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What to Expect When You Adopt

Adopting a new dog can be exciting and scary all at the same time. It's hard to know what's going to happen when you adopt a new dog. Here are some tips on what to expect when you're expecting (a dog). 

Shyness or Excitability

When you first bring a dog home, they might react in a few ways. Since they are in completely new environments, they might get very excited and seem restless. On the opposite side of that, they might become very quiet and not move much. Both are normal reactions and you just need to give your dog time. Don't "return" them because you can't see their personality quite yet. Their full personality often doesn't come out until weeks down the road. 

Strange Reactions

If your dog was abused before, things like newspapers, umbrellas, or other things you hold in your hand might seem scary to them. They might also be frightened by certain commands. Be patient and come up with some new commands. Avoid holding "scary" objects above your head at them.

Crate Options

You're presented with some options on what to do with your dog when you leave home. Crating would be best when you're trying to get your dog used to being at home. For the first few weeks, use a crate even if you plan on free roaming eventually. 


In a new home, your dog might not let you know they need to go outside. If they go in the house, don't yell at them or hit them. Take them outside, let them go there and then give them a treat for going outside. 

Food Habits

Your dog might not eat right away, or eat more or less. Make sure you ask what type of food the shelter used, and if you want to change, swap it out gradually. Don't expect your dog to eat a full meal every day. Just let them eat when they're ready.

For any more tips on bringing a new dog home, check out Petfinder's list of tips here. Good luck with your new pup!

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Jenna Gomes

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Jenna Gomes