How to Create a Welcoming Home for Your Rescue Dog

Done with reading our article on 5 things to do before bringing home your rescue dog? The next step is creating a welcoming environment to help you and your newly adopted furry friend settle into your home.

1. A calm space for your dog

A top priority for bringing home your rescue dog is making the transition as least overwhelming as possible by creating a calm and safe space for them in your home. First, decide where in the house your dog can or cannot go and be consistent with this.

Take into consideration that your dog will undergo a lot of stress with the change of environment. They may even express their anxiety in destructive ways so make sure to pack away valuables.

The shelter may have also provided you with items belonging to your rescue dog such as their previous toys or bed. Keeping familiar things at your place will help create comfort for your dog as these would remind them of their old home.

2. Where your dog can and cannot go

For dog-friendly zones:

  • Determine where your dog will spend most of their time and make sure it is a comfortable space for them where they can have the opportunity to socially distance themselves if needed.
  • Be mindful of possible sources of loud noises or stress.
  • Keep an eye out for any possible dangerous objects. Look at each room or space from their perspective. For instance, plants, socks, cables might look mundane to humans but might cause harm to your dog.
    • Tape loose electrical cables to baseboards if these cannot be removed.
    • Your dog could mistake blinds or drapery cords as toys and could become tangled in them. Make sure these are tied back when left unattended.
    • Store chemicals on high-shelves or in cupboards. Don’t forget to store away cleaning products, medications, fertilisers, insecticides, and paints as well.
    • If ingested, house and garden plants can be fatal to dogs. Research if they are toxic to pets, and if so, place them out of reach.
    • Because dogs often use their mouths to explore objects, pack away small items such as shoes, pillows, homeware, or items that may have parts dogs can gnaw off.
  • Keep things closed.
    • This includes doors, cupboards, washing machine and dryer doors, bins, and toilet lids.
    • Because it’s not uncommon for rescue dogs to attempt escapes, secure your front and back doors and any external gates.
  • Dog-proof your garden, backyard, or balcony.
    • Ensure that there are no holes or spaces where your dog could escape.
    • Pool fencing and pool covers are a must.
    • Be wary as well that unsettled dogs may cope through digging.
  • Think about where you will station your dog’s food and water.
    • You may consider (1) the kitchen since cleaning up there is easier and your dog can share your meal time with you and/or (2) the pantry with a tile floor. Take note not to choose a high-traffic area where your dog can be disturbed.
    • Don’t choose an area near a bin as they might get tempted to sniff around it and even dig into it.

For no-go zones:

  • Close the doors or use a baby gate as a fence.
  • Ensure that the fencing is secure, especially for outdoor areas as some dogs are smart enough to figure a way out or strong enough to break down wobbly fencing.

3. Where your dog will sleep

Many factors such as age, lifestyle, and personality would help you determine where the best place is for your dog to sleep at night. Good options include crates, pens, and small rooms. Ensure it’s an area where there isn’t a lot of movement; you don’t want them to be constantly tripped over or stepped on.

Trying to decide between a dog bed, crate, or even your bed? We’ve rounded up the pros and cons for the most common sleeping options to help you choose in this article here.

You can also find out from the shelter if your dog is crate-trained. Crate training can be highly valuable for any dog whether rescue or not. Learn more about its benefits, what to look for in a crate and how to get started here.

Watch this video by expert dog trainer Ryan Tate as he takes you through some tips on how to crate train your dog:

After you’ve prepared a welcoming home for your new furry family member, you’re now ready to read our 8 tips for the first month after bringing home a rescue dog here.

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