6 Ways to Ensure a Successful Dog Adoption

Updated on December 9, 2017
Maggie Bonham profile image

Maggie Bonham, or Margaret H. Bonham, is a multiple award-winning pet author and expert. She has written more than 20 books on pets.

How to Help Your Adopted Dog Adjust

You've just adopted a dog. Congratulations! Your new addition is most likely going to be full of surprises. Before your new dog throws your household into chaos, you may wish to plan ahead and follow these tips for a successful adoption:

  • Crate train your adopted dog.
  • Keep your dog's crate in your bedroom.
  • Introduce other dogs on neutral ground first.
  • Exercise your adopted dog.
  • Keep other pets away initially.
  • Train your new dog.

Your veterinarian will want to do a check up on your new pet.
Your veterinarian will want to do a check up on your new pet.

What to Expect When Adopting From a Shelter or Rescue

If you're adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue, you should expect to pay a rehoming fee. Part of this fee has to do with caring for your dog plus getting the necessary vaccinations, chip implants, and neutering or spaying before your new dog comes home. Some of the funding goes toward taking care of other less fortunate pets who don't have a home yet. So, not only have you saved a life, but you've also improved the lives of other homeless pets.

Many shelters and rescues will spay or neuter the dog before he/she goes home if the dog is old enough for the surgery. Some may provide vouchers for the surgery if the puppy is very young so that you can have your pet neutered when it is old enough. Most shelters and rescues provide the basic vaccinations such as rabies and DA2PP (or DHPP) to ensure that your pet is vaccinated against deadly and contagious pathogens. You will have to keep up with your pet's vaccinations annually or as your pet's veterinarian recommends them. Even if your new pet has vaccinations and has been neutered, you should take them to your veterinarian for a full checkup to ensure they're healthy. Many veterinarians will offer these initial wellness checkups free if the dog has been adopted through a local shelter.

Lastly, the shelter or rescue may microchip your pet. This is to help your pet return home should they ever get lost. The microchip will have to be registered in the manufacturer's database for it to identify your dog, and you may have to pay a fee to register your pet.

Crate Train Your Adopted Dog

Many adopted dogs aren't house-trained, meaning that they're likely to have accidents or exhibit destructive behavior. Much of this has to do with your new dog's lack of training and the stress they've been through before arriving at your home. You may see psychological issues crop up such as separation anxiety, PTSD, and not being house-trained (aka housebroken).

You can end this by putting your new dog in a crate when you can't watch them. If your dog has never been crate trained, start by giving all food and treats in your dog's crate. You'll find your new addition more positive towards a crate if they're getting fed in it.

Crate training can help with house training if you put your new dog on a consistent schedule to go outside. They may also feel more secure having a crate to stay in when you're at work or school.

Your new dog will come to recognize his crate as his safe place.
Your new dog will come to recognize his crate as his safe place.

Keep Your Dog's Crate in Your Bedroom

One of the best ways to get a good night's sleep is to not to let your new dog be lonely at night. Have your adopted dog sleep in your bedroom. It will help reduce separation anxiety and will teach your new dog it is time to sleep.

Keeping your new dog's crate in your bedroom will help them bond much faster with you. Even though you are sleeping at night, this gives your dog eight hours of positive time with you. Your dog will feel much more safe and secure when sleeping nearby you.

Where are you adopting your dog from?

See results

Introduce Other Dogs on Neutral Ground First

Throwing together the new dog with your current pets can be disastrous when you have them meet at your home. Instead, pick a place for your new dog to meet with your current dog. Introduce them one at a time on the leash. You may find that they will get along and even play with each other. When you finally get acceptance, bring them all home, preferably with the new dog crated, just in case.

Exercise Your Adopted Dog

Excitement and rowdiness may come from nervous energy. Spend time exercising your new dog as well as any of your other pets. Tired dogs are happy dogs and less prone to causing mischief. Exercise your adopted dog before going to bed helps convince your dog it is time to sleep and not play.

Keep Other Pets Away Initially

If you own a cat, give everyone the best chance to get along by not introducing them immediately. Instead, give your new dog the chance to get used to you, their surroundings, and even the idea that you have a cat. Keep your cat in another room with food, water, a scratcher, and a litterbox, and let your new dog get used to everything before adding the introduction of a cat. Give your new dog a few weeks without the cat, and allow the cat to "visit" when your new dog is in their crate, but don't start introductions until everything settles down.

Agility is one form of training that's great for active dogs.
Agility is one form of training that's great for active dogs.

Train Your New Dog

One of the best things you can do to ensure a successful adoption is to train your new dog. Shelter and rescue dogs often come with "features" that the previous owner found too difficult to handle. Those "features" might include separation anxiety, being overly hyper, barking too much, jumping up on people, destructive chewing, house soiling, and other undesirable behaviors. Training your new dog with a professional trainer skilled in positive reinforcement techniques will help you develop a bond between you and your pet. The professional trainer can often address problem behaviors that your dog may exhibit or may recommend a dog behaviorist for your dog. Either way, training will help you have a more manageable pet.

Questions & Answers

    © 2014 Maggie Bonham

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)