This article is contributed by guest writer, Russel (Founder of ZooAwesome).
10 Ways to Help An Adopted Dog Adjust to His New Home
Adopting a dog is one of the most exciting things you can do in life. You are ready for the responsibility of caring for another life and the furry fellow cannot wait to be your life long companion.
But that is not always the case.
Some dogs suffer from pet anxiety when moving to new environments. And because they cannot use words to express pain, they will show it through behavioral responses.
But all hope is not lost. You can still soothe your furry friend by making sure he feels comfortable in his new home like everyone else.
Here are ten ways to help your furry friend adjust to his new home.
1. Maintain His Normal Routine
Dogs value routine a lot. When you move to a new house, ensure you maintain the same activities that your dog used to do in the former home. Continue taking him out for morning and evening walks. This should help him explore the new environment and feel more at ease living in it.
If you had a fitness routine for your dog, maintain it. Does your new home have a backyard? Great, make time in between your crazy schedule, to train and exercise him. If you moved into an apartment, find a public park where you can go for exercise and play.
Dogs adopted from shelters rarely have a routine set for them. You will have to come up with the daily activities you can do together.
2. Keep All His Prized Toys
Do not toss your dog’s toys away. He will need them to console himself about this new move. If you got him from a shelter, find out if he had any toys he loved to play with. The same applies if you adopted him from a rescue.
Also, keep his sleeping bed and favorite blanket. Continue using the same feeding and drinking bowl for his meals. Keeping familiar things around him helps him cope better.
3. Set Up a Place for Him (Like the Old One)
Welcome your new dog by finding him a safe space, in your home to set up camp. This is where he will be feeding from or spending his days snoozing. Decorate it in the same way as the previous house if you adopt him from a family.
Your furry friend may feel the move to a new place but at least his old sleeping spot is still intact.
4. Keep Him in One Place
You may have to keep the adopted dog in one place to monitor his movements. Sometimes the pet anxiety can get to him causing him to develop strange habits like scratching or biting on furniture. Some dogs will even nip other pets or your children.
5. Reward Him with Kind Words and Treats
Words of affirmation and treats are the best way to build a relationship with an adopted dog. Since you are both strangers to each other, treats and kind words help break the ice and help you bond faster.
Your pooch may bring with them some undesirable traits. This is a great opportunity to train them on good manners using words of affirmation and treats. Not only are you building confidence in the dog, but you are also helping him bond with you better.
6. Spend More Time With Him
Adopted dogs tend to be needy, especially when they move to a new home. You will have to spend lots of time with him as he adjusts to his new home. If you cannot be with him during the day, find a safe place for him to spend the day while you go about your errands.
Find a pet-sitter who is good with pets. Another option is leaving your pooch in a pet daycare center. This will help the furry fellow bond with new people and end his social anxiety.
7. Start teaching him new tricks
If you are adopting a puppy, it is the best time to teach him new tricks. Start training him on simple commands like sit, stay, come, or go. Train him good habits like doing his business outside and not back at every new person he sees.
You can be lucky and adopt a furry fellow who is previously trained. Find out what commands he was taught and reinforce those in your training. If there are any new tricks to teach him, use your kind words and a bag of treats; it always works!
8. Maintain his visits to the vet
Keep taking your new furry friend for his regular shots. If you adopt the dog from your neighborhood, take him to his usual vet. Switching vets abruptly can cause anxiety in the furry fellow.
Find out if the dog was receiving treatment for a specific ailment before adopting him. You will want to continue this treatment and make him better.
9. Find out his favorite activities
Are you adopting your dog from a rescue or a shelter? Find out what activities the furry friend loves to do. It could be brisk walks in the morning or a high adrenaline game in the pack. Some dogs are super intelligent and can help with house chores.
Doing stuff he likes will make you become the best of friends quicker.
10. Be patient with him
Not all dogs are stoked about living in a new home. Some will bark and whine all day pleading to go back to their former home. Other dogs will remain isolated all day and refuse your friendly gestures.
The trick is to remain calm and patient with your new dog. He may not welcome your advances right now, but as long as you do all of the above, he will come around.
If you are getting a new furry friend, make sure you prepare a comfortable place for him. Bring all his favorite toys and maintain the same lifestyle he was used to (or better). If he does not smile at you at first, don’t worry, keep calm and continue being kind to him. He will come around.