Bringing home a rescue dog can be an exciting time for the whole family. However, preparing for a recuse dog can be a challenge if you don’t know where to start. Just as you would take steps to make your home safe for a toddler, so too should you make it safe and comfortable for your new four-legged friend.
To help make this process simpler, here are six ways you can start preparing for a rescue dog.
1. Cleaning and Safety
When preparing for a rescue dog, you’ll want to make sure that your home is safe and clean before you bring them into it. This is especially true if you’re bringing home a hyper-energetic puppy who will be eager to explore their new forever home.
Make sure that anything valuable is tucked away safely. This includes everyday items such as shoes, which can make great chew toys for teething puppies. You’ll also want to make sure that things like bleach, drain cleaner, and other chemical cleaners are kept well out of reach of a curious pup. If possible, you could even consider switching to natural, pet-friendly cleaners and getting rid of any that can be harmful to your new pet. Although drain cleaner might be good to have on hand in case of a sink clog, if it spills and is lapped up by a dog, you could face an emergency situation. Things like that should be left to professional plumbing services so that you can avoid any potential accidents.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the areas that you let them into are cleaned up and, without anything, they could tear up or get messy. If this isn’t possible for a certain area, such as a bedroom, you may consider keeping them out until they are trained.
During this time, you should also consider the amount of space that your pup will have to play and run around in. If you live in an apartment, you may wish to look into local dog parks. However, if you have your own home, a fenced-in backyard can be a must-have.
When preparing for a rescue dog, you’ll also want to make your home as comfortable as possible for their arrival. Dogs can often feel cautious when brought into a new place, and it will take them some time to adjust. However, making your home comfortable for them can help ease this transition and make them feel more welcome.
For example, temperature control is a must, especially since the summers are getting hotter every year. Although short-haired dogs may not have too hard of a time, long-haired breeds will need ample air conditioning to keep them cool. If you don’t currently have an efficient air conditioning system, consider having an HVAC installation professional come and tell you how you can fix the problem. Even if you don’t have a full system put into your home, portable air conditioners with heating can be easily purchased and many are capable of keeping an entire floor comfortable all year long.
Additionally, you’ll want to stock up on some doggy comfort items such as blankets, dog beds, and plenty of toys to help your new rescue dog feel more at home. If you’re planning on keeping them in a kennel at night, you can set it up in a special place with all of your pup’s toys and blankets. This can help them begin to associate the kennel with comfort, and it can also help them identify it as theirs.
Steps like this can go a long way towards making your dog feel more at home and more a part of the family. While there will still be an adjustment period, a little comfort can go a long way.
3. Preventing Escapes and Making Room to Run
Dogs are naturally curious and many will run away if given the opportunity. It’s not that they want to get away from home, it’s just a natural instinct that only time and training can overcome. However, when you first bring your rescue dog home, it’s important that you take steps to make sure that your new dog can’t escape and potentially become lost or injured.
Garage door screens can help prevent your dog from slipping out when you open the garage door, and they can also help keep pests out which could potentially irritate your new pup. You may also consider fencing in your yard so that your dog can run around and exercise without you having to worry about them slipping out or getting off their leash.
If you choose to fence in your whole yard, it may also be worth replacing your driveway, especially if you have a blacktop. This is because the blacktop can heat up in the summer and cause burns to the dog’s paws if they walk on it. Consider a driveway replacement with a material such as concrete that won’t heat up as much during the summer months.
Another option to consider is a custom deck that connects to a dog run. A dog run is a long fenced-in area that gives a dog space to run and play without you needing to open up the whole backyard or fence in the entire area. Custom decks that are screened in with a door leading to the run, can give you an easy way to let your dog outside, without worrying about them getting lost or digging up your flowerbeds.
4. Preventing Pests
When pests get into your home they can pose a real problem, both to you and your new dog. When preparing for a rescue dog, you should make sure to have your home checked for pests and any areas where they could come in.
Cracks around doors and windows are one way that unwanted guests can enter, especially once the temperatures start to drop. However, ants and other insects can also sneak in during the summer months, making it important to shore up these areas.
