How to Help Your Rescue Dog Settle Into his New Home!
In 2020, 871,296 dogs were adopted in the United States (25.3% of them being puppies). While that number is staggering, the ASPCA estimates around 3.3 million dogs enter American shelters every year!
But before you “adopt, not shop,” learn how to help your rescue dog settle into his new home!
The Adaptable Canine
Dogs are, without a doubt, the most adaptable animal we are lucky to share our home and life with! They do their best to fit into our daily lives and are willing to change to new situations.
But when you adopt a rescue dog, it’s important to make their transition as easy and calm as possible. Sadly, many rescue dogs come with “baggage” from their previous
owners, home or life and sometimes we may never really know what they’ve been through in their short life. So how can you help your new rescue dog settle into his new home?
Bring lots of time, patience and the four tips below
Helping the Rescue Dog Settle In
Dogs are not all the same and will not react in the same way. Learn to read your dog’s body language and cues and then adapt accordingly. Depending on the dog, it can take a few weeks to even a few months for a newly adopted rescue dog to become fully comfortable in its new home. Typically, puppies adjust more quickly.
Prior socialization – or the lack of it – may also have a direct impact on how well the adopted rescue dog can adapt to his new surroundings, people and routines.
Regardless, never force any dog to accept anything or anyone before they are comfortable.
Pet4Homes: How Long Does It Take an Adopted Dog to Settle into a New Home?
Below are four tips to help your rescue dog settle into his new home.
1. Establish a Consistent Routine
All dogs are creatures of habit. One of the best things you can do for your new rescue dog is to thoughtfully create a daily routine and stick to it! Schedule potty breaks, meals and especially exercise to help your dog adjust
faster to his new home and routine. Exercise can really help a sad or anxious dog better deal with his feelings. Also, give some thought to the rules you want your dog to follow. Make sure everyone in the household follows them too! Consistency will help your dog know what he can expect and also what is expected of him for a smoother transition.
American Kennel Club: How to Help an Adult Dog Adjust to a New Home
2. Provide Peace and Quiet
Understandably, you want everyone to meet the new dog! But resist the temptation to avoid overwhelming the new dog! Also, avoid busy dog parks and allow your new rescue dog to adjust to his immediate surroundings and people first.
3. Create a Safe Place!
Dogs are also natural den dwellers! Set aside a specific area for your dog to call his own. A crate is a great way to give your dog a safe place to go when he feels overwhelmed! Provide a soft comfortable bed, a water bowl, some fun toys and even some chewing toys to help him relax and soothe himself especially as he adapts to his new home.
4. How to Respond to K9 Stress or Anxiety
If your new rescue dog is showing signs of stress or anxiety, remain calm and patient. It is completely natural for a new dog to feel some anxiety about the new sights, smells, people and even other animals in their new environment. But remember, dogs take their emotional cues from us, so resist becoming stressed or frustrated around your new dog. Doing so will only erode the bond and trust you are trying to build!
Remember, when you bring a new rescue dog into your home, set him up for success with lots of patience, time, and love!
Need help or have questions? Reach out to a local dog professional as soon as possible!
Are you – or your new dog – having difficulty in adjusting?
Reach out to East Valley K9 Services for help with one of our canine programs!
Call 480-382-0144 or send us an email to schedule.
Serving Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, and East Valley areas of Arizona.