Congratulations! We can’t thank you enough for choosing to adopt your new furry family member. We know that bringing home a new pet is very exciting, but does come with its challenges as you get to know each other and settle into your new life together. Our goal is to not only find a home for every animal, but to keep them in their homes. We hope the resources on this page will help you better understand how to welcome your dog into your home, answer common questions you might have and help you through any hurdles you and your dog might cross in the first few weeks together.
Important things to remember in the first month after adopting your dog:
- Take your time.
- You probably have a long list of things you want to do with your sweet new pup, but it’s important to relax and not do too much too soon. Take time to research dog body language so you can understand what they’re telling you. Take time to create a consistent schedule. Take time to learn what makes them happy!
Fear-Free: While your dog was staying with us we used fear-free practices to help them feel comfortable and reduce stress in the shelter environment. To learn how you can help reduce stress, anxiety and fear at home and during trips to the veterinarian for your pet click HERE.
- Hold off on a bath
- Chances are your new family member recently had a spay or neuter surgery. To ensure that he or she heals properly skip the bath for at least two weeks! Baths can also be stressful for our furry friends, so when you are ready, be sure to take it slow and don’t push them past their limits.
- Help them feel comfortable
- Create a space just for your pet. Be sure they have their own bed, toys, food bowl and water bowl. You may also consider using a product called Adaptil in your home. Adaptil is a product that sends “comforting messages” to your dog and helps them feel more relaxed in stressful situations. It comes in the form of collars, diffusers and sprays. Click HERE to learn more.
- Skip the pet supplies store.
- We know you probably want to spoil your pup and get lots of treats and toys, but its best to go straight home and help them get adjusted first. There are lot of factors at a pet supply store that you and your dog don’t know how to handle together yet - like other animals and strangers.
- Hold off on the dog park.
- We are so fortunate to have a great dog park system here in Fort Wayne, but you shouldn’t rush taking your new dog to make friends. Before you ever start taking your dog out to socialize you need to learn more about your dog. Click HERE for more helpful information about visiting dog parks.
- Don’t expect perfection.
- There’s no doubt they are so excited to be part of your family – but just like you – your dog is learning too! They will make mistakes. You will make mistakes. That’s life! Through positive, fun training techniques and practices you can learn from your mistakes and create a healthy and strong bond with your dog.
- Supervise time with other pets
- You can’t expect your new dog to automatically be best friends with your other pets. Each dog in your home should have its own set of food and water bowls. Slowly introduce them by following these easy steps. Never leave them unsupervised in a room together.
- Monitor interactions with your child
- Teach your children the appropriate way to interact with dogs. Nationally, 77 percent of all dog bites come from dogs we’re familiar with. To learn more click HERE.
- Provide Enrichment
- One of the most common underlying issues we see with adoption dogs in the home is boredom that leads to destructive behavior. Think of your dog like a toddler that NEEDS to stay busy! Enrichment toys and treats entertain their body and their mind which can help prevent that destructive behavior. It can be as easy as providing a puzzle toy or stuffing a few treats in a toilet paper roll. To learn about easy ways you can help your pup stay entertained click HERE.
- Other Important Information for Dog Owners
- Do you suspect your dog has separation anxiety? Click HERE for more info.