Adoption Day Tips for New Dog Pawrents
The big day has finally arrived and you’re beyond excited to welcome your very first fur baby into your home! Bedding, pee pads, and toys are stocked and all you have to do is pick up your pup. But what about afterwards? What’s next after gushing about your new furry soulmate? Below are a few suggestions to help get you and your dog situated for a life together.
Photo by Andrew Schultz
Dog-proof the Home
One important task to tackle before adoption is to dog-proof the home. Guarantee a smoother transition by making sure that lamp cords can’t be tripped over or poisonous plants won’t be accidentally consumed. Not only is this an important safety measure, accidents can create unneeded stress during an already stressful time.
Get Identification in Order
You may not be set on your new pup’s fur-ever name quite yet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need identification. Arrive at the rescue or shelter prepared for pick-up with a tag that has your contact info. If your dog has already been microchipped, register your info with the chip’s company as soon as possible.
Hold the Kibble
Ask the rescue or shelter what the dog’s eating schedule and diet has been. Keep meals consistent for the first couple of days and make any diet changes gradually to prevent tummy troubles. It may be tempting to spoil your pup as soon as you get home, but hold off on treats and kibble. The stress of a new environment in addition to diet changes can easily result in gastric upsets.
Begin Routines Immediately
Once home, begin regular feeding, walking, playtime, and potty routines. Routines actually help canines feel more secure. During a time of many changes–new people, new food, new resting areas–routine instills a sense of stability for recently adopted dogs. Not only should dog routines be set in place early, try to keep your own schedule as routine as possible so that your new pup learns to identify you as a reliable and trustworthy person.
Make Pee Pads Available
Potty training begins as soon as you bring your dog home. Have an indoor dog bathroom set up in the place where you expect your pooch to regularly take care of business. As soon as you come home, bring your new dog to a pee pad like Bark Potty so that they know where they should be going potty. Be patient–dogs may not go in that spot right away, but at least they know that it is available and that it is where you expect them to go.
Maintain a Calm and Consistent Environment
Not only are dogs creatures of habit, moving into a new home with a new family is an incredibly overwhelming experience. While you may be able to explain what’s happening to a human child or relative, canines have to take cues from their environment and your body language to understand that they’re in a safe space. Help your new doggo feel safe by providing a calm environment by limiting excitement (e.g. throwing a party) and being consistent with things like feeding locations, walks, and affection.