Bringing a new pet home can be a wonderful experience as long as you’re a responsible owner and know what to do in advance. Adopting an animal from a shelter or agency is a little different than buying one, and you should know how to prepare for a rescue dog correctly. Let’s discover everything you should do to welcome a pup into your house.
1. Buy All the Essentials
The first step of how to prepare for a rescue dog is making sure that you have all the essentials a pet will need in your house. Consider the kind of upbringing and training you’ll do. For example, will you use a dog crate or let them sleep on your B-sensible bedding? Will a dog bed be enough? Knowing these things in advance will help you get the dog accommodated into your natural routine, so it’s important to establish your expectations from day one.
Dogs will also need water and food bowls. The adoption agency or shelter employees should have told you if the dog of your choosing had any special dietary requirements. If not, you can pick any kind of kibble and start getting them used to it. Remember that they may get tired of the same flavor, so try to switch it up when you can. Your pet will always need stimulation, so chew toys are a must. They don’t need anything too expensive, so find cheap, non-hazard items they can play with.
You should also get a frisbee or ball to play with them when you can because exercise is important to all pets. Also, consider the kind of leash, collar, and harness they’ll have. Some dogs do better with a collar, while others prefer a harness for their walks. A few canines are strong, so their leashes should be metal or another resistant material. Only buy retractable leashes if you have a small dog.
2. Take Care of All Home Repairs
It’s time to consider how to prepare for a rescue dog. Your home needs to be in optimal condition before you can bring any animal from the shelter. All maintenance, such as AC repair and furnace repairs, should be done before they arrive. You don’t want your puppy to suffer from too much heat, especially if you plan to keep them inside the house at all times. Cold weather is also bad for them. However, you want to avoid going through any repairs and renovations with a brand-new dog in your house.
They could get scared or aggressive with the contractors. It’ll take a while before your new dog fully adapts to your house, and they can’t do that with poor conditions. You’ll also have to consider other repairs. For example, plumbing issues should be fixed because dogs may sniff around and start licking where they shouldn’t. You don’t want them to get sick. Peeling wall paint is also a hazard for dogs because they may start biting, making things worse, and eating the material.
Therefore, look around your house and consider what would be dangerous for a child. A dog is not a baby, but they act similarly curious and innocently. They may step on a broken floorboard and get injured, resulting in expensive vet bills, which you do not want at any time. Furthermore, one of the best ways to acclimate a new rescue dog into your house is by letting them roam independently. You can’t do that if there’s something broken or in need of fixing somewhere in the house.
3. Make Your Home Comfortable
Once you’ve fixed the HVAC to make your dog more comfortable, you must consider what else they may require. For example, dogs like laying in the sun occasionally but may be unable to if they’re inside pets. Therefore, consider changing to new types of windows. They can be just as energy-efficient but better at letting natural light inside for your puppy. You should also decide on some interior design changes.
If you’ve already thought about changing some aspects of your house’s layout and decoration, you should do it before getting a dog. Certain trinkets need to be moved around if you’re trying to learn how to prepare for a rescue dog. For example, any vases with plants could be a hazard for your pet. They may get into trouble, digging dirt and spreading it around the house. Other decorations, such as table art, should go on higher shelves just in case.
Your bookshelves and other standing furniture must be nailed permanently to the wall to prevent accidents. Consider removing rugs and carpets unless you’re ready to clean things more often. All dogs shed, and they can have potty-training incidents. You don’t want a stained or dirty carpet on your hands. While you’ll have to supervise your dog constantly in the beginning, the ultimate goal is to be able to let them roam around without worrying. Your house needs to be in optimal condition to make that possible.
4. Eliminate Pests
Learning how to prepare for a rescue dog often means making sure that nothing can hurt them. You’ll have to get pest control if your home is susceptible to cockroaches, mice, etc. because dogs will try to eat the critters or their excrement. That’s potentially dangerous for their health. You must also look outside and check if your plants are pest-infested. They must be treated with repellent or removed from your property because your new pet should be prioritized.
On the other hand, you’ll also have to get ready for the possible pests that dogs may bring. Ticks and fleas are a huge hassle. Fortunately, new medications can prevent these parasites from attaching to your pet. You just have to ensure you keep up with the dosage and consult with veterinarians over time. However, if ticks or fleas still get to the dog or the medication fails, you’ll need to find an immediate solution before the problem worsens.
Unfortunately, these creatures will get everywhere once they reach your house. They could stick to people and bedding. They also bring diseases. Therefore, consult experts, buy the proper products, and clean your house. You may believe that this isn’t something to worry about before getting a rescue dog, but ticks could be in your garden due to neighborhood animals. Therefore, you need to use products for removal or hire a professional before the adoption.
