Tips for Your First Week Home with Your Newly Adopted Dog

Rootbeer is headed home after a year at SHS!

The three principles of responsible pet ownership are, one: giving your pet an ID tag/microchipping; two: spaying or neutering; and three: training and socializing your new pet. After you have completed those steps… now what? Here is a list of what to expect in the first week after bringing home your newly adopted dog and some ways to help ease this transition.

Create a consistent schedule.
  • According to Preventive Vet, creating a schedule for your newly adopted dog will help them settle in and feel safe in their new environment. Also, creating a schedule is the “key to potty training success.”
  • A consistent schedule will create a calm, organized environment which will help your new pet feel more comfortable and confident in their new home. This routine will include feeding, walking, training, and outdoor bathroom breaks.
Crate training
  • Crate training has a bad reputation since many people believe it takes away their dog’s freedom. However, there are a lot of benefits of crate training that will positively impact your newly adopted dog as they adjust to their new home. Not only are crates used as a training tool to keep dogs safe, but they are also used to make the dog feel comfortable by giving them their own space.
  • American Kennel Club states, “Enclosed spaces create a shelter for your dog to rest and relax. Actually, dogs instinctively seek small spaces to create protective shelters for themselves. Crates are useful training tools for puppies, safe havens for senior dogs, and lifesavers for emergencies.”
One step at a time
  • First introduce your dog to one room of the house at a time. This will ensure that they feel comfortable and not overwhelmed right away.
  • Take your time introducing your newly adopted pet to friends and family; make sure they feel comfortable and confident in their new home first.
Obedience classes
  • Training classes are very helpful for your new pet to learn effective communication, safety during dangerous situations, and are great bonding time between dog and owner.
Find a vet
  • Other than spaying or neutering your newly adopted pet, make sure to schedule a vet check-up appointment. If you adopt from SHS, remember to schedule your first free appointment with VCA Animal Hospitals within the first two weeks.

Overall, don’t forget the 3-3-3 rule when adopting a shelter dog. During the first three days, your newly adopted furry friend will be overwhelmed by their new environment. Throughout the first three weeks, your dog might feel a little more comfortable in their new home and with their new family. It can take three or more months for your dog to feel completely confident at home and trust you as family. Some dogs might take longer than others, it is important to be patient and be understand during this transition.