Tips for Bringing a New Dog Home


By Heather Listhartke

Bringing a new dog home can be exciting and fun for the whole family and it is likely that you all will want to jump right in and smother some love on your new pup, but this can be a really stressful time for him or her because of the new atmosphere. It can also largely depend on what kind of environment the dog came from. Shelter/rescue dogs are going to act a lot different than those that were in a foster or a breeding home. Here’s some tips on how to help your dog transition to their new home:

Foster or Breeder Dogs
For most of the dogs coming from this type of environment, transitioning may not be that big of a deal, especially if their previous home was actually a home environment, but they still need to learn the rules of the land and to bond with everyone. One of the best ways to do this is to take your dog for a walk says Leslie Kessinger, co-owner of the local Three Dog Bakery in Franklin and Mt Juliet. This will allow the dog to get some of the excitement out of his system as well as a chance to go potty before going inside. It also creates a memorable, positive experience that the dog can associate with you. From there, immediately start rewarding your dog for good behaviors that you want them to keep doing such as pottying outside, giving love, staying off furniture, or coming when called. When training them on other things like sit, stay, down, training treats are great in sessions.

There’s plenty of options in regards to training treats. Three Dog Bakery makes a grain free training treat in several flavors that are a nice, quick reward. For high-value reward, they even have freeze-dried meaty treats made by Orijen and Sojo’s that your dog will not only find delicious but they are also good for them. For help with chewing or at the end of a training session, there’s a few wonderful options that will reward them while keeping them busy for when you need to get things done. The all natural rawhide braids and Earth Animal No Hide chews are both high-quality and free of artificial ingredients, making them long lasting and safe for pups to enjoy.

Shelter or Rescue Dogs
While shelter dogs might just like to go for a walk like any other, they often need time to decompress and adjust to their new setting more so than other dogs. They are usually coming from a small fenced cell that often has a lot of dogs around it and a lot of interaction in general, but when you bring them home, they can be overwhelmed by the transition and very confused. Instead of a walk, it’s going to be more comforting for the dog to be introduced to a place that they can call their own. Leslie suggests using a plastic crate or covered wire crate as it might help them feel safe and secure in a new environment.

At the same time, you can make sure to limit their access to just part of the house at first to create a sense of belonging in the new space. She also says that many of the volunteers she’s spoken with recommend adding a calming supplement like all-natural Ark Naturals Happy Traveler treat or Rescue Remedy liquid and giving them a sturdy chew like a Benebone to keep them busy. All these help to decompress the dog and allow him to start having fun in his new house.

Bringing a new dog home can be a fun experience, but remember each dog may have different needs. Three Dog Bakery can help you find any of the treats mentioned in this article as well as help you find nutritious, quality food for your new dog.

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Three Dog Bakery has two locations in Middle Tennessee: 1556 W McEwen Dr #112, Franklin, TN 37067 & 1982 Providence Pkwy #102, Mt Juliet, TN 37122.