1. Prepare by purchasing the things you need before you bring the dog home. Reduce your stress by having the bowls, leash, toys, crate, bed, and other necessities before the dog ever gets there, which will help ease the dog’s stress as well.
2. Allow the dog time to decompress. Some say it takes as long as 3 days for the dog to even begin to calm down, 30 days to start to learn your routines, and 6 months before the dog will be truly comfortable.
3. Be patient and consistent. Set up a schedule for eating, going outside, and playtime. Stick to the schedule to help your dog learn it, but at the same time, allow for mistakes while the dog is still learning.
4. Crate train your dog. Keeping the dog in a crate when you can’t closely supervise him or her will provide the animal with a safe place. It may also help with potty accidents.
5. Introduce the new dog to your other pets slowly. If possible, arrange a meet and greet at the shelter before you make a final decision on adoption. Make sure your existing dog will get along, or at least not actively hate, the new dog. Once home, you might keep the new dog separated from cats and other pets by a screen door or baby gate that allows them to see each other while not having to directly interact while they all get used to the new scents.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!