The key to helping your dog make the transition to your home is being patient and prepared. It can take anywhere from two days to two months for you and your dog to adjust to each other. The following tips can help a lot in making a smooth transition:
Preparing Your Home
Gather the things your dog is going to need in advance. You will need a leash, collar, water and food bowls, dog food and, of course, some toys. Also, don’t forget to purchase an identification tag with your name and number right away.
Establish house rules
One of the most important things is for you to lay out some ground rules first. Who is going to take the dog for a walk first thing in the morning? Will they be allowed on the couch? Who is going to feed them? Are there any rooms in the house that are off-limit to your dog? Are they going to sleep on the bed with you at night? Where will they need to lay down while you eat dinner?
Plan the arrival
Make sure to plan ahead in time the arrival of your new dog or preferably when you can be home for a few days. Get to know each other and spend some quality time together.
Prepare for house training
Assume your dog has not been house trained before and start from there. Read online resources such as our blog and start training right away. Maintain a routine and be consistent. You may have to do a little, extra effort in the start but it will pay off in easier transitioning. If for any reason you are having trouble with training, reach out to us at VIP and we can set up an at-home assessment to help get your dog the training they deserve.
Ensure your dog is healthy
Animal shelters take in animals from all over and it is always a good practice to check whether your dog is previously vaccinated or not. Take your dog to the vet for a health check up for any needed vaccinations they may require. While at the vet if your dog is not spay/neutered make that appointment.
The First Few Weeks
Define a dog place
Appoint a place in your house or some sort of confinement for your dog. You can give your dog a crate but it should not contain wires where their collar or paws can get caught. It should be roomy enough so that your dog can turn around and sit comfortably. After a few weeks your dog will become accustomed to the crate.
Use training and discipline
Dogs need order. Let your dog know from the start who they should be taking orders from and how to follow. If you find your dog doing something they shouldn’t be doing, stay calm and let them know in an assertive way that they have misbehaved. Reward them when they do well.
Let the games begin
Dogs need an active life. This means you should spare a good chunk of your time for exercise and game time. If running in the park is a little too much for you, try throwing a stick or a ball, going out for a walk together, or for a run on the treadmill here at VIP.
Patience is key
Any new pet takes some time to adjust. Life will look like a different experience to you but you’ll know that you’ve made a friend for life. No one will ever greet you with so much love and enthusiasm or provide you with as much loyalty and unqualified love as your dog will. So, be patient with them and you will be amply rewarded.
Socializing your dog plays a big part in their long term health and well being. Just like we humans need friends and a social life your dog does too. There are several things you can do to socialize your dog:
- Take them to the dog park. Note that this is not something we recommend doing unless your dog is up on all of their shots.
- Drop them by daycare for our weekly activities. Here at VIP we have 3 activities every week to help your dog interact with other dogs. These activities also give them the exercise you may not be able to provide them at home during your busy week!