So You Want to Adopt a Pet - Whisker Hut

So You Want to Adopt a Pet

If you have been following the news recently, you would have heard that Major, the German Shepherd that was adopted and rescued from an animal shelter by President Joe Biden, had an incident when it was acclimating to the White House. While it may come across as shocking news, this isn’t the first time that a rescue dog has bitten or attacked someone in their new home. While we all love the idea of bringing a shelter or rescue dog home to show them love, doing so abruptly can have severe consequences for people or even other pets living in your home.

How to help your rescue dog adjust to their new home environment

If you are truly into adopting rescue or shelter dogs, then read on to find top tips that you should undertake before you decide to bring the shelter dog home.

  1. Getting familiar with you

First of all, when you first set your eyes on the dog that you would like to bring home, you shouldn’t do so abruptly. Instead, you should visit the dog as many times as possible and bring it out to play around the shelter. By doing so, you are allowing the dog to build in you, and this is important as some shelter dogs have been abandoned by their previous owner and hence, they might be a little apprehensive towards humans. You will know that you have achieved the creation of a bond with the dog when it starts to show signs of excitement every time it sees you at the shelter.

If you can, bring along members of your family during each visit so that the dog can develop the same bond between each of them.

  1. Preparing the family

When the time arrives for you to bring the dog home, you should first communicate with the whole family about how they will approach their new family member for the very first time. They must understand that it can be overwhelming for a rescue dog if everyone in the family starts to crowd around it all at once. Always remember that the dog may have lost trust in humans at some point and may show aggression toward unfamiliar people. The trust building stage may take some time but it still remains achievable.

  1. Introduction to surroundings

Another good tip is to first introduce your new dog to the outer parameters of the home before bringing it inside the house. Take a walk with the dog around the vicinity so that it can get familiarized with his new home. Dogs have very strong sensory skills and this helps them to associate certain scents with their new home. This trick comes in handy in the event that he gets lost again and needs to find his way back home. If the dog decides to relieve himself around the area, that’s even better because he’s marking his territory.

  1. Meet the family outside

To add icing on the cake, get your family to meet the dog outside of the house. Best if they are armed with healthy treats for your rescue dog! Once all of these steps have been implemented, you can officially welcome your new dog home for the very first time.

Wrapping things up

It’s a very good idea to ask the shelter staff for advice about how to introduce your pet into his new home. Equally important, you should keep an eye on how he’s doing from time to time. Rescue dogs could appear to fine one day and overwhelmed the next. Once you have judged that the dog is comfortable and poses no serious threat to others, you can start establishing house rules.  If you have rescued a shelter dog or planning to do so, thank you and congratulations!

#rescuedogs #shelterpets #whiskerhut

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