1.Take a deep breath and vow to be patient.Remember, this is an adjustment for you and the dog. The Texas Animal Guardians write that a new dog’s cortisol (a stress hormone) level will be higher than normal for 7 to 10 days, and during that period, it is normal for him or her to sleep a lot, become hyperactive, whine and chew. A sick dog requires even more adjustment time, between the stress of going to the vet’s office and taking medication that may have side effects.
2.Have everything set up BEFORE you bring the dog home. Petfinder suggests determining what areas the dog will first stay in (kitchens are good for cleaning up housebreaking mistakes) and setting up a crate there if you will be using one. You want your new friend to be safe, so dog-proof the area by taping loose electrical cords, removing toxic cleaners, removing breakable things and setting up baby gates to block entry to other areas. Don’t forget setting up what Mutt About Town calls a “safe space” with treats, toys and bedding.
3.Come up with a set routine. “Adjusting to a new environment also hinges on a routine,” according to the Texas Animal Guardians that includes house rules the dog can understand. Make sure everyone in the house knows the rules as well – remember, consistency is key. This includes any medication dosing schedules. Additionally, be prepared to give special treatment if the dog has heart-worms, since the treatment often requires that they remain quiet and calm for several months.
4.Train yourself and be ready to train your dog. Take the time to educate yourself about your dog’s needs, from nutrition to safety. Then, have a plan for training your dogs, or better yet, register in an obedience class. Check out Doggy Dan’s training methods here and get 5 free videos!
5.Make proper introductions. Whether it’s the family cat or young children, closely watch all interactions with the new dog, giving a lot of positive reinforcement when things go well. As Dr. Andrew Weil puts it, “The most important aspect of helping the dog acclimate to children [and other pets!] is to reward it for obedient and relaxed behavior.” Additionally, if the new dog has a communicable illness, keep him apart from other pets until he is well.
6.Do This Twice a Day and Watch Your Dog Blossom: You adopt a dog for their love, companionship and loyalty, and one of the best things you can do to help him or her transition well into your family is providing great nutrition. Dogs for Dummies recommends feeding adult dogs two-thirds of the correct daily portion to your dog in the morning, and then the rest at the evening meal. However you portion out food during the day, make sure it is the best possible food you can get for them while taking into consideration your dog’s previous schedule and diet (or you end up dealing with gastric issues).
Over the course of a week or so, gradually adjust the feeding time and the food served, mixing in steadily increasing amounts of the new food with the old. Check out Muenstermilling.com for great Organic Dog Food! We feed our Golden Doodle Taste of the Wild.
The Takeaway on Dog Food
Most commercial dog food is full of really gross stuff – bad enough to make you avoid a playful lick from the mouth of the dog who ate it. How bad can it be? How about heavily processed food consisting of 4-D meat (meat from dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals), road kill and pesticide laden grains to start.
Dogs Naturally Magazine describes most commercially produced dog food as a “recipe for ill health.”
Cheap dog food means feeding your dog cheap ingredients. “Cheap ingredients are less efficiently digested,” according to PetMD, which means dogs fed inferior food have poorer nutrition. A quality diet helps dogs deal with unknown past medical issues and improve their behavior. From mange causing fleas or mites to fungal infections, or even be psychological issues, your dog’s immune system is its best defense against illness. Our choice for healthy immune boosting food is Juverin Food Booster– be sure you sprinkle it onto his food daily for his daily serving of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes!“
The immune system demands good nutrition,” Whole Dog Journal tells us, and a lack of necessary nutrients may cause immune-related disease.
Great Nutrition Really Does Make a Difference in Dogs’ Health
How do you feel after eating junk food for lunch? Your afternoon is a stretch of fuzzy thinking and digestive upset. Compare that to how you feel after eating a delicious, healthy meal. It’s the same for dogs; junk food makes them feel lousy.
You may not know your rescue dog’s medical background, but an organic, non-GMO diet boosts the immune system to fight off parasites and illness, helps dogs withstand arduous medical treatments, increases life spans and improves behavior.
The incredible power of high quality food greatly improves your new dog’s transition into your home. When Harvard Medical School urged people to “Get healthy, get a dog,” dog owners shot back, “Tell me something I don’t know.” Pay it forward by giving your dog the gift of health with organic, preservative free food every day.