Congratulations on adopting your new family member! I am very happy and excited for you and here are some tips for your first 24 hours to make the transition as easy as possible.
Before you bring home your new dog
- Dog proof your home (put up Shoes especially Leather shoes and Sandals, clothes, kids toys, and if you have other animals in the house put up their chew toys, food, and or litter boxes, and make sure that collectibles are out of reach)
- Buy supplies for your new dog: 6 Foot leash and a regular buckle or martingale collar, toys (ropes, deer antlers, Kong toys), food and water bowls, enzyme cleaner (for potty accidents), food (it would be good to buy a small bag what the rescue was feeding to help with stomach upsets), ID tag, Crate (if needed), Dog bed, Baby gates (if needed), small bag of training treats and some grooming tools.
- Find a good vet and make an appointment so that you can ask questions, pick up prevention medicines, and or talk about dog nutrition.
- Discuss the new dog arrangement with your family to make sure that everyone knows where the dog sleeps, what the dog eats, how to train the dog and what cue’s to use, when and how to play with the dog, how to deal with accidents, what name he/she will have, proper feeding (when to feed, how much and where to feed, what treats and how many).
- Be consistent in everything you do, dogs are creatures of habit and love to follow rules. Set your new dog up for success. Until he/she has learned what an appropriate behavior is, redirect him/her and show him/her what the appropriate behavior is in your house rather than punishing the dog. Your new dog has to learn your house rules so remember to be consistent, fair, and positive so that you can develop a great relationship from the beginning. If you let him/her know what you expect it will be so much easier for the dog to behave.
When you arrive homeYour new family member will experience some excitement and possible some anxious behavior. You could see some whining, panting, pacing, loose stools, vomiting, diarrhea, chewing, licking, and or marking. Don’t worry if your new dog is a little nervous at first he/she is just not sure what to expect next, just allow your new dog an adjusting period ranging from 2 days to several months.
- When you arrive at home, take your dog (on leash) for a nice walk through your neighborhood or in your backyard to let him relieve him/herself. You want to make sure that your dog knows where to go to the Bathroom. Reward your dog when he/she goes to the Bathroom with a good boy/girl and poss. Treat/kibble.
- Now it is time to enter your home, leave the leash on and give the dog a house tour with the leash on.
- Have the resting/sleeping spot ready and leave the leash on (just make sure that the loop of the leash is not getting stuck somewhere) Settle your new dog with a toy in his new resting spot. If you’re new resting spot is a crate is sure to take the leash of for safety.
- Offer the new dog small amounts of water and some kibble so he/she knows where to get food and water. I prefer hand feeding the new dog so you have amply training opportunities with different situations and do not have to be afraid of overfeeding. Just use the kibble he/she is supposed to get as dinner or breakfast for training for the first couple of days.
- Keep in mind that if your new dog has a potty accident, it does not mean he/she is not house trained. Being nervous and the excitement in a new environment can cause uncharacteristic accidents, once he/she settles in the new routine the manners will likely return.
- Establish a good feeding routine 2x a day breakfast and dinner
(If the puppy is under 6 month feed 3 times a day) take up the food bowl within 20 minutes to prevent house training problems. Feed the leftovers at the next feeding time.
- It is a good idea to take the day off when you bring your new dog home so you can start with a great routine to make it easier on you and the new dog when you have to go back to work.
- Take it slow introducing your new dog to your friends, neighbors, extended family and other animals. I know you will be so proud of your new addition you want to show him/her around but just remember your dog is still adjusting to his/her new home.
- Learn what is OK for your dog to eat, (check out the ASPCA website for listed foods and have the Animal Poison Control Center Phone number available 1-(888)426-4435
- If your new dog is a little nervous you can play some classical music (CD through a dogs ear), spray some lavender/chamomile in the air (no perfume), you could purchase a calming collar or a Thunder shirt from a pet store, or give him/her a frozen filled Kong to eat. Make sure the new dog has a safe, calm place to retreat to.
- Do not let young and inexperienced children be left unsupervised with your new dog. Let your new dog take the first step to greet the new person and make sure that you watch the first initial contact to prevent your new dog from getting stressed.
- Be an advocate for your dog.
- When you are ready to leave the house make sure that your new dog is in a safe area (crate, hallway with baby gates up (stack them up for a larger dog), fenced in yard, or a safe room (not the Bathroom with the door closed). Leave your dog with some frozen Kong toy or a safe chew toy. (No rawhide-choke hazard), leave some classical music playing. Take your dog out to go potty before you leave and as soon as you come back home.
- When your new dog is feeling comfortable at his/her home it is time to think about good manners training. With positive reinforcement you will learn how to communicate with your dog, deepen the bond and you also will feel more comfortable to take your dog everywhere. You should involve all family members in the training so that everyone can be consistent.
- If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact. I am happy to help you. (There is never a stupid question).
Again thank you so much for adopting your new best friend.