8 Tips for Welcoming an Adopted Dog Into Your Home

on June 06, 2022

Adopted Dog

Bringing a new family member into your home comes with challenges and surprises. Here are tips for welcoming an adopted home quickly and smoothly.

When it comes to our fur babies, puppies have extra needs and are not yet potty trained. Many families choose to adopt a dog past the puppy stage. Yes, that means you might get someone eager to be loved who already sleeps at night! But the transition to a new home can be a little bumpy, no matter the age.

Fortunately, you can take steps to welcome your adopted dog into your home more easily. Here are 8 key tips for bringing home an adopted dog--and making that dog feel like a family member quickly!

First: Put in the Prep

A new fur family member will need a few things:

  • Collar and tags
  • Leash
  • Waste bags to take on walks
  • Toys
  • Food and water (and dishes for them)
  • A dog bed
  • Treats 
  • Hygiene items: comb or brush, toothbrush, nail trimmers, shampoo, even a doggy first aid kit with a few basic supplies

You should also make some plans when bringing home a new dog. These include:

  1. Setting up the first vet appointment.
  2. Dividing household responsibilities: who will do the feeding? Walking? Training time? Play time?
  3. Deciding about household rules: in which rooms will your dog be allowed? On furniture or not? In beds or bedrooms, or in their own sleeping space?
  4. “Dog proofing” the house by putting away excess clutter, fragile items, or anything a dog might get into.

Having these things in place helps coming home go more smoothly. 

Step 2: The Entrance

When you bring home a dog, making a grand entrance helps start things on the right paw. Bring your newly adopted dog in the house on a leash. Have her sit or lay down before entering. Give a treat and praise for obedience.

Then, after that nice pause and reward, enter the house first.

Animal experts say always go through the doorway before your dog. This is a simple tip to establish yourself as the alpha, the top dog in your home.

Step 3: The Grand Tour

After you make your entrance, it’s time to take your new dog on the grand tour of your home. Keep your pet on the leash as you tour your home. At each doorway pause, enter first, then lead your dog through.

When you get to the feeding area, give a treat.

Do not remove your dog’s leash until you reach their sleeping area.

Pro Tip: Your Behavior When Introducing Your Dog to Your Home

This is tip 4: your behavior.

As the alpha, you want to exude a calm, assertive confidence. This will put your dog at ease. Remember that in the pack mentality the alpha dog is not a fighting, dominating master. Instead, the alpha is the leader, who looks out for the pack. 

So, when you create quiet and calm, you show your adopted dog that this environment is safe.

Avoid overstimulation. Ideally, this tour will not include much noise, commands or people. 

Step 4: The Neighborhood

After introducing your dog to your home, you want to show your dog the neighborhood. Take your waste bags and treats with you! Then walk your dog down the street and back, always on the leash and exuding that calm, assertive confidence.

Keep commands at a minimum, but do reward your dog for going to the bathroom outside.

Plan on lots of long, neighborhood walks with your new furry family member.

Another Tip: What if You're Introducing a New Dog?

When you bring your new fur baby home, what if you already have a fur baby (or more than one!). 

Experts say: do not introduce a new dog at home. Introducing your new dog to your other dogs should go slowly and take place on neutral territory. Do this at a park or other territory outside of the home. Then, allow them to play in your own yard.

Only after they are comfortable with each other, do you bring your new dog home. Even then, you want to keep their time together monitored and calm.

How Long Does It Take for a Rescue to Adjust?

There’s no set amount of time it takes for an adopted dog to feel comfortable. A good guideline is the 3-3-3 rule:

  • The first 3 days just plan on being calm and getting them used to you. They’re probably overwhelmed!
  • The first 3 weeks your dog might start to settle in and show their own personality.
  • Only after 3 months will your dog likely feel comfortable in their new home.

Some dogs may take even longer to adjust to a new home. Factors include breed and personal history.

Following these tips can make bringing home an adopted dog go more smoothly!

Last Tip: Calming a Rescue

When it comes to calming an anxious dog, consider adding CBD to your plan.

Calming CBD for dogs include treats, which can be used as a calming reward, and CBD tincture. In those crucial first few weeks with your adopted dog, a calming CBD tincture can help improve sleep, enhance mood, and ease the transition into a new family. 

At Bad Dog CBD we love our adopted family members! Check out our online store for products to help your rescue feel calm.

Hip & Joint with CBD Tincture


Hip & Joint for Dogs Tincture