Adopting a rescue dog is a special thing to do. It helps to complete your family and give another chance to a dog who might not have had the best life. Moving them to their forever home can be a major adjustment, but there are things you can do to make the transition go smoothly.
If you’re welcoming a rescue dog into your family, read our guide to find out some important steps to take after adopting a rescue dog.
Get The Right Supplies
Make sure things are ready for when your dog arrives – this means shopping for the supplies they need. The items you’ll require might vary depending on your dog. As a guide, some important items are:
- Dog bed
- Puppy pads for younger dogs
- Baby gate
- Dog shampoo
- Nail clippers
- Worming, flea, and tick treatments
- Collar and ID tag
- Poo bags
- Food and water bowls
- Training treats
Register Your Dog
Unless your animal is exempt, you must register your dog with the local council by the time it’s six months old. Registrations are valid for the pet’s entire lifespan, so find out if the dog has been registered previously. The rescue home or council should be able to help. It’s also sensible to register your pet with a vet and get insurance coverage.
Prepare Your Home
Getting your home ready for the new arrival is necessary both to protect your belongings and ensure their safety. These are some things that are always worth considering:
- Cleaning products – keep cleaning products, medicines, and other chemicals out of reach of dogs
- Cords and electrical cables – secure electrical equipment to avoid dogs chewing wires or getting stuck
- Plants – check whether your house plants are toxic to animals and move them out of reach if so
- Small items – small objects and décor at dog level can be dangerous, so remove these
- Garden – check your garden and fencing for potential escape routes
- Cupboards – secure cupboards and other areas by keeping them closed or using child-proof latches
Introduce Them Slowly
When it’s time for your adopted dog to come home, introducing them slowly is key. This prevents them from becoming overwhelmed and helps to keep everyone safe. Using a leash when they’re coming into the home for the first time can be smart.
Once inside, gently guide the dog from room to room, allowing lots of time for them to sniff and get used to the new environment. Go at the dog’s pace so they’re comfortable. When you’re introducing other members of the household, both human and animal, do this calmly and slowly. If you have other pets, only introduce them under supervision and when both animals are ready.
Make Sure Vaccinations Are Up To Date
Regardless of your dog’s age, ensure that its vaccinations are up-to-date. Dogs need vaccines at 16 weeks – this is even more important if you intend to take them to a dog park, as vaccinations are mandatory in these spaces. Dogs under 16 weeks should not be taken to dog parks.
Your vet can get an up-to-date record of your rescue dog’s health and vaccination history. If there are any vaccinations that your dog needs, your vet can also help here. Getting the dog vaccinated is vital to protecting their health throughout their life.