Am I Ready to Adopt?
Demand for dogs has increased during the pandemic as more people are spending time at home and are looking for a companion. But bringing a new dog into a home can require adjustments, from the dog’s part as well as the family’s.
Before you proceed with the adoption, ask yourselves if you are ready to adopt a dog and commit to this decisions, even when the circumstances of your life will change, after the pandemic.
If you believe you are ready, here are some tips to help make the process as smooth as possible.
Prepare your home for its arrival
Before bringing a dog into your home, make sure you have everything you need to make their life comfortable. This includes a collar/harness and leash, food and water bowls, treats, toys, a dog bed and puppy pee pads (if you are adopting a puppy).
Also make sure you have the right type of food for your dog. Find out what your dog is currently being fed, and if you plan to switch to a different brand, do so gradually by mixing the old food with the new food.
If possible, arrange to take some time off work so you can be focused on your dog when they come home.
First Day Home
When you first come home, keep your dog on a leash as you give it a tour. Walk through every room in the house and show them their special area, whether that’s a dog bed or a separate room.
Have patience with the new dog as the smells and sounds of an unfamiliar area may cause him or her anxiety. And while it’s exciting to have your new furry family member in the house, try to give them space and not overwhelm them with attention.
Before your dog moves in, decide what house rules your dog will need to learn. For example, no jumping on the couch or no eating people food. It is important that everyone in the home teaches the dog the same rules. Failing to do so may cause your new dog to become anxious, confused and difficult to control.
Exercise Is Very Important
Take your new dog on several walks each day to burn off excess energy. This will help the dog relax in their new home.
Before you adopt the dog, make sure to find out as much information as possible so you can be prepared already on what issues you may need to address. For example, the dog may not be used to walking on a leash, or be reactive towards bikes, other animals or people.
Keep in mind that some dogs, especially puppies, have never walked on a leash before and will need to learn that a walk is fun and not something scary.
Get the entire Household involved
Before getting a dog, or any other pet for that matter, make sure everyone in your household is on board. Figure out who will be in charge of feeding and watering the dog, who will walk the dog (or take turns doing it) and any who will take on any other tasks.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from a professional Trainer
In case you face challenges transitioning the dog to a home environment, or even to prevent this from happening, do not hesitate to ask for help from a professional Dog Trainer.
Choose trainers that emphasize training techniques that rely on positive reinforcement and make sure that all family members are engaged in the training so that the dog receives a consistent message from everyone.
Make sure you’re fully committed to the responsibility of caring for a dog. This includes being able and willing to pay for expenses, such as food, toys, training and veterinary care. Dogs need regular vet visits, but you also need to be prepared for emergencies, such as illnesses or injuries.