Adopting a new dog is such an exciting experience. It can easily get overwhelming, but we are here to help. It is very important to do some research and do some ground work beforehand, this will help you ease the stress and ensure that it will be an memorable experience for you and your family.
Tip 1. Prepare All Supplies - Gather His Supplies. Have everything ready before he arrives home, so he can feel safe and comfortable - a collar and leash, food and water bowls. Prepare a place for him to sleep, toys, treats and grooming supplies. Training pads and cleaning products are also good to prepare.
Tip 2. Prepare Your Home - Remove anything in your house that might be harmful. Remove items you don't want to get chewed. A family discussion is also something very important and assign responsibilities for feeding, walking and training. If you have a cat make sure they have a dog free area for them to retreat.
Tip 3. Assign a Safe Space - This will be an area where he can feel safe and rest while he adjusts. Make sure you go and check on him, this will be part of your bonding process, ideally you go alone and keeping a calm environment in there.
Tip 4. Plan When and How to Bring Him Home - If it is possible take a few days off from work. Have someone drive you there so you can stay with him while going back home, and try to avoid taking any detours on your way home.
Tip 5. Show Him Around - Show your dog his new home and let him explore it. Show him his food, bed, leash and toys. Give him short and precise commands such as "leave it" or "no".
Tip 6. Introduce Him - It is important that he meets family members and other dogs, this is a very important part of his developmental stage. Keep other dogs on a leash and supervise their interactions. At this stage avoid kids or people hugging or kissing the dog (I know it is very adorable).
Tip 7. Start Training - Begin training right away! Dedicate some time daily to repeat commands and training routines early on.
Tip 8. Create Routines - This will help both yourself and the dog. Make sure you have a time for feeding, walks and exercise and try to always stick to that time.
Tip 9. Swap Foods Slowly - Ask the person/shelter to provide you with a little bit of food that the dog was already eating and gradually incorporate his new food. This is very important especially when switching the main source of protein.
Tip 10. Vet Checkup - After the first few days pass make sure you get your lovely dog checked by a vet for a health check and also vaccinations. Avoid taking your dog outside before you see your vet.