Rehoming a Dogoogly

Rehoming a dog is an incredibly rewarding experience - look at this pup's delighted faceThe day has arrived: your dog is ready to collect, and come to her new family! Excited, eager, and just a little edgy?

Read on for The Upward Dog’s advice on rehoming a dog and  his arrival.

Don’t Go it Alone

Take your family or a friend with you to collect your new dog, so that someone can sit with and reassure her on the journey home. It’s also helpful to have a second set of ears, as the rehoming centre staff will likely give you lots of information and pointers to remember over the coming weeks.

Take it Slowly

Spend fifteen minutes or so (re)introducing yourself to the dog, and playing with her, so that she feels comfortable about going with you when it’s time to leave.

Driving Miss Doggy

It’s likely that an adult dog will have travelled in cars before she was rehomed, but you should check this with the rehoming centre. If she seems at all scared of the car, help her feel comfortable by gradually encouraging her closer to it, and giving her treats. If it will make her more comfortable, you may want to give her a filled Kong or a bone to chew on the way to her new home.

The easiest way to transport her is to use a car crate, a plastic carrier, or a tether to secure her in the boot of the car: this is not only safer than being on someone’s lap, it’s also more relaxed for her and she will likely curl up and sleep.

If your new dog shows any signs of not wanting to enter the crate, don’t force her: you will need to introduce the crate gradually, if she’s not been acclimatised to one at her previous home, or if she has any bad memories of being shut in a confined space before she was rescued.

Arriving Home

When you get home, take the dog out to the garden or other place where you want her to eliminate, as she may need to toilet after a car journey.

On arrival in the house, take her and show her the crate or bed you have chosen for her to relax in, and where her water bowl is. Pop a lead on her to keep things controlled, and show her the rooms that she’s allowed into. Let her sniff and smell, and get accustomed to her new surroundings.

Keep any other pets away from her for the time being.

Let the dog dictate what happens next – she may be hungry, sleepy, wanting to play, or keen to fearfully sit in the corner. Allow her to do what she feels she needs to do, reassuring her with words and touches: there’s no need to force her to interact at this stage, if she feels more comfortable watching from the sidelines for the first day or two.

We even offer a professional service to help you introduce your pup to her new home, during her first few hours.

First Night Nerves

Your new companion has probably been in kennels, and so this will be a very different, somewhat lonelier, sleeping arrangement for her. Make sure that she has toileted before she goes into her crate, or the room she will be confined to for the night. Even if you eventually intend to let her sleep on your bed (and why not?!), it is a good idea for the first few nights to let her sleep alone in order to check for certain behaviours you may want to sort out before she sleeps in the bedroom (e.g. housetraining issues).

She may whine – try giving her a few minutes to see if she settles on her own. If she’s not able to soothe herself, go to her and offer some verbal reassurance, before leaving her again. She will soon get the idea and fall asleep.

Rehoming a Dog Help!

Rehoming a dog can be a scary prospect, especially if you’ve not had a dog before, or the pup is a rescue who has likely not been in a domestic home for some time. We can help with our First Day Fido package!

Have fun with your new companion, letting her gradually acclimatise to her new home!