October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! Whether you have only a few pooches over the course of your lifetime, or have never been dog-less, it’s always fun getting to know a new canine pal. Getting adopted is a big change for any pooch, but it can be particularly stressful for shelter dogs, especially those that have suffered from trauma or neglect. A Westminster, MD vet offers some tips on helping your new pup get settled in this argument.
Take Fido for a walk before you bring him in, so he can stretch his legs and check out his new surroundings. It will also help him get his bearings. It’s also a good way for him to reset and process the fact that he’s moving.
Fido should feel comfortable and safe as soon as he first sets paw inside your house. Make sure you have all his doggy necessities ready and waiting for him. Your shopping list should include a comfy bed, food, dishes, grooming supplies, a leash and harness or collar, a crate, waste baggies, and, of course, treats. Put these things in a quiet area, so Fido has a safe space to unwind and settle in.
Don’t be surprised if your furry friend sleeps a lot at first. Being in a shelter environment is extremely stressful for pets. Fido may need to just relax for a while as he unwinds from that trauma.
Fido may have quirks and phobias you don’t know about yet. Make your home as safe as possible for him by removing potential hazards, such as small or sharp items, ropes and cords, chemicals, and plastic wrappers or bags. If you have a yard, make sure your fencing is secure.
Our canine buddies all have very unique personalities. Some will feel completely at ease right away. Others will take months or even years to really feel safe. While there is always going to be variation, in general, you can look to the 3/3/3 rule. It takes Fido 3 days to get a sense of where he is, 3 weeks to get used to the place, and 3 months to really feel at home. Be patient! You’ll have that tail going before you know it!
As your Westminster, MD animal clinic, we’re here to help. Please reach out to us anytime.