The time has come! My first post for you is finished. I am proud and happy to present this to you.
And because it is my heart topic, we start moving in a new family member from animal welfare.
Of course, the information and tips are also generally to be observed when moving in a new dog, but some things are especially helpful for dogs from animal protection.
Perhaps you have always hesitated to give a dog from animal welfare a home because you are not sure whether you will find the right companion there. Because the dog may already be (too) old or have behavioral problems.
Of course, there are also dogs in animal shelters that are older or have their peculiarities due to their past. However, dogs of all ages and breeds are generally waiting in the shelter for a new home, and what is a “no-go” for some may be lovable and desirable for others.
So it is definitely worthwhile to find out here in advance.
Good preparation is half the battle
As the saying goes, “good preparation is half the battle” and it is therefore extremely important to think about what it means to give a dog a home right from the start. Because giving a dog from animal welfare a home does not change the whole world, but the whole world changes for this dog.
You should be able to answer the following questions with “Yes” before you take in a dog:
- Is your living environment generally suitable for a dog?
- Do you have enough time to look after a dog?
- Your living and working situation is also possible with a dog?
- Can you cover the costs for equipment, feed, training, veterinarian etc. for a dog’s life?
- Do you have a dog sitter or need care if you need it?
- Are you ready to compromise in your life and processes?
Are you not sure about some questions or cannot implement them? Rethink your decision and get help. Many good dog trainers offer advice before buying a dog.
Did you answer all questions with “yes”? Congratulation!
The basic requirements are met and you can go directly to the next step by considering which dog suits you best.
- Do you prefer a young or a slightly older dog? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- How small or large should the dog be?
- Would you prefer a male or a female?
- What characteristics should the dog have?
- What do you expect from your future dog?
- What can you offer the dog?
Of course, there are many more questions to consider here. However, this selection gives you a good overview of what should be considered.
Once the right dog has been selected, I advise you to visit the dog in the shelter several times before making your decision. Many animal shelters now offer the opportunity to get to know the dog through a “sponsorship with takeover”. So you can visit the dog several times, deal with it and go for a walk with it. For example, you can bring an old worn T-shirt with you so that the dog can get used to your smell.
It can also make sense to explore the future residential area with the dog. The dog can already get used to its new environment a bit and will not be confronted with the new situation overnight.
For some dogs I also recommend visiting the new home. Many dogs may have been in the shelter for a longer period of time and first have to get used to a “normal” living environment.
If everything goes well up to this point, it is time to prepare for moving in and make the apartment “dog-safe”. Think about whether you might want to install child grids so as not to give the dog access to all rooms. Do you have things that are valuable and / or that the dog shouldn’t catch? Clear them away in advance. Are there cables lying around that the dog shouldn’t nibble on? There are simple solutions to make them disappear. Where should the dog have his berths and retreats in the future?
And here we come to our next point – the basic equipment should be procured in advance. Here is a small overview of the most necessary things, which of course can be expanded as desired:
- chest harness
- Lines in different lengths
- Berth, box as a retreat
- Food bowl, water bowl
- food, chew, treats
- employment and toys (you can also make a lot of things yourself)
And now it’s getting exciting! ?
The dog moves in
If everything is prepared so far, your new four-legged friend can move in. It is best to plan 2-3 weeks of vacation to adjust the new family member and yourself as best as possible to the new situation.
Allow yourself and your new roommate a lot of time and rest to arrive comfortably so that you can get used to each other and the dog can adjust to its new living situation. Design your days here freely according to the motto “less is more”.
Plan your daily routines and create a certain routine in the first time. This gives the dog security and creates trust!
Tips for the beginning
Avoids too much stress and excitement in the initial phase. Visiting a restaurant with a dog or all the relatives that the new family member absolutely wants to get to know is simply postponed to a later date. Dog sports and group training can also wait in the beginning and visits to the vet do not have to be in the first weeks or months, except in an emergency.
Get to know each other well and learn to trust each other. It is also important that the dog sets the pace. Do not press him and let him come to you on his own.
So you become a harmonious team that goes through life together and with a lot of fun.
In summary, the 3 most important tips:
- Good preparation is half the battle
- less is more
- be patient and flexible