Don’t shop, adopt! This simply means that before reaching out to a breeder, check your local shelter for a dog that needs a home. More and more dog owners are going this route for two reasons. They see the importance of changing a pet’s life and like saving money on an expensive breed.
However, when you adopt a shelter dog, bringing your new best friend home can pose a few lifestyle changes for both you and your new pet. That’s why Pet Butler has the tips you need to help your shelter dog adjust to their new home.
What are tips to help my shelter pet adjust?
Shelter dogs, as opposed to puppies, can be much easier to train. Although puppies can come with less baggage, shelter dogs have histories before they came to you and that story may not be positive. They may have been isolated, neglected, or even, abused. Common obstacles are:
- Lack of socialization with other animals, people, or both which could bring aggressive behavior in the form of barking, growling, or biting.
- Health problems that may have arisen from malnutrition or life as a stray.
- More behavioral issues like potty-training, separation exciting and eating problems.
How should I introduce my shelter dog into my home?
Bringing your shelter dog home can be one of the happiest days of your life. You will likely be excited and want to kick off your lives together with full speed ahead. Follow these tips to get your shelter dog settled in comfortably.
- Don’t bring your shelter dog around the other pets too soon. Your shelter dog is surely so happy to be headed home with you, but your new best friend has a lot of changes to deal with. Introducing your other pets too fast can be overwhelming to them. Take one step at a time and let them get used to their surroundings.
- Be sure to properly train the dog. Many shelter dogs have had little training or have forgotten all they used to know during their time in the shelter environment. Gently training your shelter dog right away will help him or her start off on a good paw.
- Respect your shelter dog’s limitations. As you learn to understand your shelter dog’s past and possibly emotional baggage, it’s important to respect the boundaries that need to be respected and help others (both in your family and strangers) do that same. You may invest in a shirt that says, “Don’t pet me,” for the dog is scared or aggressive toward strangers. You may also have to teach your children how to play with the shelter dog in gentle, positive ways that match his or her needs.
- Don’t expect perfection from day one. Like most things in life, expectations are the key to success. Your shelter dog may have some sleepless nights or bathroom-related accidents. You may have to take some extra time to get the shelter dog socialized or walking well on the leash. Knowing that these challenges will help you to work with your shelter dog to overcome common obstacles.
What things should I do before I bring my shelter dog home?
Of course, you already have a love for dogs and a big heart if you’ve adopted a shelter dog, but you’ll need some equipment as well. Some dogs will have their own unique set of needs, but here’s a good working list of things to consider getting for your new pet.
- Walking equipment – A collar and a leash that corresponds with the dog’s size. You may also need a harness.
- Sleeping equipment – You may need a dog bed or a crate depending on your plans and what your dog is used to.
- Toys and treats – Some chew toys and treats can help make your dog feel at home. If you are adopting a puppy, you might want to bring home some teething rings to give them something to gnaw on.
- Dog food and bowls – Your dog will need food and water bowls as well as good quality dog food. Remember that you’ll want to stay with the same brand that you start with, so do the research and choose a brand that is good for your breed and your budget.
- Good veterinarian – If you’ve gotten your dog from a good shelter, they can guide you here as to what your dog needs in terms of shots, treatment, or being neutered or spayed. They might also be able to recommend a vet that knows the dog. In any case, you’ll need to start veterinary care for your dog right away for optimal wellness.
Pet Butler is on a mission to help pet owners care for their pets in the best way possible. So whether your pet has been around a while or a new addition to the household, Pet Butler wants to help. Since 1988, we have been the yard waste removal professionals. We will do the dirty work for you, so you can focus on welcoming your shelter dog into his or her new home.