Another area where pests can gain entry is your roof. A weak spot or a damaged area of your roof can be the perfect place for pests to enter and you will never be able to tell from the ground. Although you could check out your attic space to get a better idea of entry points, this is often best left to a pest control expert. Not only will it be safer for a professional to do, but they will also be able to notice things that your untrained eye wouldn’t be able to. Along with that, they will also have the tools on hand to help mitigate the problem and both eradicate current pests and keep new ones from showing up.
While pest control like this can go a long way, if pests are getting in due to roofing problems, you will also want to call a residential roofing company to inspect your roof. This can help you pinpoint the problem areas and get them fixed before any more unwanted visitors creep in. In fact, most roofs encourage homeowners to have an inspection at least once, preferably twice, every year. Once in the spring and again before winter. Doing this can help prevent pest problems in the long run and keep everyone in your home safe from insects and rodents.
5. Think About Vet Care and Grooming
When preparing for a rescue dog, you probably won’t have to worry about updating their shots right away or spaying or neutering them, as this is usually taken care of by the adoption center. However, you should still find a vet near you where you can take them for regular checkups. You should also have a groomer in mind for when they need a trim, especially if they have long hair.
Many groomers may also be able to recommend veterinarians and vice versa. Some vet offices may even have grooming available at their location, making it worthwhile to search around before bringing your new pup home.
When searching for a vet’s office, you may also consider investing in pet insurance to help you cover any medical bills that you may experience in the future. Although you may not need it now, vet insurance won’t cover any issues that appear before the coverage takes effect, meaning you’ll need to have it in place before anything happens in order to be covered.
This can be especially helpful — although hopefully it will never be needed — because vet bills for things like surgery, blood testing, and treatments can be expensive. This is due to the nature of the medical treatments and also because it isn’t cheap to run a vet’s office, as a lot of space and specialized tools are needed that can’t be found elsewhere. A veterinary business loan can be upwards of $1,000,000, and without frequent patients, your local office could be at risk of shutting down. Thankfully, with pet insurance, you won’t have to foot many of these bills yourself and your pet can still rely on local quality care.
6. Diet Requirements
When preparing for a rescue dog, you’ll also have to take into consideration the food that they will be eating. Some dogs have certain requirements based on their weight and metabolism, as well as specific allergies and intolerances. Animal metabolism can easily vary between the size and weight of a dog, and you’ll want to ensure that you’re giving them the right food to meet their needs.
While you can ask the adoption center about their food recommendations, you can also ask your new vet about what they would recommend. Some of the best food options for 2021 include:
- Wellness Complete Healthy Puppy Food: A dry food that is made from deboned chicken, oatmeal, barley, and peas. With 32% protein, 20% fat, and 40% carbohydrates, this brand is recommended for puppies of all breeds and it is designed to help provide them with all the nutrients they need to grow.
- Ollie Fresh Dog Food: This wet food is made from chicken, peas, carrots, rice, and chicken liver and contains 36% protein, 14% fat, and 42% carbs. Designed for all stages of life, it is also grain-free, and as close to homemade as you can get without cooking it yourself.
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Puppy: Made from deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, barley, and brown rice, this dry food is formulated for growth and is recommended for puppies of all breeds. With 30% protein, 18% fat, and 44% carbs, it’s a balanced dry food that even picky dogs will enjoy.
- The Farmer’s Dog Fresh: This wet food is made from pork, potato, sweet potato, cauliflower, and green beans. Like Ollie, it is grain-free and good for feeding dogs of all life stages. With 36% protein, 28% fat, and 28% carbs, this food was designed by a veterinary nutritionist to be everything a dog needs. Plus, it’s made with human-grade ingredients and not something that you wouldn’t feed the rest of your family.
These four foods are only a few of many that you may wish to ask your vet about to ensure that your new rescue pup gets the best (and tastiest) nutrition possible.
Welcoming Your Newest Family Member
When preparing for a rescue dog, these are six of the most important things that you should consider doing before bringing your new best friend home. While you may add or omit things based on your needs, you should always ensure that your home is safe, comfortable, and welcoming for your new dog. Make sure to stock up on essentials such as food and toys, so that they will have something delicious to eat and something to play with as they adjust. While it may take a few days for them to get used to their new home, these things can go a long way towards making them feel as comfortable as possible.