4 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Adding a new family member is never easy. This seems like an obvious statement, but many humans forget. They expect their new dog to magically fit into their family, but that isn’t realistic. Change is hard for everyone, especially dogs, who love routines. I’ll admit, I even had my troublemaking days when Molly first adopted me, but now, we’re the best of friends. So, if you’re planning to adopt a new dog, be patient and keep the following tips in mind.
Have Everything Prepared in Advance
Adopting a dog shouldn’t be a spur of the moment decision. And based on the lengthy application processes at shelters and rescues, it’s unlikely that it will be. But when you finally come across the perfect dog, it might be easy to rush into it without being prepared. So, I recommend gathering supplies as soon as you know you want a dog, even if you haven’t found the perfect one yet. You can save the size-specific stuff, like a collar and crate, for later. But it can’t hurt to have a few dog supplies ready in advance.
Your home should be set up for a dog before your new furry friend walks in the door. The more objects you have for them, the easier it will be for them to adjust. Even if you already have another dog, it’s a good idea to give your new dog toys and a bed that are specifically for them so they can have their own space.
They’ll Need Time to Adjust
It will probably take your dog a while to feel comfortable in your home. All dogs adjust at different paces, but it will usually take three days for a dog to start acting like themselves, three weeks for them to get used to the routine, and three months to feel like a true member of the family. So, be patient. If your new dog isn’t cuddling and playing with you right away, that’s normal. Change is stressful for them, so give them some time.
They Might Act Different Than Expected
If the dog’s foster family said that they’re potty trained, but they have an accident in your home, it doesn’t mean someone lied. If a dog was described as playful online, but is very shy with you, that’s not an error. In most cases, dogs act differently when they get adopted because they’re scared and confused. They’ve probably traveled a lot in the past few months, so they don’t know what to expect. If they act unusual when they first come home, don’t get mad at them. Instead, be understanding because they’ve been through a lot.
It Might Take a While for Their True Personality to Show
Some dogs will feel comfortable right away, but others will continue to act out of sorts for a while. Do your best to make them feel comfortable and accept that they might not be ready to come out of their shells yet. They likely need time to learn to trust you, and when they do, a magical friendship will form. But never rush a dog into being friendlier because that will only make the transition harder.
Show Them Love and Don’t Give up!
Getting a new dog can be a stressful situation. You might get frustrated and disappointed when your dog doesn’t behave as expected. But instead of letting your anger get the best of you, think about how your dog must feel. They’re suddenly alone with some humans that they don’t even know. Of course they’re not going to treat it like home right off the bat. So, continue to give your dog love and care for them well. Because eventually, they will warm up to you and realize that you won’t leave them behind like their past humans might’ve. All the transitions while getting a new dog are worth it in the end.
While most dogs just need time to adjust, it’s also important to note that not every dog is adopted by the right family. If your dog just doesn’t seem to be fitting in to your household, it’s okay to return them so they can find a better home. Just make sure you give them some time before making that decision. And of course, always be responsible when re-homing a dog.
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