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Now you’re probably going to experience a Honeymoon period. This can be either a really pleasant time with your new dog, or a pretty traumatic time. Those dogs going through a pleasant honeymoon period will be basically perfect. He’ll be calm, well mannered, and you’ll be patting yourself on the back for picking such a perfect specimen.
On the flipside, the dog going through a traumatic Honeymoon period will be just the opposite – nervous, stressed, panting. He might have accidents. Now there’s a good news, bad news scenario in both of these situations. You might discover that your calm, perfect dog settles in and starts to test boundaries a little bit. Or your nervous stressed dog might settle in and say, “Hey, this isn’t so bad after all!” The point is, be prepared for whatever might come your way and understand that the dog you meet during those first few weeks, is probably not the dog you’re going to know years from now.
Now even if you were told that your new rescue dog was perfectly house trained, stress can cause uncharacteristic accidents. Supervise your dog at all times in the house, and use baby gates to cut off access to the rest of the house. Now even if you have a fenced in yard, you should still go out with your dog every time, that way you can make sure that he actually potty-ed and you can give him a reward right after he finishes. Now because everything is new and potentially stressful to your dog, you might find that he needs to go out from frequently. You want to set your dog up to succeed by providing supervision, frequent breaks for potty, and rewarding for potty-ing in the right place.
The excitement of a new home and a new dog food might lead to an upset belly. If possible, continue feeding the same food your dog was getting at the shelter or at the foster home, and then slowly transition to a new food over the course of a week. Now your dog might not want to eat at first, and that’s okay. Give your dog his food bowl, put it down give him 15 minutes if he doesn’t finish, pick it up and wait for the next meal.
Now your dog might not want to play with toys initially and that’s okay. But you should have bones and stuffable activity toys available to him during activity time. It’s important that you allow your dog to acclimate to his new home and adjust to the rhythms at his own pace.
Best of luck with your new rescue dog, and a big thank you from me and all of us here at Petside for choosing to rescue.
Not all new fur-family members are puppies from breeders. If you choose to go the route of bringing home a rescue dog, you could wind up with a fully grown dog right from the shelter. What then?
Sure, your new dog is a grown-up, but he or she still has a lot of learning to do! Here's what you can expect when you bring home a newly adopted rescue dog.
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