The idea of getting a new furry friend and bringing them home has been on your mind for some time now. Maybe, you would go to the animal shelter for some time so that you can spend some time with your potential rescue dog. That first day you bring the dog to their new home from the local animal shelter was filled with joy and excitement.
But now a few days after you had adopted a dog, you have had second thoughts and you are wondering if it was the right decision for both you and your dog.
While there can be a lot of different reasons people want to return their shelter dog, ranging from bad behaviors that you were not aware of, or your dog crying and howling due to separation anxiety, to your dog’s inability to get along with other pets or people in the house. There are some steps you can take to remedy these problems.
The first and foremost thing you will want to do is give your dog a chance to adjust to his new home. But how much time should you give your dog to adjust to their new home?
How Long Does It Take For Rescue Dogs To Settle Into Their New Home?
Each adopted rescue dog is different and one can take longer or shorter to adjust to a new home than others. You should expect them to take up to three months before they feel comfortable and settled into his new home.
Some adoption organizations will offer information that will explain what needs to be done to properly incorporate a dog into your home to ensure that you and your new pet have a smooth transition. Oftentimes, the shelter will modify these instructions based on their knowledge about the dog’s background and how it behaves.
If after following the instructions that were given to you and you still do not see progress after spending an adequate amount of time with the dog, speak to one of the shelter employees where you got the dog from for additional assistance.
Here is what you can expect for the first few months.
In The First Few Days
It is likely that your dog will be overwhelmed by its new surroundings during the first few days of having it here with you. They might not want to eat their food or drink water. Your dog could be aggressive towards you and your family, trying to protect themself. You could even find them being scared and hiding under the furniture or in their crate where they feel more secure.
During this time you need to slowly start them on a daily routine. Feed them at set times, take them out for a walk at the same time of day, even take them potty to the same area. Once a daily routine has been developed, your dog will be able to get used to what is expected of them and will help them settle into their new environment. Make sure that you take it slow, stay calm around your pup and stay positive.
It is important to trust your dog, so let them explore their new home on their own. You should not expect your dog to be affectionate immediately, but it is important to give them attention if they need it. Be patient during this time when introducing your rescue dog to household members and other pets.
After A Couple Weeks
Usually, within a couple of weeks after the dog moves into their new home, they’ll start to feel comfortable and settle in more. By now, your dog should be used to the daily routine you have been providing them with and should know what you expect of them. They will know when they are going to be fed a meal or be taken outside for exercise and walks. They will also know when and where they will need to go potty as necessary.
This is also the time that you will begin to see their true personality, whether that be good or bad. Usually, by this time you will be able to identify any behavioral issues your dog may have. It’s also a good time where you can start their dog training classes to eliminate any of these bad behavioral problems they might have.
A Few Months Later
Usually, the dog has been settled in and is comfortable with his new home by the end of the third month. By now they will have learned to trust that you will be providing for them and you can expect that they will know their daily routine. Generally by the time you have reached this stage of bringing up your dog you will already have built up a strong bond with them.
Is It Bad To Return A Rescue Dog?
If you and your family agree that the dog is not a suitable match for your lifestyle, then the best thing to do is to return the dog to the shelter and explain to them that it didn’t work out for you and your family. The primary thought that needs to be taken into consideration here is that of the dog.
It would be better if they can locate another home for the dog where they can be happier and get accustomed to their new home there. It would also be helpful if you could do this as soon as possible before the dog starts to bond with you. This is so much better than just placing them in your backyard chained up and have the dog endure a terrible life and not being a part of the family.
In fact, most animal rescue shelters have a trial period as they know it can take a new dog owner time to know if the dog they adopted is the right one for them or not. And they will often state in their pet adoption contracts to return the dog to the shelter if it doesn’t work out.
If you have done all that you could to keep your dog. You should absolutely not feel guilty for having to return a rescue dog to the animal shelter.