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Bringing your rescue dog home is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be an adjustment period. From establishing a regular routine to being patient, there are plenty of ways to help your pup adjust to their new lifestyle.
If you’re considering rescuing a dog from a shelter and giving them a second chance at happiness, dog-friendly vacation rental specialist Canine cabins plus certified dog trainer Joe Nutkins shared five tips on how to welcome a new four-legged friend into your home. Check out their tips below…
1. Keep a routine
When you adopt a dog, it is extremely important to stick to a routine, both to help him feel safe and comfortable in his new environment, but also to help him adapt. Even if a dog hasn’t been in a shelter for a long time, they will have gotten used to having a routine when it comes to food and rest.
Joe advises you do the following to make the adjustment easier: “Make sure you’ve provided areas that are quiet, secure, and away from busy arteries such as the hallway so your new shelter dog can have a chance to rest. “
2. Be patient
Most rescue dogs will have been through a lot in their lives, with many feeling nervous, hesitant or shy. It may also take them some time to adapt to a new environment or a new home.
A change in their behavior may not happen overnight and may take some time. But by giving them lots of love and affection, they will feel safe and cared for.
3. Keep your dogs separated
If you already own a dog or several dogs, it can be daunting to introduce them to a rescue dog. You should always check to see if the dog you are considering rescuing is friendly to other dogs or happy to live with other animals, as many dogs that have been in shelters might be nervous around them.
Joe has some great tips for introducing dogs to each other. “Place your old dog in another part of the house, make sure you feed them completely separately to reduce the pressure on them both and give them space to meet, like in the garden – the use of leashes can be useful in case one of the dogs gets too playful, loud or worried,” says Joe.
“If you know in advance that your new dog will be nervous, it may be beneficial to contact a trainer/behaviorist for advice on your home setup and your new dog’s needs so that you can be prepared for the ‘advance.”
4. Give them space
We all need a retreat of our own and this is especially true for rescue dogs. Creating a designated room or space that is completely theirs will help them not feel too overwhelmed in their new home.
“Having too much space can put pressure on a dog to be aware of what is going on in all areas. By closing doors and only giving your new shelter dog a few rooms, he can better focus on the smaller environment, and that can reduce their stress,” says Joe.
5. Incorporate walks
Regularly walking your rescue dog will help him let off steam. It’s also great for mentally stimulating your dog, which can lead to them feeling more relaxed when they get home.
A long walk can also tire your dog and help reduce their anxiety levels, making them much calmer.
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