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Help Your Adopted Dog Feel at Home

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Adopting a dog into your family is an exciting moment in life. From planning a meet and greet in the shelter to picking out the perfect plush new dog bed for their arrival home, it’s a moment you won’t forget. But what can you do to make them comfortable from their perspective? Sure, dog beds and toys help, but shelter dogs come with emotional extras, no matter how long they’ve been there. Making them feel welcome and safe is easy and with these three simple steps you’ll begin to see them settle in in no time.

A newly rescued puppy

1. Let them be them While it’s in our human nature to want to make a fuss over them, perhaps even having a surprise party when they arrive in their new home, it’s really a bit overwhelming for a creature without words. Dogs need the opportunity to explore their new surroundings in the way that they know best: sniffing and searching. Sniffing gives them information that helps their brain to determine how to perceive their new space. While it can be instinctual for us to want to watch their every move and assist the exploration, it’s best to give them a few minutes to safely explore, uninterrupted by us. Now, with that being said, you’ll need to make it a safe space by removing any hazards such as cleaners, human foods, swallow-able bits (coins, toys, etc.) from their access. A basket full of dog toys and chews just for them is a great way to point them in the right direction. By nature, dogs are natural chewers and will continue to enjoy doing so long after they’re done teething. Provide them safe chews and bones to help them satisfy this natural instinct.

2. Create routine Dogs thrive on routine. They love knowing that you’re as trustworthy as the sun that rises every day and that trust in you can be quickly developed by predictability. A routine is simple and can be easily