The day you decide to bring home a pet is undoubtedly one of the most memorable days of your life. And if it’s a rescue dog that you are adopting, there are some very important things to keep in mind and be prepared for, before you open your home and heart wide and add a furry member to your family. Read on to know more.
1. He’ll Be Scared And Tentative Initially
Give your pup time to get used to his new surrounds. Your puppy has been through a lot. He may have been abused, newly separated from his mom and siblings or used to being huddled in a crowded cage with other puppies, all of them yelping and screaming. And if that wasn’t enough, he’s just had what’s possibly the first (scary) car-ride of his life, and is now in a big place amidst complete strangers. He will take his time to adjust and relax.
2. You Almost Know Nothing About Him
Rescue dogs can be a bit unpredictable even if they may seem even-tempered at the surface. It is safer to give the dog time to adjust before you decide to leave him alone with kids. You need to take your time to know your dog and his reactions to various things. What’s also important is that the dog should be able to feel safe and trust his surroundings and not react in defense at something new.
All dogs at the shelter are not abused or mistreated, but the switch from one place to another can be quite traumatic for them. Which is why it’s important for both parties to get comfortable with each other before adding kids to the mix.
3. You Will Need To Train Him
Consistent training is important as your puppy is trying to get adjusted to his new ‘pack’. He may or may not have been trained as a pup. And even if he was, he would need to get used to the rules and boundaries in his current household.
Some of the common issues with rescue dogs are a lack of potty- training, pulling at the leash, chewing or jumping. The best thing is that these are all fully correctable behaviors. All they require is time and patience.
4. He Will Take Time To Trust You
We all tend to humanize our pets and attribute a lot of their behavior to their having human feelings and emotions. But animals aren’t capable of many emotions that we imagine them to be having. Your new puppy will understand and appreciate slowly that he’s safe around you, but expecting him to be grateful or appreciative is unreasonable. It’ll take him time to build this trust and just because you rescued him, it isn’t going to speed things up any.
5. He May Not Get Along With Your Other Pets
It will take time for your puppy to adjust to other pets in the family. He may not be used to being around cats for instance, and may not know what to expect. Or he may be used to competing for resources and see your pets as threats. The best thing to do here, would be to let things take their course and let the animals sort it out at their own pace. It will take time for everyone to get used to the change.
But it’s better to err on the side of caution and not try to force things prematurely. It’s definitely a bad idea, for instance, to have your new pet in the same room as your other pets on day one and expect for things to be fine.
6. Don’t Expect Him To Be Like Your Other Dogs
All dogs are different and your new puppy comes with his own personality, likes and dislikes. Even if he looks exactly like a pet you may already have, chances are that he’s completely different. He may have habits and tendencies that your other pets never had. It helps to have an open mind and patience to deal with the odd bad habit in the new pup.
7. You May Not Know What Breed He Is
Knowing what breed your puppy is, helps you to expect and understand some of his traits and also helps you decide if he’s a good fit for your family. For instance, some breeds are not appropriate for families with very young children, or other small animals. Do your research if you’re particular about bringing home a specific breed. A lot of rescue dogs are a mix of many dog breeds, with a lot of their breed-specific traits watered down. The rescue facility should be able to help you with your research.
8. Your Puppy Needs A Vet Visit
Even if your puppy seems healthy, a vet visit is a must to ensure he’s current on all his shots. Usually all that your rescue puppy would’ve had in all likelihood is a routine exam at the vet’s which doesn’t normally include allergy tests or blood work. Usually if there is a severe illness that’s discovered at the vet’s the rescue organization will take the dog back and if you decide to keep the puppy, the cost of treatment will need to be borne by you. Also, you may need to take a decision about whether or not you want to have the puppy spayed or neutered.
9. Your Puppy Will Need A License
Many states need for all dogs to have a license. You may need to check with your hometown website once you get Fido home.
10. You Will Need Tons Of Patience
Your new puppy will need to be guided into doing things that you want him to do and to follow the rules that you set for him. Be sure to be patient with him as he unlearns what he’s used to and tries to make sense of what you are asking him to do. It’s a good idea to use positive reinforcement and refrain from scolding him or using punishment as a means of teaching him new behavior as that will only scare him further.
11. Be Prepared To Fall Head Over Heels In Love
After the puppy has transitioned well into your household, and rules and boundaries have been clearly set and understood, be prepared to receive boundless, unconditional love from your fur-baby. And did we mention slobbery kisses?