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Adopting a dog from a rescue shelter is one of the best ways to get a pet really. The dog may have been given up to the rescue by the previous owners as they could not take care of it, or may have even been taken away by animal shelter staff due to the abusive or inadequate living conditions. Either way, you’re a new ray of hope in the dog’s life, and you want to make sure you do this right.
Understand where your rescue dog is coming from
Going into a new home can be an overwhelming experience for some pets. The transition from their previous home to the shelter and now to a new home can be stressful. If the pet has come in from a puppy mill, chances are they have lived in substandard conditions. They may not even know how it feels to have a comfortable bedding for themselves or walk free in the grass. Similarly, if they have been with abusive pet parents in the past, they may show a reluctance and fear when your approach them or try to show some affection. Knowing what your pet has been through will help you understand what is the best approach to take, give them space when needed, and help them resume normalcy in their lives.
Prepare your home
When your rescue dog comes to the new house, you want to have the place set for them, so you won’t have to run around finding things once they get home, whether it’s the food bowl or the bedding. If your pet comes from an abusive household or puppy mill, you want to have a safe retreat where they can go when they need their space.
You may also want to use anxiety-buster toys so your rescue dog can keep himself busy when you are not around. It will take time before habits and consistency are established in their life, and simple things like setting the bedding in the same place or calling your pet for food at the same time each day is where it starts. Of course, your pet won’t understand your orders from day one. You want to use positive reinforcement methods to reward your pet when he does things right, and encourage him to try again when he gets it wrong. While you are on it, know that dogs like to have rules, and being consistent with your rules is important to develop trust and confidence.
Stop by the vet so your rescue dog can have a thorough checkup. From vaccinations to heartworm medication, you want to make sure that your rescue dog is healthy. If your rescue pet is an underweight puppy or a senior dog, you want to ask the vet what would be the most suitable diet.