National Rescue Dog Day: How to help a rescue dog adjust into their new home - Hindustan Times
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National Rescue Dog Day: How to help a rescue dog adjust into their new home

By, New Delhi
May 19, 2023 03:31 PM IST

It is important to create a supportive and nurturing environment for rescue dogs to adjust to their new homes. Here are tips from an expert.

Bringing a rescue dog into your home is an incredibly rewarding experience. Giving a new home and a loving owner to these victims of neglect and abandonment can be lifechanging experience for them. A rescue dog is the one that has been saved from abuse or abandonment by rescue organisations. Considering they have gone so much in their life, they surely need patience, understanding, and a nurturing environment to heal their emotional wounds and regain trust. (Also read: Zeenat Aman shares pics of ‘only diva in her house’. It’s her rescued pet dog)

A rescue dog is the one that has been saved from abuse or abandonment by rescue organisations. (Pixabay)
A rescue dog is the one that has been saved from abuse or abandonment by rescue organisations. (Pixabay)

National Rescue Dog is celebrated every year on May 20 and recognises all the benefits of allowing a loving canine to adopt you into their life. According to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter US animal shelters every year and of those, around 3.1 million are dogs and 3.2 million are cats. 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each year and 810,000 animals who enter shelters as strays are returned to their owners.

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Dr. Sanjiv Rajadhyaksha, Medical Director, Wiggles MyVet in an interview with HT Digital says it is important to create a supportive and nurturing environment for rescue dogs to adjust to their new homes.

If you too have decided to adopt a rescue dog, here are tips you should follow by an expert.

1. Give them time and space

Understand that your rescue dog needs time to adjust and may feel overwhelmed initially. Provide them with a quiet and comfortable space of their own, such as a crate or a designated area with bedding. This will help them feel secure and gradually build their confidence in the new environment.

2. Establish a routine

Dogs thrive on routine, as it provides them with a sense of stability. Establish a consistent daily routine for feeding, exercise, and rest. This will help your rescue dog understand what to expect and feel more secure in their new surroundings. Stick to a regular schedule, as it will aid in reducing their anxiety and promote a smoother adjustment process.

3. Patience and positive reinforcement

Patience is key when helping a rescue dog adjust. Remember that their past experiences may have left them with emotional scars, making it important to approach training and interactions with kindness and understanding. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and play, to reward desired behaviours. This will build trust and create a positive association with their new home.

4. Socialization and gradual exposure

Gradually introduce your rescue dog to new experiences, environments, and people. Begin with calm, controlled socialization, allowing them to meet friendly and well-behaved dogs and humans. Gradual exposure to different stimuli will help them overcome fears and build confidence. Avoid overwhelming them with too many new experiences at once, as it can hinder their progress.

5. Seek professional guidance if needed

If you encounter challenges during the adjustment process, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Trained animal behaviourists or certified dog trainers can provide guidance tailored to your dog's specific needs. They can assist in addressing behavioural issues and offer additional strategies to facilitate a successful transition.

"Bringing a rescue dog into your home requires patience, understanding, and dedication. By giving them time, establishing routines, using positive reinforcement, gradually exposing them to new experiences, and seeking professional help if necessary, you can provide your rescue dog with the support they need to adjust and thrive in their new home. Remember, with time and care, the bond between you and your furry friend will grow stronger every day," concludes Dr Rajadhyaksha.

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