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Adopting a dog is a commendable action because it reveals the kind nature of pet parents and their limitless love for furry friends.
Your next move should be to make sure your dog feels comfortable in his new home. For this reason, I decided to provide you with some tips for the first 30 days of dog adoption that should get you started with your new furry sibling.
Adopting a dog from a Rescue Centre is good both for you and your new furry sibling. It is indeed very true that the first weeks to months of your dog in his new home will be a bit challenging for him.
This is occasioned by the change in the environment among many other factors.
The task at hand is trying to make sure that your newly adopted dog blends into your own family and gets the comfort of belonging.
The first 30 days are critical in this process and your dog’s long-term mood will be determined by the little actions you do within this period.
If you already have other pets within your household, then your newly adopted dog will find it easier to create a new bond with them.
If he finds himself as the only pet in the house, you have to work out a plan of creating a close bond with him to make him comfortable.
There are a few important tips for the first 30 days of dog adoption that you need to keep in mind as you plan to start a new chapter with your furry friend.
Benefits of Adopting a Dog
Being the man’s best friend, dogs bring an emotional attachment that greatly improves our quality of life.
Extra Safety Precautions to Consider
Sometimes your dog might be so nervous when introduced to his new family. This can show when he encounters other dogs in your household who are unwilling to accommodate him.
In this case, you need to be extra careful about the boundary you set between the new and existing dogs.
It is recommended to keep the new dog in a crate or in a playpen within his designated area where other dogs may not have easy access to him.
Shared food is one of the main reasons why dogs may not be willing to accommodate new partners. Ensure that the new dog has his designated feeding areas and bowls.
As you do this, you should gradually introduce your other dogs or cats to the new member of the family.
Let them spend some time together, even when crated, you can still have them in close vicinity while supervised.
Let them gradually play together while supervised and with time the other dogs and cats will start accepting their new brother into the family.
Once you create a bond between all your pets, you will realize how easy the new dog will settle in and bond with everyone else.
Sometimes the newly adopted dogs may want to escape from your house in an attempt to return to their former home.
This is common and you need to put measures in place to ensure that it does not happen in the first place.
Always give your dog his space where he does not feel threatened. It is easier for him to calm down in such a place than to try looking for his old home.
You can also set dog gates that will separate the areas where your dog is not allowed to go to on his own.
As a precautionary measure, you can buy a GPS dog collar for your new furry friend and strap it on his neck.
This will ensure that you get real-time updates on every step he makes and be alerted immediately once he steps out of his set zone.
The Process of Dog Adoption
The process of adopting a dog for your family is fairly simple and it doesn’t have many constraining factors.
Among the things you need to establish first is the dog breed, and whether you want a puppy or an adult dog.
Other considerations like gender and color should be looked at as a matter of preference.
Have a look at the video below from the In Ruff Company that showcases the preparation and what to expect during dog adoption.
11 Tips for the First 30 Days of Dog Adoption
Before finally bringing the new dog to your home, ask yourself whether the house is well prepared to host a furry friend.
Early preparation is key and this will give the new dog a comfortable arrival into your home.
Ensure that there is a designated place with a dog bed where he will spend most of his time. There should be a clear boundary between your family’s space and your dog’s space.
This will make him appreciate the territory that offers him privacy when needed.
Make sure to buy him all the accessories he needs, there are a lot of things your new adopted dog will need. Check out this amazing list of 76 dog accessories by Richard Rowlands.
At the adoption site
Before leaving the dog adoption center with your new furry friend, make sure you have all the fine details about him. Have information about his vaccines, his behavior, his diet, and how frequently he is fed during the day.
When you finally arrive home, be sure to maintain that same diet for at least one week before slowly switching to your preferred dog food and feeding pattern.
This will maintain your dog’s health and prevent him from developing an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting.
On your way home
This is the very first solo interaction your furry friend will have with you, so it better be nice.
You can securely place him in a dog car seat to give him comfort and drive him home safely.
If the dog is not used to car trips, he might find the journey stressful. Be sure to place him in the right spot in the car.
The best and safest place for the dog is the back seat.
Arrival at home
Once your furry friend arrives at his new home, take him to the bathroom area and spend some time with him there.
He will have enough time to relieve himself and quickly get accustomed to the all-important area of his sanitation.
It is not uncommon to find newly adopted dogs who make accidents even within the toileting area. Be prepared to do regular cleanups even as you start training him on good bathroom behavior.
When giving your dog his food at the set time, he might not be in the mood to eat properly if he does at all. This action should not scare you as it is normal for dogs to lose their appetite when they are in a new environment.
