It’s one of the greatest things a person can do for an animal. Adopting a shelter dog gives a creature in need of love and care a new opportunity. While it’s natural to feel both nervous and excited to bring a new pet into your home, there are several things you can do to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Take It Slow
Transitioning to a new home can be traumatic. Adopting a shelter dog into your family will be the best thing to happen for your dog, but the first few days or weeks will bring some anxiety for your new pet. Take new routines slowly, and set reasonable expectations for adjustments.
That goes for food as well. Suddenly changing a dog’s diet can cause digestive issues, so start with the food the shelter used and slowly transition to your dog food of choice, if it differs from the shelter’s food.
Crate Training Can Really Help
Providing your dog with a crate for sleeping and resting can really help. A crate should not be used as a form of punishment. Rather, it should be a cozy (but large enough for your dog’s size) space where they can feel secure and get away from stress.
A Steady Routine Can Provide Much-Needed Security
Knowing what to expect each day can help your dog adjust to their new environment. Setting regular times for eating, walking, playing, and going to bed will give your new dog a sense of security that will make the transition smoother.
Another part of your dog’s new routine will involve getting to know your veterinarian. Make an appointment early on to get a wellness check and to introduce your dog to your vet.
Walk Your Dog Every Single Day
On top of the comfort of routine, walking your dog is vital for their health. You could both use a walk each day to unwind and get some exercise. It’s also a great time to explore the area and spend some quality time together.
Play With Your Dog
Even with older shelter dogs, playtime is a great opportunity to bond. Take it easy early on while your dog is adjusting to you, but incorporate more play as you get to know each other.
Just like us, every dog is different. Some adjust to new homes more smoothly than others. Your dog might take longer, and that’s okay. Just be patient, consistent, and enjoy the new life that you have welcomed into your home.