words Al Woods
Rescuing a dog is incredibly rewarding; not only do you gain a new furry friend, but you’ll be giving an animal a gorgeous animal a forever home of their own.
Regardless of the breed you end up choosing, there are a few things you’ll need and guidelines to follow once they’ve arrived home. Follow our tips to prepare your home for a rescue, as well as our top tips on ensuring they settle in well.
Make sure you have all of the essentials
You don’t want to bring your new friend home only to realise you’re missing some of the essentials needed for a dog. Stock up on the following in the days before they arrive to keep them happy and healthy from the get-go:
- Food and water bowl – consider getting a slow-feed food bowl as these are designed to prevent choking and gastronomical distress.
- A grooming kit – keep your new furry friend’s coat clean and clear of uncomfortable knots by investing in a grooming kit.
- A collar with an ID tag as well as a leash – ensure to put your phone number on their collar should they escape from the garden or while you’re on a walk.
- Bedding – choose something comfortable and big enough for the dog to curl up on.
- Toys – keep them entertained with a variety of toys, including things to chew on as this will help exercise their jaws while keeping their teeth clean.
There are a few additional things you may want to consider depending on the way you want to train your dog, such as a crate or car harness. Make a list in advance so you don’t have to panic-buy when you should be spending time with your rescue.
Dog-proof the area
You don’t want your rescue to get anything that may be bad for them, nor do you want them to damage property. Dog-proof the home to limit hazards and possible damage to your furniture. Tape down any loose wires, ensure they can’t access cupboards that contain cleaning supplies, install a baby gate if you don’t want them to access certain rooms, move breakable objects and ensure any indoor plants are inaccessible.
Create a designated space for them
While it’s likely that you’re feeling super excited about having a new member of the family, you don’t want to overwhelm or scare them. Make a safe space for them to retreat when they’re feeling this way. A kitchen with hard floors is a great choice, as they may not be toilet trained or have an accident out of nervousness. Their space should include their crate or a soft bedding, depending on your preference, as well as a water bowl and some soft toys.
When they arrive
Now that you’ve prepared everything you can, here are some tips to follow once the big day has arrived and you’re about to bring them home:
- Introduce them to people slowly, letting them get used to your household before letting your wider circle meet them.
- Hold off on introducing them to any other pets for the first day, allowing them to calm down. When you are introducing them, do so in a neutral territory such as a park or even just the garden.
- Try to limit excitement, loud noises or shouting. While it’s normal to be excited, you need to stay calm to allow them to get used to the space without scaring them.
- Be consistent with your rules. If, for example, you let them jump up on the sofa or bed for the first few days but don’t want them to long term, this will just lead to confusion.
- Follow a routine from the start to help ease them into living in your home.
By following these tips, your rescue will be able to settle into your home seamlessly. Remember to have patience, as they may not have lived in a house in many years – if ever. Rescuing an animal is an incredible thing to do, and you’re sure to fall in love with your new pal.