Bringing a rescue dog into your home is highly rewarding and exciting time, however, it can require some careful considerations. Paws.com have shared their expert advice on how to help your new family member settle in.
Be realistic in your expectations
Moving into your home is likely to be daunting for your new dog. How long it takes your new friend to come out of their shell and feel at home will depend on a variety of factors – such as their age, level of previous house experience and whether they have been fostered or stayed in kennels. Some dogs may feel comfortable in hours, while it may take others days or weeks. Give your dog time.
Give them space
In the first few days, avoid having visitors where possible and allow your new dog to choose their own level of interaction with you. Provide them with a safe space, such as a bed or crate, where they can retreat for privacy. Teach children from the beginning that these areas are off-limits.
Keep things consistent
Your new dog is going through a period of change, so try to provide as much stability as possible during this time. Continue on the same food for at least the first week and establish a daily routine of feeding and bedtime. Avoid leaving them alone straightaway, as this can trigger separation anxiety; instead, begin to slowly build up their amount of solo time over the coming weeks.
Build their trust
Establish a bond with your new friend by spending time with them – such as training classes, teaching them basic commands or playing with them. These activities create opportunities for you to communicate and reward your dog, and in turn for them to view you as a safe and positive person.
Consider other pets
If you have other pets at home, delay introductions until your new dog has found their feet. When starting intros, keep meetings controlled, making sure dogs are on lead and cats have an exit route. It can help to have the initial meeting on neutral territory, such as the park, with an extra pair of hands to help.