Our mission at Florida Animal Friend is to help save the lives of countless unwanted cats and dogs across Florida. We do this by providing grants to organizations that offer free or low-cost spay and neuter services. Our grants are funded through the purchase of our specialty license plates as well as donations from people like you.
But there are other ways to support this cause, including adopting a furry friend of your own, if fighting pet overpopulation is something you’re passionate about. Freeing up shelter space is crucial to our mission, so we’ve compiled this list of post-adoption tips for anyone who may be interested in bringing home a new dog.
Post-Adoption Checklist: How to Help a New Dog Settle In
Many people say that adopting a pet from a shelter is the best thing they’ve ever done. Who doesn’t want a cuddly new best friend to play with! Plus, not only are you saving the life of the animal you take home, but you’re also making room at the shelter for another animal in need. And since rescued pets are spayed and neutered, you’ll be directly fighting overpopulation on multiple levels.
First-time adopters often wonder what to do after adopting a dog. Don’t worry. You can use these tips to make sure life with your new friend gets off to a comfortable start for both of you.
1.Give your dog their own space.
Make sure your newly adopted pet has a dedicated, comfortable and quiet corner of your home—bed and toys included. This will help your pet feel safe and relaxed. If your schedule permits, crate training is a great option to help housetrain your dog. https://www.paws.org/resources/how-to-crate-train-your-dog/
2. Don’t force your dog to interact right away.
It’s natural for a nervous dog in new surroundings to be a little reserved, so it can be critical to allow them to approach you on their own terms and in their own time.
3. Be aware that they may not have an appetite at first.
Acclimating to a new environment can affect your dog’s hunger. If they are stressed or nervous, they may not eat at all. In the beginning, you could try feeding them small amounts of food with your hand and work up to larger amounts in bowls as they get more comfortable in their new home. But never force them to eat.
4. Relax. Yes, you!
Dogs pick up on your energy, so if you are stressed and nervous because they aren’t adapting right away, your pet can start to spiral as well. Just remember to use a gentle tone of voice and try not to startle your dog with sudden movements or loud noises.
5. Routines are helpful.
Dogs like rules and standardized activities, so it’s no surprise that they thrive on routine. Sticking to consistent walking schedules and meal times can go a long way in helping your dog adjust comfortably. It’s important to understand that, whatever schedules you put in place, your dog’s days probably look drastically different from their days at the shelter. Be patient, and they will start to settle down once they get the hang of the new situation.
6. Get pet insurance.
New monthly expenses are not the most fun part of life, but purchasing pet insurance for your dog will help protect them and your wallet. Vet bills can be costly, especially if something comes up unexpectedly.
7. Socialize your new friend.
Once your rescue dog is comfortable with you and has settled into a consistent routine, it’s important to socialize them. Take your dog on walks to meet other animals and people around your neighborhood. Or have a friend meet you at a park and introduce them to your new partner in crime. Remember to bring treats for positive reinforcement when your new pet acts appropriately in unfamiliar situations.
Wondering What to Do After Successfully Adopting a Dog? Support Our Mission!
Over the past 15 years, Florida Animal Friend has donated more than $6.7 million to spay and neuter organizations. We are dedicated to combating animal homelessness in the state of Florida, and we hope you will support our efforts by purchasing a plate, donating or using these tips to adopt your very own pet from a local shelter. Nothing beats getting a brand-new companion while helping save lives at the same time.