Adopting a rescue dog is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have. However, it does involve a lot of responsibility. These pups generally come from unpleasant environments and thus need special care. If you have or are going to adopt one of these furry friends, here are five tips for helping an adopted rescue dog feel safe and comfortable.
1. Train Right Away
While it may sound odd, training your rescue dog is an essential part of making the pup comfortable. Essentially, dogs want to know the rules. Training may restrict behavior, but it gives dogs the calming ability to know what’s right. Therefore, you’ll want to have a plan, as well as some training and grooming products, at the ready when your friend comes home.
2. Stay Positive
Whenever you’re around your rescue dog, staying positive is essential. Your new furry friend was likely abused with negative reinforcement techniques, which basically condition pets through fear and intimidation. To combat this former training, you need to focus on the positive. If your dog does something wrong, keep your reaction calm and short. On the other hand, good behavior should be consistently rewarded. Be sure that you provide the reward immediately after the behavior occurs.
3. Examine Your Home
No matter how clean your house is, your dog may find a way to get in trouble or become hurt. Ergo, you must dog-proof your home before bringing in a new buddy. Start by locating any potentially dangerous chemicals around the house. Make sure said chemicals are up high or in a secure area. Next, look for tiny spaces where your pup could get stuck. If you find any, be sure to block each one up. You’ll also want to hide your cords and wires.
4. Be Calm
Adopting a new dog is inherently emotional. Despite this, you can’t show too much emotion around your friend. Rescue dogs are already dealing with anxiety from a past environment, so the added stress of entering a new home can be overwhelming. This could be exacerbated by showing too much energy. Even if this energy is positive, it might be highly stressful for your dog. Try to stay calm while still providing attention.
5. Stay Patient
Your rescue dog, no matter how gentle, probably won’t be the perfect pet right away. This isn’t merely regarding behavioral issues. Your pup may not be willing to show a lot of affection or be around certain people. If you find yourself getting frustrated by this, remember that your new friend has been through a hard experience. Similar to humans going through recovery, you need to let your pup control this process. Allow your furry friend to come to you for affection instead of giving it without warning. If no changes occur over time, you may want to consult a professional.
Taking care of a rescue dog can be stressful, especially if you have little to no experience. Despite this, it could be worth it in the long-run. After all, you’re saving a life. If you’re fully prepared, your rescue dog may feel at home in no time.