You can try feeding him closely even by using the hand just to make sure that he gets something to provide his daily energy and nutrients. Be careful not to let your dog stay for long without food and water.
You will, later on, introduce your dog to his area of residence and give him a glimpse of his dog’s bed. Let him take a nap if he’s tired and check on his waking time.
Introduce your dog to the family
In the evening when all the family members are at home, this is the most appropriate time to give your dog a chance to meet everybody.
It is best done in the living room where the dog can see everybody within the same area.
Encourage all family members to bond with the dog to quicken his transition period. During the first weeks, it is recommended not to stream guests in your house too frequently.
We know the urge to let your friends know about your new furry sibling but it is better to resist for some time.
Wait until such a time when your dog can readily identify all the members of your family before you can introduce him to neighbors and friends.
During the first week when bonding with your dog, make sure you quickly learn his likes and dislikes. Give special attention to his good behavior and reward him with treats and toys.
It is also recommended to give him some solitary time during the day when he can calm down and relax. This will make the settling process quicker.
The following weeks
As with all other habits and traits, getting your newly adopted dog to embrace your family and feel at home will require persistence and consistency.
Many people lose it when they try out a new training procedure on their furry friend and they lose track along the way. Always stick to a well-thought-out plan that will yield sure results in the end.
In this segment, we will look at the proven things that you should do in the succeeding weeks to bond with your newly adopted dog.
Whether you have adopted a puppy or a dog, one thing for sure is that you have to start potty training him on good bathroom behavior.
Training a puppy is much easier than an adult dog. Use positive reinforcement and reward the good progress he makes on good relief behavior.
Provide him with enough accessories
Make sure you give your dog enough enrichment to keep him entertained and mentally stimulated.
Provide him with things like toys among other chew bones and toys. This will help redirect his chewing energy from your valuable furniture to attractive toys.
Carefully monitor how your dog plays with these toys. He might not be well accustomed to some of them and you must be sure that he does not hurt himself with things that are supposed to entertain him.
By engaging with these toys, your dog is also mentally stimulated which also helps him practice his natural hunting skills.
Visit a vet
If you already have existing pets in your household, chances are that you already have an established relationship with your favorite vet.
If not, then this is the perfect time to build a relationship with a good vet who will take care of your dog’s healthcare.
Within the first 1 week or so of adoption, take your furry friend to the vet for a baseline health examination.
This is important to identify any underlying illness that might not have been highlighted during the dog adoption day.
Your dog’s health evaluation will also identify or rule out other medical symptoms like diarrhea that might have been caused by stress.
Transition to a new diet gradually
After one week of feeding your dog with the diet and feeding pattern he was used to, it is now time to slowly make a transition to a new and healthier diet plan.
Making a sudden shift of diet from what he has been eating before may cause gastrointestinal upset in your dog.
You can do this by gradually mixing his old diet with his new one in varying proportions by reducing his old food with time.
This should be done with clear guidelines by your vet after a close examination of the foods that he might be allergic to.
If your furry friend survived on processed foods in the rescue site, then you need to make a shift and give him a healthier choice.
Take your dog for walks regularly
After your dog has become familiar with all the members of his new family, you can now take him for daily walks in the neighborhood and mountains.
As a safety precaution, make sure you walk him with a leash and harness that offers you more control of where he is going.
Look into leash reactivity training if you are struggling to walk your dog on a leash.
Walking your dog will serve him with two benefits that he needs at this time. It gives him the chance to get familiar with his new neighborhood and establish a connection with the landmarks.
Then it also gives him the daily exercise that he needs to keep fit.
Create a routine
In all the things that you need to do for your dog within the first month, make sure that you establish a clear-cut routine. Have a fixed feeding time, socializing time, walking schedule, sleeping time, and such.
This will make it easier for your dog to know what is expected of him the following day as he goes to sleep.
Our highlighted tips for the first 30 days of dog adoption might as well apply to the succeeding days just to keep the routine ongoing.
You can drop things like training when your dog has learned good behavior and basic obedience but the majority of the tips should be applied to keep a healthy and good relationship with your dog.
This article highlighted what you MUST NOT miss during the first month with your newly adopted canine.
Do your best to ensure that he settles in comfortably and he embraces the new family with good behavior.
A good routine, training, care, and timely food will all work towards creating an unbreakable bond between your family and the dog.
How was your experience with the dog adoption process? Please let us know in the comments below.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a pet expert with more than 20 years of experience working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.
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