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7 Tips to Add a Shelter Pet to Your Home

August 7, 2022

Adding a Shelter Pet to Your Family is Worth It

Once you get your new pet home, our pros have some tips to help integrate them into your family.

  1. Prepare Your House If you rent, be ready to supply proof that a dog is allowed to live in your house or apartment. Additionally, put away any breakable items and other dog toys to avoid damage or causing a fight (if you have another dog). You’ll also want to give your possible new best friend some space of its own. For example, set up a crate with a bed or blankets in a quiet room of the house. This will give the dog a place to be alone for the first 24 hours and unwind.

  2. Match the Dog to Your Life Many shelters will help you choose a pet that’s right for you. Tell them if you have other pets in your home (dogs or cats), how active your family is, how much room there is to run, and whether or not they will be around kids or livestock. To avoid possible dominance issues, some shelters will urge you to take home a dog that is the opposite sex of your current pet.

  3. Make it a Family Affair Bring the kids and anyone else who lives in the house to the shelter. If the dog and one or more of your family members don’t get along at the shelter, there could be issues at home as well.

  4. Take Things Slow Shelters often have a grace period before you are committed to adopting the dog. In fact, some shelters do background checks and visit the pet in your home to ensure a good fit. Ask your shelter if it is possible to take a pet home overnight on a trial basis.

  5. Take Them Outside First When you bring home a new dog, one of the first things you should do is show them where to do their bathroom business. If you already have a dog, smell will guide their way. Otherwise, you may need to stay with them in the designated area until they go. Be sure to lavish them with praise when they’re done.

  6. Keep Things Calm Give your new dog space of its own. Keep the kids and other pets from interacting too much with the new pet for the first night. If you have a dominant or overly playful pet at home, keep them separated from each other for at least 24 hours. This will also get your current pet accustomed to new smells in the house, which can help avoid confrontations.

  7. Allow Them to Wander After a few days, if you decide the pet is right for you, then allow them to wander a bit throughout your home or backyard. They may be skittish at first, but will likely warm up if you are encouraging.

There are millions of dogs in U.S. animal shelters hoping to be adopted. However, millions are also euthanized every year. You can help by adopting a pet at a local shelter. 

Coastal is Your Adopted Pet Headquarters

You’ll find everything you need for all of your furry family members at your West Coast-owned and operated Coastal. That includes toys, treats, bowls, beds, coats, crates, training tools, food, and kennels. You’re also welcome to bring your pet to the store and wander the aisles together.