So you’re considering adopting a new fur baby (or have already adopted one!) and are wondering what’s next? As always, we are here to help, so we created the unofficial New Dog Mom’s Guide to Rescue Puppies!
Whether you’re still thinking about adopting or already have your new rescue puppy settling into their new home, there are a several things that you should take note of in order to make the transition easier for both you and your new pup.
We won’t get into puppy training tips here, but if that’s what you need, you can start with our post on training tips for new dog moms. For now, we’re going to cover some rescue pup basics.
Without further ado, here are some things that you should expect before and after adopting your new puppy.
On Choosing A Puppy
Most shelters usually do a good job of matching puppies with new owners, but some are understaffed and may not have the staff to help you with this decision.
While it generally comes down to your own preferences and what you’re looking for in a pup you’ll be adopting, there are still several tips that you can follow when making this important choice.
If you’re still a bit lost on this, here’s a video that can help.
On Being Affectionate
When you meet shelter pups for the first time, you should generally be in a no touch, no sustained eye contact state. This is for both for the dog’s comfort and your safety.
Upon choosing which pup you want to adopt, still maintain minimal contact but do sit or stand close to them to let them get used to your presence and scent.
After getting your new pup home, don’t kiss or hug your puppy before starting obedience training. This is because you still haven’t established your leadership and dogs may perceive you as a threat when you put your face too close to theirs; this could lead to biting so do avoid doing it.
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Of course, first and foremost, you (and the rest of the household) should be prepared for this new responsibility. Make sure that you’re not getting a new puppy just because you want to, but also because you are prepared (in all aspects) for this new addition to your home.
Secondly, you should prepare some things for picking up your new fur baby at the shelter. This includes a collar, an ID tag, and a leash. You may also need a crate to transport your new pup from the shelter to your house.
Lastly, prepare some things at your own home for the arrival of your new pup. You’ll have to stock up on some dog food, beddings, pens, and crates, as well as some grooming supplies. While you may not need these the moment your puppy arrives, you can also have some toys at the ready.
Even if a shelter pup was previously housetrained, you should expect that there will be some accidents when they get to your home. This is because they are still getting used to the nuances of being in a new environment.
So be patient and remind (or teach from scratch, if necessary) them how to get properly potty trained in your house, and have some appropriate cleaning materials on hand in case accidents do happen.
Finally, On Taking Responsibility for a Living Thing
Ok, I don’t want to get all preachy and scare you away, but adopting a dog is kind of a big deal. In theory, you are rescuing an animal from either homelessness, a bad situation, or even death.
That sounds pretty awesome.
It’s not awesome if you rescue this dog from the jaws of despair only to bring him home and neglect him in a different house!
We are all pretty laid back here when it comes to training and not having the perfect dog, but you have to do your part as far as providing basic care for your dog. This is a living thing that is entirely dependent on you!
The biggest surprise for most new dog owners is the time thing. You now have to think when you leave the house because you are leaving someone there who needs to poop and eat and exercise.
So before you commit, make sure you can handle that. Or better yet, dog sit for a friend for a week. You get the point, just make sure you’re ready!
Ok, end of rant. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, it’s just that a lot of dogs wouldn’t end up in shelters if the previous owners thought it through. We wouldn’t want any of these dogs to return to the shelter just because you realized that you couldn’t handle the responsibility, it will break their (and our) hearts!
Like a wise philosopher once said:
Except substitute dogs for cookies. Get it?
And that’s the new dog mom’s guide to rescue puppies. Hopefully you learned a lot on how to choose the right puppy for you, on what you should and should not do until your dog has been properly trained, as well as any other preparations that you need to make before adopting your rescue puppy.
Let us know if you have any other questions about rescue puppies and on adopting them!
Want access to hundreds of dog training videos from a pro? Check out Doggy Dan’s website.