You’ve just adopted a dog. Congratulations! Your new addition is most likely going to be full of surprises. Before your new dog throws your household into chaos, you may wish to plan ahead and follow these tips for a successful adoption.
1. Crate train your adopted dog. Many adopted dogs aren’t housetrained, meaning that you’re likely to have accidents and destructive behavior. You can end this by putting your new dog in his crate when you can’t watch him. If your dog has never been crate trained, start by giving all food and treats in your dog’s crate. You’ll find your new addition more positive towards a crate if he’s getting fed in it.
2. Keep your dog’s crate in your bedroom. One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is not to let your new dog be lonely at night. Have your adopted dog sleep in your bedroom. It will help reduce separation anxiety and will teach your new dog it is time to sleep.
3. Introduce other dogs on neutral ground before you bring him home. Throwing together the new dog with your current pets can be disastrous when you have them meet at your home. Instead, pick a place for your new dog to meet with your current dog. Introduce them one at a time on leash. You may find that they will get along and even play with each other. When you finally get acceptance, bring them all home, preferably with the new dog crated, just in case.
4. Exercise your adopted dog. Much of the excitement and rowdiness may come from nervous energy. Spend time exercising your new dog as well as any of your other pets. Tired dogs are happy dogs and less prone to causing mischief. Exercise your adopted dog before going to bed helps convince your dog it is time to sleep and not play.
5. Keep other pets away– for the time being. If you own a cat, give everyone the best chance to get along by not introducing them immediately. Instead, give your new dog the chance to get used to you, his surroundings, and even the idea that you have a cat. Keep your cat in another room with food, water, a scratcher and litterbox, and let your new dog get used to everything before adding the introduction of a cat. Give your new dog a few weeks without the cat, and allow the cat to “visit” when your new dog is in his crate, but don’t start introductions until everything settles down.
Second-Hand Dog: How to Turn Yours Into a First-Rate Pet. Carol Lea Benjamin, Howell Book House, 1988.
Bring Me Home: Dogs Make Great Pets, Margaret H. Bonham, Howell Book House, 2005,