What to Expect When You Bring Home a New Dog

Adopting a new dog into your family is fun and exciting! Once you have finally chosen the perfect pup for your household, it’s time to prepare your home to welcome a new family member. Every situation is different and bringing home an older dog will be much different than bringing home a puppy. It’s best if you have a pretty good idea of what to expect and how to prepare for when your new dog comes home. The more prepared you and your family are, the easier the transition will be.

Here’s How You Can Help Your New Dog Settle In

  1. Have everything ready for your dog before he arrives. You should have a dog safe area set up for him that includes his new bed, bowls, a few toys, and a crate for crate training. If you’re adopting a foster dog, see if there’s a familiar item that your new dog loves and ask if he can take it to his new home. A familiar item can go a long way towards easing anxiety. Also, find out what food your new dog has been eating. If you want to switch, do it very slowly over a few weeks’ time. You don’t want your dog to develop diarrhea because of a sudden diet change.


  1. Order an ID tag for your new dog’s collar. It should list your phone numbers, your last name, and your new dog’s name (if you know it). Put it on your dog before you even load up in the care. That way, if your new dog gets panicked and runs off, hopefully, he’ll find his way back home. Be extremely cautious during this transition time. Always use a leash or stay in a fenced in area until your dog gets to know you and where his new home is.


  1. Spend the first couple of days at home with your new pup, if you can. This is a great time to encourage bonding and begin establishing a routine.


  1. Begin training, especially housebreaking, right away. It’s likely there will be a few accidents in the beginning.


  1. Schedule a vet visit within the first couple weeks of bringing your new pup home. Even if your dog is up to date on his shots, it’s a good idea to introduce your new dog to the doctor, so they know a little bit about each other in case an emergency comes up.


  1. Prepare yourself for the possibility that your new dog will act a little different in your home than he did in the foster home or shelter where you met him. It may take a while for our new dog to settle in and act like himself. Establishing a consistent routine will help, and so will lots of love and affection from you.


Congratulations on your new family member! Enjoy the journey of getting to know your new dog!