Bringing a new pet into your home can be stressful. Many dogs have been put into shelters in recent months as a result of the pandemic puppy boom.

Working with animal experts and speaking to Brits who have rehomed a dog, Canine Cottages have pulled together top tips for welcoming a rescue dog into your home. These are some expert tips on how to bring a rescue dog safely and happily into your family.

  • 5. Incorporate Walks

    Regular walks will help your rescue run off some steam. It will also stimulate their minds, which can help them relax when you return home. A long walk will tire out the dog and reduce their anxiety levels, resulting in a calmer dog. According to owners who have adopted dogs from shelters, patience and care have proven to be the most useful traits.

    Jess McDonnell has adopted dogs her whole life and offers her top tips: “Be prepared to put the time into your new pet. Rescue dogs will have likely had a rough start to life and will need time to adjust and settle. Research the breed before committing. Are they prone to health issues, can you afford the vet bills, and will you have enough time to give them the exercise and stimulation they need? Research good pet insurance and take a policy out.”

  • Be Patient

    Oftentimes, rescue dogs have experienced a lot in their lives, and they are naturally hesitant, nervous, and shyer than other dogs. You should be patient with any rescued dog and allow them to adjust to their new environment, which will take time. If your rescue is naturally shy, you may not see incredible results right away. Make them feel loved and safe by showing them lots of affection.

  • Keep Your Dogs Seperated

    You may have trouble introducing a new rescue dog to the home if you already have a dog. Dogs in shelters may be nervous around other dogs, so it’s important to know if the dog you’re rescuing is friendly toward them.

    Nutkins offers some great tips on how to introduce dogs to each other: “Pop your old dog in another part of the home, ensure to feed them completely separately to reduce pressure on them both and give them space to meet such as in the garden – using leads can be helpful in case either dog becomes too playful, noisy, or worried. If you know in advance that your new dog will be nervous it can be beneficial to contact a trainer/behaviorist to gain advice for your home setup and your new dog’s needs so that you can be prepared in advance.”

  • Give Them Space

    A dog should have a place that is ‘theirs’ so that they can retreat when they need rest, and not feel overwhelmed by their new home. In addition, Nutkins states that “having too much space can put pressure on a dog to be aware of everything going on in all directions.” By closing doors and giving your new shelter dog just a few rooms, they can focus on the smaller environment better, and this can make them feel less stressed.

  • Keep A Routine

    When adopting a dog, routine is super important to help them feel safe and comfortable in the new environment. Dogs in rescue centers will have a routine, even if they haven’t been there for a long time, so they will be used to having their own space to rest and eat. And, as Nutkins advises: “Ensure that you have provided some areas that will be quiet, secure, and away from busy thoroughfares such as the hallway so that your new shelter dog will be able to have a chance to rest.”