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As much as you love your family pooch, some dogs don’t get the care and attention they deserve. In fact, 664,000 dogs find themselves in shelters every year, after being rescued by charities such as the Dog’s Trust or the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Eventually, they’ll need a new home, and a new owner. They’ll need the love and generosity of people like you who opt to adopt them.
Rehoming a rescue dog is exciting but also a step into the unknown. How will they get on with your cat, for example? Will they settle in calmly or spend a while bouncing off the walls? Here we tell you all you need to know so you can be best prepared for their arrival.
Learn About The Dog You’re Adopting
If you don’t know your bulldogs from your boxers, now’s the time to get studying. Learning as much as you can about your dog and its breed is by far the most important task before bringing them home. Rescue dogs can often have health issues, whether they be physical or behavioural problems as a result of their past experiences. Speak to staff at the shelter to understand what these issues are, if any, and ask about how they affect them. They may need extra support in the form of medications, or adaptations to your home to help them feel safe and comfortable.
It’s also helpful to understand the breed of the dog you’re adopting. A greyhound, for example, is going to require lots of walks and free space to run and burn off energy versus a smaller terrier. Be sure to do your research, so you can be prepared.
Get Your Home Ready For Their Arrival
The day of arrival is fraught with excitement; you’re welcoming a new member of the family! Just like preparing for the arrival of a new baby, you’ll need to get your home ready for your new four legged friend. Conduct a quick audit of your living space, and check that potentially harmful items are out of paw’s reach. Keep medications, food, and sharp objects up high and out of the way.
At the same time, it’s also important to reposition items of furniture and household items to prevent them from being chewed, as your rescue dog may have a habit for getting their teeth into more than their Bug Bakes.
It’s also vital to have a discussion with other members of your household about caring for your new dog; discuss who would be available to walk and feed them at different times of day, or to let them in and out of the house as needed.
Create A Safe And Secluded Space For Your Dog
Every dog needs a rest. Coming to a new home can be an extremely nerve-wracking experience for a rescue dog, especially if they were mistreated by their former owner. They could easily become anxious, leading to behavioural issues, such as avoidance or aggression towards members of your household.
Create a warm, cosy and safe space for your dog, with a dog bed or blankets in a secluded spot for them to curl up and recharge away from members of your household or other pets. This will help them get used to their new surroundings, and make their transition into a new home much easier.
Try Different Foods Gradually
While some dogs eat whatever is in front of them, some are picky eaters. It’s best not to abruptly change your dog’s diet, as this could cause them to avoid their meals (or even a messy situation). Ask the rescue home staff about the food they’ve been feeding, and try to replicate this diet initially.
Of course, eventually you may want to try them on different foods of your own choosing, due to price, or healthier, more sustainable ingredients, such as Bug Bakes. Introduce them to new foods gradually to help them get used to it with smaller samples. Our 10-day trial is a great way to help them give Bug Bakes a go.