Hot on the heels of ‘The Chow Down Challenge’s’ success, that helped to provide 250,000 meals to dogs in shelter homes, Paws.com is back with more pooch-friendly advice.
This time we’re offering some expert advice on how to settle your brand-new beloved rescue dog into their new forever home.
In-house vet and pet wellbeing ambassador for Pets.com Dr Stephanie Wenban said: “Deciding to re-home a dog instead of getting a puppy can be incredibly fulfilling, as well as exciting! Settling a rescue dog into their new home requires some different considerations compared to welcoming a puppy.”
Below are Paws.com’s top five expert tips to help your new member of the family settle in:
1. Be realistic in your expectations
Moving into your home is likely to be daunting for your new dog. How long it takes your new friend to come out of their shell and feel at home will depend on a variety of factors – such as their age, level of previous house experience and whether they have been fostered or in kennels. Some dogs may feel comfortable in hours, while it may take others days or weeks. Give your dog time.
2. Give them space
In the first few days, avoid having visitors where possible and allow your new dog to choose their own level of interaction with you. Provide them a safe space, such as a bed or crate, where they can retreat for privacy. Teach children from the beginning that these areas are off-limits.
3. Keep things consistent
Your new dog is going through a period of change, so try to provide as much stability as possible during this time. Continue on the same food for at least the first week and establish a daily routine of feeding and bedtime. Avoid leaving them alone straightaway, as this can trigger separation anxiety; instead, begin to slowly build up their amount of solo time over the coming weeks.
4. Build their trust
Establish a bond with your new friend by spending time with them – such as training classes, teaching them commands or playing with them. These activities create opportunities for you to communicate with and reward your dog, and in turn for them to view you as a safe and positive person.
5. Consider other pets
If you have other pets at home, delay introductions for the first 24 hours to let your new dog find their feet. When starting intros, keep meetings controlled, making sure dogs are on a lead and cats have an exit route. It can help to have the initial meeting on neutral territory, such as at the park, with an extra pair of hands to help.
Head over to Paws.com for more information on their shelter network, plus handy tips on how you can get involved and show your support – from the Chow Down Challenge to subscription orders, or even becoming an official Buy Food Give Food ambassador.