Introducing a Rescue Dog to a New Home

Dr. Craig Gelband has served Ogilvy CommonHealth as senior medical director for seven years. When he is not overseeing strategic direction at the company, Craig Gelband works with various charities that benefit rescue dogs.

The most direct means of helping a rescue dog is, of course, to adopt one. Subsequently helping the animal adjust to its new environment is equally as critical as providing a loving, long-term home. A stable setting is great, but dogs, like cats, also require a fixed routine that includes regular meals and exercise. Rescue dogs in particular have likely never experienced the joy of a reliable daily schedule, and so implementing a routine should occur as soon as possible.

Part of this routine should obviously involve the presence of the owner. Rescue dogs, like puppies, should be accompanied in the home by an owner for as long as possible. For traditionally employed individuals, this means that a rescue dog should preferably be introduced to the home during a Friday afternoon, giving the dog nearly three full days to adjust to its new life and owner before being left alone Monday morning. Lastly, homes with multiple pets ideally should introduce animals to one another outside on neutral territory before bringing the new rescue animal into the home. Patience is required – fully acclimating a rescue dog to a new home takes time.

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