Tips for Bringing a New Dog Home

Posted: October 23, 2023 | Categories: Communities>Stonebridge at Chapel Creek | Pet Friendly Homes & Communities
By Highland Homes

Updated on October 23, 2023: This story was originally published on August 26, 2017 and has been updated with new information.

Happy dog dining outside

October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. Whether this is your first pet adoption or you're a longtime pet parent, adopting a new pet can bring both excitement and challenges. 

As a dog-loving home builder in Central Florida, we know that your pets are a big part of your family and today, we have some helpful tips to get off on the right paw when adopting a new pup into your home.

Before Bringing Your Rescue Dog Home

The first few days are a critical time for your dog to start settling in, and getting prepared ahead of time can help ease this transition.

  • Prep a room. Your new pup may be nervous, so plan a space that's quiet and easy to clean up accidents.
  • Dog-proof the areas your pup will be spending time. Remove plants, rugs and breakables, tape loose electrical cords to baseboards, store household chemicals on high shelves, and set up a crate and install baby gates if necessary.
  • Gather supplies. The basics you'll need are food and water bowls, food and treats, a collar, a leash, an ID tag, and a crate or dog bed.
  • Prep your car with extra blankets and towels in case of accidents. On the way home, Fido should ride in the back seat, either in someone’s arms or in a carrier. And, head straight home - making stops can create anxiety at an already stressful time.

Adoption Day

Moving into a new home can be stressful, and it's no different for a dog - Not only are they moving into a new home but meeting new people and animals!

  • Dog and cat becoming friendsImmediately show your pup where to potty, and let him get used to this area. Be prepared that even the best trained dog may have accidents when moving into a new home because of the stress; don't get upset and do be prepared you may need to spend time re-housetraining.
  • Give time to acclimate before introducing your dog to strangers. For at least the first few days, it's a good idea to keep things calm and quiet, with a proper introduction to family members only - There are lots of good resources online with tips for introducing dogs to new people, children, and other pets, and your adoption center will likely have resources for you, too.
  • Know the nutrition. When you first take home your new pup, remember to ask what food agrees with them and when they were last fed. It’s also a good idea to keep the same feeding routine to avoid tummy upset, and if you wish to change to a different food, do so slowly over the period of about a week.
  • Be patient. Both you, your new dog, and existing pets will need time to adjust and settle into new routines. Speaking of...

Establish Routines

Happy dog sitting in grassA dog’s schedule should include time to eat, sleep, exercise, and spend quality time with their people. Setting up structure in your dog's life will help them learn what to expect from you, establish boundaries, and deter boredom and behavioral issues.

  • Feeding your dog at the same time every day is important for a number of reasons. Not only is this beneficial for their emotional and mental wellbeing, but also their metabolism will get used to the pattern. Generally, dogs should be fed twice a day but as mentioned above, make sure you know what they are used to and take into account any health needs. When considering feeding times, think of your overall schedule and plan their meals accordingly, with morning meal first thing and evening mealtime 8 to 12 hours later. Snacks can also be used to provide enrichment and as training treats.
  • Excercise and playtime help keep dogs mentally and physically fit, and prevent boredom behaviors. Every dog is different, but plan at the very minimum to spend 30 to 45 minutes per day for walks and direct interaction with your dog. 
  • Sleep is just as important as play, with most dogs sleeping about half of the day away. If you plan to let the dog sleep in the bed (after they're acclimated, that is), make a spot that is all theirs. If you plan on crate training your dog, leave the crate open and put some food and blankets in there for them. A doggy bed on the floor beside of your bed is also another place for your pup to relax in their new home!
  • Bathroom breaks are important to prevent accidents. You'll want to take your pup out first thing in the morning, and provide bathroom access at least every 6 hours throughout the day (more often, for some dogs).
  • Create a vocabulary list everyone will use when giving your dog directions. This will help prevent confusion and help your dog learn his commands more quickly. Use treats as positive reinforcement when your dog responds as requested.

If you’re on the hunt for a new home in Florida with pet-friendly amenities, we're here to help! From big backyard to neighborhood dog parks and pet-friendly activities close to home, give us a call or email to connect with a Florida New Home Specialist for help finding the perfect neighborhood and home for you and your fur-babies!

Tags: Dog park Pets