while you’re at work, and to help them perceive that alone time as something positive.
Slowly Introduce Socializing
Finally, every healthy pooch needs to be socialized properly once you’re done with all the parasite treatments and vaccinations. Before your dog arrives, ask around and look for dog parks, and areas where you can take your pooch to safely meet and play with other dogs. Keep in mind that traumatized dogs may need some obedience and behavioral training to overcome their fears, so take it slow and give your dog time to adapt.