6 Essential Things to Prepare before Bringing an Adult Dog Home
Bringing a new dog home is exciting but, at the same time, nerve-wracking. It is a huge milestone since you are welcoming a new family member.
The first impression of a new adult dog is crucial, as it will dictate the dynamics of your relationship and his behaviour in the home moving forward. That being said, it is important that you do the following in anticipation of your new friend’s arrival.
1) Learn everything about your pooch before bringing a new dog home.
Before you bring home your new canine companion, make sure you know everything about his breed — the characteristics, grooming needs, training requirements, etc. It will help you understand how to better care for your pet and provide him with a happy experience at home with you. This Dog Breed Archive is a good place to start learning.
Some adult dogs may exhibit negative behaviours depending on their experience with their previous owners, so make sure you get all the details from your dog’s past handler so you can properly deal with critical situations that may arise.
2) Know where to go for your dog’s health care.
It is better to find a veterinarian near you even before bringing the dog home. Most rescue centres or adoption organisations will require dog owners to list the veterinarian’s name on the application before adoption.
If you are unable to find one near where you live, you can ask family and friends to suggest vets they trust. You can also tap into the Internet for recommendations – you can ask UK Pets Online Vet or inquire at animal ownership forums.
3) Identify access areas.
Where will your new dog sleep? Where will he go potty? What areas will you allow him to access? These questions must be settled before the big day so that the transition will be better for your furry companion.
Also, anything within the dog’s reach should be safe or dog-proof — either covered or placed out of reach. Here are a few things you can do:
- Tape loose electrical cords
- Put harmful chemicals and toxic plants in high places
- Remove breakables
- Install gates or fences
4) Stock up on dog supplies.
You can start with the basic dog supplies and items specifically recommended by the dog’s previous handler. You can then add to your supply stash as the need arises.
Here’s a list of the basics that you can get at your local pet store:
- High-quality dog food appropriate for your dog’s breed.
It should be rich in protein and does not have a lot of corn-based ingredients, food fillers, colourings and sweeteners.
- Food and water bowls suitable for your dog’s size.
A heavy base water bowl will help to avoid being knocked over.
- A dog collar of a snug fit.
Measure your dog’s neck size before bringing it home as this will help you to choose the best-fitted collar.
- A durable leash.
The leash should be made of durable material with a soft handle so that when your dog pulls, it will not hurt your hand.
- A comfortable dog bed of the appropriate size.
- Fences or gates to keep your dog from accessing some areas.
If you decide to limit the area your dog can have access to, the baby gate should be installed and tested before the dog’s arrival.
- A few chew toys.
Avoid cooked bones as it could potentially lead to accidents.
- A dog crate for house training.
To make sure your new dog feels comfortable in his new crate, you could put a crate mat or a soft blanket in.
- Dog treats for obedience training and other forms of conditioning.
This does not have to be purchased; you could use chopped sausages or cheese from your fridge, just remember not to overtreat them.
5) Establish guidelines for the family
Living in a large household can be a bit overwhelming for your new pet, so before bringing him home, it is essential that you talk with the whole family and set ground rules.
As mentioned, the first day of the dog’s arrival is very crucial as it sets the tone. Everyone should be calm and remain so from the very moment your new canine pal arrives at the footstep of your home until the day ends. Everything is new for the dog, and enthusiastic displays of attention may make the transition more overwhelming for him. Give him time to observe and get used to being in the new space and in everybody’s company.
Further, never leave your dog alone with the kids. Any interaction should be well-supervised to avoid accidents, especially as you are still observing the pooch’s aggression tendencies.
Routine is Key
The first few days will be tough for your new dog, as he is still getting accustomed to his new environment. However, establishing a fixed routine for feeding, toileting, napping, play, or exercise will help the new addition to the family feel more comfortable and understand that he is very much welcome to your home.
Usually, dogs begin to feel comfortable in their new home after a month. Be consistent with your pet’s routine and be firm on the ground rules to strengthen your bond and help him become a well-adjusted and well-mannered dog.