Rescuing a dog from your local animal shelter, or rescue organization, is a great way to find a new companion and save a life. Some people are experienced with canine rescue and seem to know exactly what to do with their new family member. However, if you’re new to dog rescue, or dog ownership itself, here are some ways you and your home can be prepared for your new arrival.
It’s so much easier to bring a new dog into your home if you have all the supplies you need already in place. Following are some must-haves for that first day:
• Quality Food
• Grooming brush
• Dog shampoo
• Identification tag
Consider crate training
Having a crate ready for your new arrival serves many functions. You may not know if your new baby is housebroken, and crate training is a great way to train your dog. Also, many dogs feel more secure in a new environment if they have a cozy den of their own.
Make sure you talk to the shelter or organization about any known or potential health issues. Veterinary care can get pricey, so make sure you are prepared. You may want to talk to people in your local rescue community to see what veterinarian they use for their pups.
Decide in advance how much room your dog will have to roam during the first month in your home. Baby gates or doggy gates will help keep your dog in designated areas. If you’re adopting a small breed, consider a playpen.
In addition, establish what behaviors you want your new baby to learn right away. For example, you may want your dog to sit while you’re taking her leash on or off. Consistency is the most important element in teaching your dog your rules. Be gentle but firm. Most dogs like training. It gives them a task and a way to develop their minds.
If you have children living with you, introduce them to the new dog before you bring the dog home. Make sure youngsters understand that everything is new and encourage them to give the dog time to adjust. Even if you feel completely confident, never leave the dog alone with your child.
A little preparation can help ensure a positive adoption experience for you and your new family member as well as maximize bonding time during those early days.