Adopting your new rescue dog can be such an exciting time! I bet you just can't wait to play with them, go walking or hiking with them, maybe even take them to the beach! In time I'm sure that your new dog is just going to love all the activities you have planned but in the very beginning it is important make sure that you give them the time that they need to adjust to their new life.
When you adopt your dog they have no idea that you are their new family or that the place you bring them is their new home. Everything can be a little confusing for them and in the case of a rescue pet they might not have experienced may things that most other pets have. The may have never lived inside a house, may never have had toys, a collar or walked on a lead. They may have never eated out of a bowl or slept in a soft, plush dog bed curled up in a blanket. This isn't to say that in time they won't come to love all of these things and you too but it will all be very new and strange for them in the beginning.
Today we wanted to share with you are 7 tips for settling in your new rescued family member and setting them up for success!
7 Tips for helping your new rescue dog to settle in
1. Feeding routine
Find out what food the rescue was feeding your dog. Keep them on this food for the next few weeks while they are settling into their new life. Then do your research and put them onto the most suitable food for them. They have so many changes going on at once that changing their diet too can be an absolute disaster. Also try and establish a proper routine with feeding so that your dog can feel reassured in the knowledge that food will always be coming at the same time and they will never have to starve again.
2. Potty Routine
Pick a spot for your dog to go to the toilet and bring them over to that spot time and time again throughout the day. Praise them when they use it. Some dogs will never have lived in a house before and should be treated like puppies when it comes to potty training. Set them up for success by bringing them out often and then follow up with praise everytime they go potty.
3. Crate Training
Crate training is amazing for rescue dogs. These are very den-like and provide your dog with the space they need. These can be a huge comfort to dogs and can be a place where they can decompress. They become a safe spot for your dog, where they can go when they feel stressed or anxious.
4. Remember the rule of 3
The rule of three should be observed and loosely applied to all rescue dogs. The rule of three just outlines the inner journey that your dog will go through when they are adopted by their new family. The rule is that they take 3 days to decompress, 3 weeks to really start to understand where they are and 3 months before they really know for sure that they are home. Again every dog is different so these should be applied loosely but it is a general overall rule for all resuce dogs.
5. Bathing your dog
If your new dog is a little on the smelly side your might be tempted to give them a bath but try to hold off as long as you can. Most rescues will never have been bathed before so wait until they settle into your home a little before you try them with a bath. You also don't want to scare them or overwhelm them so early on and then there is also a chance that they may never want a bath again after. Again every dog is different and some might be absolutely fine with it but stay on the side of caution with it.
Appart from a vet appointment if necessary try not to book your dog into any appointments until they have settled with you more by this I mean , grooming appointments, training classes (unless really necessary otherwise give them a little time to decompress first), agility or other sports classes and so on. They are already having a hard enough time adjusting as it is you don't want to bombard them with even more experiences.
7. Pet proofing
Again most of your new dogs will have never lived in a home before so set them up for success by pet proofing your home for them. We have a whole post here to help you to do that! ~ 8 Tips for pet proofing your home.
We at klaws wish you all the best with your new family member. Leave us a comment below and tell us all about them!