Introducing A Rescue Dog To Your home and family: 7 Steps For Success - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Introducing A Rescue Dog To Your home and family: 7 Steps For Success

Are you adopting a dog from your local shelter? Here’s what you should know about introducing a rescue dog to your home and family.

Introducing a rescue dog into your home is not only an exciting new experience for the family, but it’s also an act of kindness.

Every year, 6.5 million animals find their way into animal shelters. More disturbingly, 1.5 million of those animals are euthanized.

By taking in a rescue dog, you are quite literally saving at least one life.

However, rescue dogs can sometimes be unpredictable. You don’t know their history or what type of treatment they received. Unfortunately, far too many people abuse their dogs to a point that alters the dog’s behavior.

While it’s not the dog’s fault, those behavior modifications make them timid and even aggressive, which is not a desirable trait in a family pet.

But don’t let that sway you! Introducing a rescue dog into your home can grant a second chance to an innocent creature and bring joy and love into your family!

Steps for Successfully Introducing a Rescue Dog into Your Home

First, remember that dogs, like humans, are all unique individuals with different personalities. Even dogs from the same litter raised in the exact same environment grow up to be entirely diverse.

Therefore, choosing a dog based on a breed you once had in the past may not be the absolute defining requirement. When you go down to the animal shelter, pick your new family pet based on personality and potential!

Finally, for absolute success, follow these 7 steps!

1. Gather the Essentials

Before introducing a rescue dog into your home, you need to make sure you have all of the essentials. You’ll need a laundry list of items to provide the best environment for you, your family, and your new companion.

First, you’ll want a crate. A crate is an important accessory for any dog owner that helps enforce house rules as well as gives your dog a place all to themselves.

You will also need food and water dishes, plus food. Choosing the right dog food depends entirely on the type of dog you have, any special circumstances, and quite frankly, your budget.

Next, you need to make sure you have a comfortable dog bed and some chew toys. Sometimes, a bored dog is a destructive dog.

2. Take Care of Vaccinations

Check with your animal shelter to see what types of vaccinations your future dog has had. Vaccinations are absolutely essential for your dog’s health. They protect against distemper, parvo, rabies, hepatitis, and more.

When you want to introduce a rescue dog with an unknown vaccination history into your home, you have two options.

First, you can have Titer tests done to test the levels of antibodies in your dog. This will indicate any previous vaccinations. A rabies Titer test would have to be done separately.

Alternatively, you could re-vaccinate your new dog. It won’t have any negative effects on him and it will save you the expenses of Titer tests.

3. Be Patient

Patience is a virtuous trait. While many of us feel like we have a cool head, all of that can go out the window when your dog pees on the carpet for the 10th time.

However, maintaining a calm disposition is vital for a healthy relationship between you and your dog. The very last thing you want to do is react out of anger and physically or verbally abuse your dog.

Learn how to keep patience when dog training isn’t going your way.

Remember, introducing a rescue dog to your home is a noble act, but if you can’t handle responsible dog ownership.

4. Make Sure the Dog Is Good with the Whole Family

Dogs act differently with women than they do with men. Similarly, they act differently with adults than they do with children. If you have multiple people in your family, it’s important to see how your future dog responds to each person in a one-on-one scenario.

For example, if a dog had a previous male owner who beat them, they may not respond well to men. This can be reversed if the male in your family earns the dog’s trust, but it’s something to be aware of.

On the other hand, big dogs can be a liability with small children. Dogs are pack animals and like to know where they fall in the pack. You must help every member of your family assert dominance, especially over big dogs.

5. Make Sure Your Home is Prepared

Before introducing a rescue dog to your home first time, make sure it’s properly prepared. If you have any other animals, they need to be gated off or behind closed doors until you have set up an appropriate meet and greet.

Secondly, while you’re giving your new companion a tour of your home, it’s important to let them go at their own pace and check things out. It’s also important to let them be, and not try to pet them and interact with them too much.

This is their first impression of their new home, and new things can be scary for dogs.

6. Be Ready to Put Your Foot Down

While we spoke earlier of the importance of keeping calm and being patient, it’s equally as important to put your foot down when necessary.

Your dog must know where they stand within the family. They need to know you’re in charge and there are rules that must be followed.

Sometimes, owners who are too passive can create overly-aggressive dogs, just like abusive owners. If the dog never learns where to draw the line on their behavior, that’s your fault, not theirs.

7. Enforce Crate Training

Crate training is one of the most under-appreciated tools for new dog owners. While having a new puppy or rescue dog sleep on the bed with you is cute and endearing, they need to have their own bed.

Additionally, dogs need to learn how to be okay when they’re not with you. Separation anxiety in dogs can lead to super destructive patterns and naughty behavior.

Crate training can be rough at first, and many dogs while whine and bark themselves to sleep for the first few days or even a couple of weeks. However, it’s a necessary process of dog ownership.

Pet Crates Direct has all different sizes of dog crates. These include different styles and colors as well. Check them out for the best crate for your dog.

Be Proud of Yourself

Introducing a rescue dog can be challenging. However, it’s also one of the most rewarding things you can do for you and your family!

Remember, when you take in a rescue dog, you’re also saving a life! If you’re looking for a new companion, start at the nearest animal rescue facility!


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