Tips for Bringing Your Dog Home from the Shelter

Tips for Bringing Your Dog Home from the Shelter

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Joyful young woman hugging white Samoyed dog

When you adopt a dog and are bringing your new furry companion home for the first time, it will be a big day for the both of you. Your dog will be excited and happy that he is going to a loving home, but he will also be a little bit nervous and unsure as he doesn’t know what to expect.

There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your dog is relaxed and comfortable on the way home. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when bringing your dog home from the shelter.

  • Before you bring the dog home, make sure that you dog proof the area in which your pooch will be spending most of his time. Tape down any electrical cords, remove plants, store household chemicals and install a baby gate to block off any off-limits areas.
  • Make sure that you have all of the supplies that your dog will need, including food and water bowls, toys, leash and collar.
  • Bring an ID tag with your phone number on it for when you pick your dog up so that he will be safe right away. If the dog has a microchip, make sure that you register your contact information with the chip before you take your dog home.
  • On the way home make sure that your pup is secure. A crate is the best way to do this and will ensure that he is safe. Make sure that the crate is the right size for your dog and that it is safely secured within the vehicle.
  • Your dog will likely be nervous because it doesn’t know what will happen next, so talk to it with a calm voice and be laid back and reassuring.
  • Dogs respond well to order and it is important to establish that you are the boss. Give firm discipline for bad behaviour and reward good behaviour.
  • Take the day off from work or pick the dog up on the weekend, so that you can have the time to spend with your dog letting it get used to you and your routines.
  • Make sure that you prepare your car interior to protect it from dirt and potential stains before you load the dog and all of his accessories in. You can use a seat cover or a car boot liner to cover the interior. There are different car boot liners available, so you can even choose a Volvo or VW boot liner depending on the make of your car.
  • When your dog arrives, take them to the area that they should use to relieve themselves and wait there until they do. Praise them, so that they associate that area with relieving themselves rather than in the house.
  • Have food and water available first thing when you bring your new dog home. Introduce them to the room where the food and water is located and invite them in to take part.
  • If you are bringing your new dog into a home where you already have a dog, take them both for a walk together which will let them get to know each other on neutral ground.
  • Make sure that everyone in the house is clear on the rules. It can be confusing for the dog if some family members allow them on the couch while others don’t. Everyone should follow the same rules.
  • Even if your dog is housetrained, the stress and uncertainty of arriving in a new home can throw them off and cause them to have accidents. Keep them in an area with a floor that is easy to clean.
  • Always check to make sure that your new pet has been vaccinated and has had a recent health check. If your dog hasn’t been spayed or neutered, make sure that you make an appointment to do this as soon as possible.

Bringing your dog home from the shelter is an exciting day for both of you. If you are well prepared and you stay calm during the process you will let your dog know that there is nothing to fear and that they are going to a safe home.