How to prepare for adopting a dog

Are you preparing to adopt a dog in the near future? Have you ever owned a dog before? How to prepare for adopting a dog is very important. Especially since adopting a new dog into your family can be both exciting and a little overwhelming. Here are some tips we suggest to help ensure your new pup will make an easy transition into your home.

1. Gather the supplies

It’s a good idea to get everything you’ll need to make your new dog safe and comfortable¬†before¬†you bring them home. You’ll need at least several basic things such as a collar, a leash, food and water bowls. In addition to that, you’ll also likely need a dog bed, gates, toys, treats and grooming supplies. It’s also a good idea to have some training pads and cleaners on hand for any accidents they may have in the early stages of training.

2. Prepare your home

This is very similar to babyproofing your home. You want your new pet to be safe in your home. Walk through your home and store any items that might be harmful to your dog or any items that you don’t want chewed up.

You should also discuss with your family who will be feeding the dog, taking them for walks, and be responsible for training them. If you have other animals in your home, make sure their shots are up-to-date. If you have any cats, make sure there is a designated “dog-free” area where they can hide out in while they get used to the idea of their new roomate.

3. Assign a safe space for them

Your new dog will need some private space to rest in and feel safe in. Dog cates can provide this private area for them or you can block a room off for them with a pet gate. Whatever you decide, make sure you visit them a lot in this space to help bond with them, but do try to keep small children and other pets away for a short time while they get used to their new surroundings.

4. Plan how and when to bring them home

How and when you are going to bring the dog home can be an often overlooked decision. Obviously, you will need a vehicle big enough to safely bring the dog home if they are larger than a puppy. Also, when you bring them home is important too. You don’t want to adopt your dog right before you go on a week long vacation. Try to bring them home on a weekend or when you have some free time to be around them to help them adjust to their new home.

5. Explore

Show your dog around the house so they know what their new surroundings are like. This is also a good idea to let them know what’s off limits. You can do this with firm commands like “no” or “leave it”. If you have a yard, put them on a leash and lead them out to it. If you’ve designated a potty space for them outside, lead them to it and reward them with a treat when successfully use it.

6. Begin training right away

Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, begin training them right away. If you plan to crate train, plan on introducing it to them right away and practice leaving them in it for a short period of time.

7. Have them examined by your vet

Ideally, have them checked out by your veterinarian within one week of bringing them home. Your vet will make sure they have all their vaccinations and provide a full health check. If your new dog has any medical issues, early detection will be key in helping their health. If you don’t already have a vet, we here at Rockledge Animal Clinic would be happy to schedule an appointment with you and your new dog!