5. Find a Great Veterinarian
The next item on this how to prepare for a rescue dog list is finding the right vet for your pet. The adoption agency or shelter will probably give you a fixed, chipped, and perfectly healthy dog. However, you need to choose your vet and ensure they can treat your new animal under any circumstance. You need to see their practice, check the equipment they have, and check that their values fit yours. You can start by getting recommendations from other friends with pets.
Referrals are some of the best ways people find the right doctor for their family, meaning you can do the same for your dog. You can also talk to the shelter and ask about the vets in the area to see which one they’ll recommend. However, follow your instincts. If something feels off during your appointments or you think some services are too expensive, shop around for another doctor. It would be wise to visit a local veterinary office or hospital without your dog to ask about the services they offer, which may also include grooming options.
Some owners don’t care about a dog’s dental health, but you should. Most importantly, your veterinarian should have a practice with up-to-date x-rays, ultrasounds, radiology, etc. They should be able to run blood tests on sight because it’s much more convenient. Finally, you can ask some practices about any insurance options or payment plans. Some people get policies from different companies.
6. Make Sure Your Water Is Optimal
The water in your home should be in a perfect state. It’s part of everything you’ll need to do on this checklist of how to prepare for a rescue dog. Almost everyone in the United States drinks tap water, and if everyone in your household is healthy, your dog shouldn’t have any problems. However, you may want to check the pH levels and see what minerals the liquid in your pipes contains. Your new pet could benefit from drinking only water that has been treated.
A water softener should reduce the number of minerals contained in the liquid to improve your dog’s health. However, ask your vet if that’s a good idea or a waste of time. In some cases, dogs may like the taste much better afterward. The idea is to keep your dog hydrated and happy. It’s critical to understand how much liquid your dog should drink daily. That’s why many owners always keep the water bowl full.
You should consider doing the same unless your dog doesn’t stop drinking. However, they have an instinct about this matter. Meanwhile, pets that eat wet food are usually better hydrated. If your dog doesn’t drink that much water normally, try adding a few wet options to their diet to ensure optimal hydration. Also, remember that there’s no set amount of water for them to drink. Just pay attention to their activities and how often you fill the bowl.
7. Be Prepared to Pet-Proof
The next item on this how to prepare for a rescue dog list involves pet-proofing your home. As a homeowner, you must ensure your dog can’t reach or eat dangerous things. Consider pet-proofing as you do baby-proofing because these pets are clumsy but even more inventive. They can get into the weirdest places, and their instinct is to eat or chew anything they find.
You don’t want to find yourself calling cabinet makers to replace a door because your new dog decided to chew it off its hinges or rushing to the clinic because the animal ate a bunch of wood. Invest in childproof latches to keep them from opening shelves and cabinets. Medications, cleaning products, and other chemicals must be placed in high areas they can’t reach. Trash cans should be covered or hidden inside cabinets so they won’t get inside to eat dirty and rotting leftovers.
All nooks and crannies should be covered. All your pantry food should also be out of reach. Dogs will take bags and destroy them to get the food inside, and some human snacks are dangerous. You should also ensure they don’t drink water from the toilet or strange puddles. All the wires of your electronics have to be secured. You can go to a hardware store and get all the necessary materials to attach them to the wall. Your children’s toys should also be stored safely. Finally, remove any plants that could be poisonous to dogs.
8. Get Ready to House Train
You may adopt an older dog or a puppy. Either way, you’ll likely have to house-train them to avoid accidents. Dogs can easily learn where they’re supposed to go potty. However, be consistent with their bathroom schedule, or you may find poop or pee on your tile vinyl floor. Therefore, the final item on this how to prepare for a rescue dog list focuses on what you need to housetrain them.
First, buying cleaning items and sanitizer for any incident is essential. Second, you need to establish where they’ll go potty. Some owners teach their pets to do their business in the yard. In that case, add a doggy door and let them roam your garden to pee and poop. You just have to ensure they won’t run away after a car or an animal. Other people prefer for dogs to do their business during walks. The issue is that you’ll need to adhere to the same schedule every day.
You need to plan these outings around your daily routine. Most dogs need to go out at least twice daily: in the morning and at night. Letting them know when they’re doing a good job is also important. If they go potty outside, give them treats so they understand. If they pee inside, you can put them on time-outs to discourage that behavior.
Now that you understand how to prepare for a rescue dog, it’s time to act. Dogs may not be as time-consuming as babies, but many consider them their children. You must treat all rescue dogs with respect, understand their boundaries, and ensure they’re comfortable in your house. Start the adoption process today!