(DOGS/PET ADOPTION) You’re finally ready to adopt a dog, but perhaps you’re a bit worried about how to properly welcome them into your home?

Check out these four useful tips on how to make that happen, and welcome your new furry friend into your home like a true pro!

  1. Buy the necessary supplies and dog-proof your house

Once you decide that you’re absolutely ready to adopt a pet, the first thing you should do is seek out the essential supplies and equipment you’ll need to make your dog feel welcome in his/her new home.

The dog’s bed should be one of the first thing on your list, so be sure to get one that is machine-washable and big enough for your dog to feel warm and cozy.

Aside from the bed, you should prioritize buying a set of food and water bowls, as well as some healthy food and treats for your new furry friend. Your choices should depend on your dog’s age, size, and breed, so bear that in mind.

Waste bags are also a must, in addition to a leash, collar, and ID tag. You should also invest in some quality grooming supplies like brushes and combs, a nail clipper, and gentle shampoos.

What’s more, you’ll want to dog-proof your house by removing or relocating hazardous and valuable items that your new pup could eat or destroy.

2. Ensure your dog is healthy, both physically and mentally

Taking care of your new pet’s health–both physical and emotional–should be your top priority. In order to help your newly adopted dog adapt to his/her new home, you must be aware that he/she may have previously faced hardship.

In more difficult adoption situations, we’d suggest seeking professional help and advice. You can always opt for dog training and let experienced professionals help both you and your dog adjust to the new lifestyle change.

You should also arrange for an initial veterinary appointment to identify any potential issues or conditions, so your new furry friend can be properly treated, if necessary. For example, a large number of dogs become distressed when moving from a shelter to a new forever home, which can result in an upset stomach, often causing diarrhea and vomiting.

3. Establish daily routines and stick to them

Establishing daily routines like scheduled feeding, playing, and going for walks is essential to helping your newly adopted dog feel secure and comfortable, so be sure that these activities take place at a similar time each day.

When it comes to sleeping, it’s recommended that your dog’s bed is placed in a room that’s dog-proofed, easily cleaned, and most importantly, quiet and cozy–as opposed to uninhabited spaces like the basement or garage. Over time, your dog should get used to that particular space and feel safe in it.

As for feeding, you should first discuss the different types of dog foods and recommended portion sizes with your vet, depending on the breed, age, size, and overall health of your dog. However, two smaller meals a day instead of one large meal are probably a much better choice.

When it comes to walks, you should probably keep them short at first (5-10 minutes or so), until you grow more familiar with your dog’s behavior. In the beginning, try to choose quieter walking routes with few distractions, and avoid interactions with other dogs until your furry friend is comfortable.

4. Prevent separation anxiety

Separation anxiety occurs when a dog who is hyper-attached to his/her caretaker becomes extremely stressed when left alone. It’s a rather serious and common condition that often causes pet parents to surrender their dogs. But there are actually a lot of ways to help your dog overcome this issue.

Separation anxiety can be caused by a number of things–changes in family routines, moving from the shelter to a home, or even being left alone for the first time. To help prevent separation anxiety, try using a crate and a toy in a combination with leaving your dog alone for short periods and returning home a few times every day. This method should take place starting day one with your new dog to immediately instill new training methods.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to welcome your adopted dog into his/her new home and help them feel as comfortable and safe as possible. Simply follow these tips and guidelines, and your beloved furry friend should adjust to their new home in no time!

— Zara Lewis, exclusive to Global Animal

Zara Lewis is a regular contributor at Highstylife.com magazine and a full-time animal lover. Originally from Chicago, she found her place in the sun in Perth, Australia. Passionate about creating a better world for the generations to come, she is a mum of two, raising them inseparably from their furry family members.