Top Tips For Bringing A Rescue Dog Home

woman hugging rescue dog

A number of factors can lead to owners no longer feeling capable of looking after their pets, but the sad reality of this is that thousands of dogs are abandoned and need to be rehomed every year. In fact, the number of animals being abandoned has been steadily increasing since the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are considering getting a dog, bringing a rescue dog home should therefore be one of your very first considerations.

Rehoming an adult dog is not suitable for everyone and the dogs’ previous experiences can bring a unique set of behavioural challenges. It’s not a change you should rush to make and relevant sources like the Dogs Trust and your local animal rescue centre should always be consulted. The process for rehoming dogs is deliberately strict to ensure that you do weigh up the implications of your decision, but you should still take ample time to think with your head and carefully consider whether a rescue dog suits your lifestyle.

However, if a rescue dog matches your lifestyle, rehoming can be an incredible experience and offers a unique opportunity to transform both lives and restore some faith in humankind. Providing you meet their criteria, rescue centre staff will typically check that your home is suitably prepared for your new pet’s arrival. Once you’ve got the green light, follow these top tips for bringing a rescue dog home and managing the transition in a way that will make your pet comfortable as quickly as possible.

Prepare Your Home

Your home will inevitably need a bit of rejigging to get it ready for your new arrival! Even if you already have pets, it’s vital that you take the time to prepare before you bring your rescue dog home. While there will inevitably be some things that you won’t foresee needing, getting the essentials like a nice bed, toys, collar and lead will all help your pet to be as comfortable as they can from the get-go. Similarly, take stock of your space and the layout of your home. Think practically and consider whether it’s actually a dog-friendly space. Remove anything you’d hate to get broken or damaged in a moment of panic and remove any hazards that could cause harm to your pet.

Give Them Their Own Space (& Time To Get Used To It)

As part of the process of preparing for bringing a rescue dog home, you’ll also need to think about the logistics of where your new pet will sleep. Calmer areas of the house may be preferable to ensure they can rest and get comfortable with their surroundings without constant disturbance. Once the location of your dog’s space has been decided, remember that they will still be anxious when first introduced to it so making the area as comfortable as possible is key. With this in mind, you may wish to consider creating a bespoke pet bedroom and make the most of our range of customisable features to get the space tailored to your new dog’s exact needs. Allow them to settle in on their own terms and try and add personalised touches like a familiar blanket or cushions to put them at ease.

dog in bedroom

Manage Introductions Carefully

One of the most exciting things about getting a new pet is the chance to introduce them to your nearest and dearest. However, you need to manage these introductions carefully when bringing a rescue dog into the home. Your priority should always be letting your pet get used to their new surroundings free from fuss and bother so resist the urge to invite your friends and family over and make introductions straight away. When you do start to bring other humans into the mix, be gentle and patient and don’t force it if they don’t fancy a cuddle. Let them retreat into their bedroom if they need to.

The same rules also apply to introducing your rescue dog to other canines. Adult rescues may have had negative experiences with other dogs before so new meetings may be especially daunting. When the time does come, introduce slowly and carefully and stay present at all times. If your dog looks uncomfortable then bring them back into a familiar setting and never punish or embarrass them for anxiety in social situations.

Establish Clear Rules & Routines Straight Away

The process of bringing a rescue dog home will undoubtedly bring a range of mishaps and unexpected scenarios so be mindful that not every aspect of the transition can be planned to perfection. However, it is still important to establish clear rules and routines straight away. Try to keep this similar to their existing routine but do adapt to your schedule and space where appropriate. This will limit the disruption that you might experience in the first few days of having your new pet at home and kickstart a smooth life together.

Don’t Be Afraid To Get Support

Throughout these tips for bringing a rescue dog home, we’ve made it incredibly clear that the process could be a tricky one. Patience will always be key but this doesn’t mean that you have to ignore any unwanted or difficult behaviours that your rescue dog may display. If you are struggling, do get in touch with the place you adopted your dog from or seek the help of a qualified dog behaviour expert. We are proud to recommend the training support of the Calm Canine Academy and would always encourage any owner struggling to manage their pet’s transition to a new space to speak with their team. Having seen and heard just how transformative their training can be, we are delighted to be able to offer a 10% discount on all Calm Canine Academy’s training and coaching services – use the code TPC10 to access.

Enjoy It

Last but not least, remember to take a step back and enjoy the first few weeks and months with your new pet! It might be a bumpy ride, but bringing a rescue dog home is the start of a series of firsts and special moments that you’ll treasure forever. Follow these tips for bringing a rescue dog home and give them plenty of love and you will certainly feel it back!

Should you wish to design a bespoke pet bedroom ready for bringing a rescue dog into your home, use our online design tool and get started today.

To top