Even though I look strong and confident in this picture (we call it my "Rin Tin Tin pose"), I wasn't always that way. Although I made myself at home right quick after Parental Unit brought me home from the shelter, I still needed at least a few weeks to adjust to my new surroundings and understand that this was my forever home. For example, I rushed out the front door each time it was opened, and once, slid through the gate and across the street...so everyone with a new pet should be extra careful around open doors and windows!
Today, we bring you some of the best ways to help your new rescued pet feel safe and secure right from the start. Many adopted pets unfortunately bear the physical and emotional scars of neglect or maltreatment, which can make them nervous, shy and in some cases, aggressive.
For these reasons most rescue shelters like owners to establish a bond with rescued dogs before they leave the shelter or kennel and this can include home visits. When you do finally introduce your pet to the family, there are a few things you can do to help them settle in, and this includes providing their own welcoming space for them.
Before you bring them home make sure they have a comfortable and welcoming area to call their own already set up. At the top of the list should be an appropriate dog kennel or bed. Nervous dogs often feel happier in a spacious cage with comfortable beds or blankets placed inside. These cages can then be covered with a blanket, so the dog feels safe when inside their own space and is likely to be less aggressive as a result. Once the dog starts to feel confident in its surroundings you may be able to bring the basket or bed outside the cage or kennel. It's also worth putting some familiar toys in the bed to help ease their transition, and positioning the water nearby, just in case they don't feel like venturing far at first.
When you first bring the dog home, allowing them to explore the surrounding area and your home (leashed and with you), should help put them at ease. Some experts recommend having a good two hour walk in the surroundings of your home, before heading back and allowing your pet to investigate his new abode. As you enter, be sure to go in first to establish your position as leader of the pack and let the dog know the home is your usual space, before introducing him or her to their own safe area. Hopefully the effort you have put in to making your home welcoming and appealing will ease their transition and go some way to making them feel part of the pack.
Note: Bocci's beefs was compensated for posting this information by Pets At Home.