Bringing home a new (and furry) addition to your family can be a wonderful time indeed, but there are some things you should know to make the entire process a smooth one
So, you are soon going to be bringing home a rescue dog you have adopted from a shelter – what wonderful news! Doing this is a great act of kindness as you have quite literally saved your soon-to-be dog’s life. You have now chosen your future furry bestie and now you need to prepare yourself and your house for their arrival.
When you bring home a puppy or an adult dog from a shelter, your experience will be completely unique and depend on your dog and their personality and background. Obviously, older dogs may come with a little more baggage and puppies have to be house trained and so on. But the more prepared you are, the smoother this transition will be.
How to Prepare When Bringing Home a Rescue Dog
Preparing your home
Before you bring Bruno home, you need to make sure that you have dog-proofed certain areas with a doggie gate or fence (such as your garden and certain rooms they can’t go into). Make sure your dog cannot get out of your garden and that there are no poisonous plants in your garden. This also includes ant and rat traps in your house – ensure your dog cannot get to these if you have them. Make sure your dog has a new bed, bowls, and toys.
Here’s what you need:
- New dog bed (big enough if they grow)
- Water and food bowls
- Dog food (choose a good quality brand that will provide proper nutrition)
- Collar, tag, and leash
- Vet records
- Organise for your dog to be chipped with the shelter (most shelters will do this for you)
Having your dog chipped and ensuring they wear an ID tag will help if they somehow get out of your garden and are lost. Remember, your house is new to them, and it might be a little overwhelming at first. These factors often cause new dogs to run away.
Transition the dog food
Find out from the shelter what food your dog is currently eating and make sure you have enough of this for the first few weeks he comes home. If you then plan on changing this food (always good to get your vet’s advice), then slowly start to mix this new food with the old one after a week or so. The stress of a new home and change of diet can cause an upset tummy – so keep this in mind during the first few weeks.
Introduce them to your other dogs
If you have other dogs at home already, then make sure you read this article on how to safely and comfortably introduce your dogs to one another.
Bonding with Bruno
You should do your best to spend the first few days bonding with your dog and of course, give them space to play on their own too. Maybe even take a day or two off from work so that your dog is not left alone all day for the first couple of days.
The best idea is to try and bring them home on a Friday so that you have the weekend to spend together and bond. Start to establish the routine of feeding, walking and sleeping times so that Bruno can get used to this.
Read this article for more tips on on bonding with your dog.
Start training ASAP
This point is rather vital – you need to start training immediately, but the trick is to start slowly. House training for puppies and some older dogs who have lived in the streets their whole lives should come first. Then move onto basic commands and walking on a leash. Here’s a great article to teach you some basic commands.
See your vet
A few days or a week or so after Bruno comes home, make sure you book an appointment to see your vet so that the two of them can establish a bit of a bond and get to know one another. Make sure your vet has your dog’s health records and that Bruno is comfortable with them.
Get pet insurance
Lastly, make sure you get pet insurance. And better yet, make sure you Oneplan Pet Insurance as they pay you BEFORE you see the vet of your choice and cover routine and emergency care from only R160pm (take a look at their range of plans here). Trust us on this one – owning a pet is expensive. Having pet insurance ensures that you have extra cash for pet toys and holidays away together don’t have to go into crushing debt in the case of an emergency.
Congratulations and well done on bringing home a rescue dog. It really is a marvellous thing to do, and your new furry bestie is going to change your life for the better.
Yours in Not-So-Average Pet Advice,
The Petinsurance.co.za Team