Transitioning a dog into your home

I get a lot of questions about those first couple of weeks when you bring in a new dog! Every dog has a different way of transitioning and dealing with the stress of a new environment, but there are a few things you can do to help make the move as smooth as possible!

1-Expect certain abnormal behaviors! When dogs are stressed their digestive systems can act up (just like humans). They may not be interested in eating, they may use the bathroom a lot or not at all, they may vomit…it’s all normal. Don’t freak out, but certainly call your vet if it persists more than a couple of days.

2- Keep their food the same if possible! Ask the rescue or shelter what dog food they’ve been eating and try to stick with it. You can slowly transition to a new food if you’d like…but do it gradually over a couple of weeks. You can also add digestive enzymes to their food if needed.

3- Keep their environment calm for at least a week! I know it’s tempting to invite everyone you know over to meet your new dog, but don’t forget that this is a very chaotic experience. Allow your dog a week to adjust before introducing him to too many people or places!

4- Don’t allow your dog to roam the house freely. Your dog needs boundaries and rules. I know this may be difficult, but setting them up immediately is much better than having to deal with behavioral problems down the road. Try dog gates, play pens, etc…

I also recommend leaving their leash on INSIDE the house for the first couple weeks. This allows me to keep the dog near me at all times so he can’t wander away and get himself into trouble!!


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