Bringing home a new dog can be a nerve-wracking experience. Puppies are a challenge all on their own. They have behaviors that range from absolutely adorable to downright annoying, and without proper planning, you can find yourself pulling your hair out before day 1 is done.
And while adult dogs might not be as mischievous as a new puppy, rescued animals bring their own challenges. You never know what kind of behaviors to watch out for!
That’s why it’s important to research how to prepare your home when adopting a rescue dog whether you’re a first-time dog owner or a seasoned pet pro. If you need a refresher course on how to prepare your home for a new dog, keep reading!
Prepare Your Pup’s New Human Family
The most important part of preparing your home for a new dog is to give the people in your home a rundown of what they should expect. When you adopt a rescue dog, you should first make sure that the dog gets along with all people and pets that currently live in your home. Most reputable rescues will make this a necessity before allowing you to adopt the dog in the first place.
But it goes beyond that. It’s important that everyone in your home knows what their role will be when it comes to taking care of the new dog. Dogs have many different needs and your household will run more smoothly when everyone knows what they’re expected to do.
Who’s job is it to take the dog out first thing in the morning? Who gives your new furry friend their food? These are all things that can get looked over if you’re not carefully planning with a solid routine!
Head to the Pet Store
Going to the pet store is the most exciting part of getting a new pet! There’s no shortage of things that you can buy for your new companion!
The basics are pretty simple: a dish for food and water, a leash, a collar, some toys, and some dog food.
For the most part, as long as you’re getting the right size collar and dog bed, you can’t make the wrong choice when it comes to puppy paraphernalia. But it’s important that you research exactly what kind of food to get for your dog.
Avoid low quality food that is stuffed with fillers. Make sure it has ingredients that you feel comfortable feeding your new friend!
Next up on the list is to find your vet. If you’re an experienced pet owner, you can skip this step because you should already have a trusted vet on speed dial for any animal emergencies.
Even for an older dog that has all of its shots, a vet is an important part of preparing yourself and your home for them. Look up where your closest 24-hour emergency animal hospital is and keep that number on hand where anyone in your house can grab it in case the worst were to happen.
Gather Puppy Paperwork
It can be difficult to find vet records for a rescued dog. Many dogs in bad situations never even had a chance to go to the vet in the first place. But make sure you ask rescue for any important paperwork anyway.
This is another reason why a good vet is so important. You can get your adopted bud into the vet as soon as possible so you’re completely covered on the paperwork part!
The Art of Puppy Proofing
Now we come to the nitty-gritty aspect of preparing your home physically for a dog. Any dog, whether young or old, will have an adjustment period when they come to your home for the first time. This can mean that you’ll have to deal with any number of possibly destructive behaviors.
It’s better to be prepared than to chase your new dog all around the house the first week making sure that they’re not getting into any unexpected trouble!
Puppy-proofing a home is much like baby-proofing a home. You should get down on their level and check to see what trouble they can get into.
Do your kids keep their toys on the floor in a common area where your new dog will hang out? Are there threads of your carpet that stick up, begging for someone to come and chew on them? Do you have electrical wires out in the open hooked up to nearby gadgets?
These are all things that dogs will find especially entertaining to chew.
If you have a yard and you can afford to fence it in, having a place where your dog can run free can be great for their health and well being.
Leaving your dog in the yard by themselves can be nerve-wracking (what happens when they dig holes!) but as long as you read up on the best tips for keeping your dog safe in your yard, you should have no problems.
Baby Gates: A Dog Owner’s Life Saver
Our number one tip for preparing your home for a new dog is to stock up on baby gates. Your dog can't get into trouble in your bedroom or bathroom if they don’t have access to it! Decide ahead of time what areas your dog is allowed to roam in and gate off the areas where you’d rather keep them out.
You’re saving yourself a whole lot of stress and hassle when you do!
How to Prep Your Home When Adopting a Rescue Dog
When adopting a rescue dog, you should expect some different challenges than adopting a new puppy. A rescue dog usually has learned behaviors that they have to work through and that can be a challenge on its own. That’s why you should eliminate any excess grief and prepare your home as you would for a new puppy, just in case!
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