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Tips For Bringing Home a Rescue Dog

At A Glance

Most rescue dogs that are up for adoption have a history of abuse. Before bringing one home, make sure you’ve chosen the right breed according to the house you live in and the care you can provide.

Be patient and dog-proof your home with supplies, training materials, etc. before taking the plunge.

Last Updated on: Apr 29, 2022

Are you looking for a canine friend to welcome into your home? Have you considered the option of looking at rescue homes and animal shelters? Animal shelters are brimming with dogs and other animals looking for a new home. Recent findings show that almost 40 animals are being put into a rescue home every day.

Choosing to adopt a rescue dog can be a rewarding experience. Some of these animals will likely have a traumatic experience with a previous owner. Others will have lost their owner, or their owners could no longer care for them. Whatever their previous living situations, you will welcome them into a loving home, prepared to give them a new life and look after them.

As you prepare to welcome your new four-legged friend into your family, here are some top tips for bringing home a rescue dog.

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an image of a rescue dog with a girl

Choose The Right Dog

It’s important that, first of all, you choose the right dog for your home. While all dogs are capable of love, there may be some preferences you and your family are after. For example, if you have a small house or a flat, you may not want to have a big dog. You may also find that some dogs require different levels of attention or have specific diet requirements, especially if they have gone through a medical procedure. It won’t be fair for this dog to adopt them if you can’t properly look after them.

For this reason and more, it may be worth your time to consult the family. You may find that everyone else has a different idea of what kind of rescue dog they want in their home and how much time they can spend looking after them. While you may want to rescue all the dogs in the shelter, some of the dogs may require more love and attention that you can’t give them. For example, you may have to go out to work all the time, with it not being fair to certain rescue dogs that they must be alone.

Remember that every rescue dog is unique, with their own unique personality. Ensure that your home is prepared for their arrival and that you’ve dog-proofed your home in some way. This means that you’ve prepared the home to be safe for them, such as ensuring no loose wires or exposed electrical equipment on the floor that could pose a health risk.


Consider Time Off

Changing environments can be a stressful time for a dog. When the date is set for when you can bring your rescue dog home, consider taking time off work to help them settle. If you travel for work, choose to collect your rescue on the weekend and then book a few days off work for the following week. It gives you extra time to help your dog settle, which is ideal if you only have limited holiday days.

If you work remotely, you could continue working but be prepared that your attention will likely be divided between work and caring for your new dog. It could be worth taking a few days off to ensure that your attention focuses on helping your rescue dog become settled within its new home.

rescue dog sleeping in a crate

Buy Supplies Before Arrival

To help with getting your rescue dog settled, try to have all of the supplies and items you will need to look after them on hand. These could be a bed or a crate to sleep in, toys to play with and find comfort in, and treats to help your dog build trust.

Purchase the dog supplies available from companies like Time For Paws to ensure that you have all the items you need for your dog’s arrival. It will help eliminate the need to go shopping for supplies on arrival day, adding unnecessary stress to an exciting day.

dog sitting on the bed with the owner

Understand House Rules

Before you welcome your new canine friend, decide on the house rules. The house rules could include areas the dog is allowed to go, determine if they can sleep on the beds, sit on the furniture, and their mealtimes. These rules should be decided and agreed upon before bringing home your rescue dog.

If there are multiple people in the house, set rules are essential to helping your rescue dog settle in. Having set rules will help avoid your dog becoming confused about what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do. For example, one person could allow them to sit on the sofa, whilst another person tells them they are not allowed. Having house rules eliminates these conflicting messages.

Also Read: How To House Train Your Dog?

dog sitting in a car with a boy

Plan The Trip Home

Along with booking time off work, another factor is the trip home. Decide on who will be collecting the rescue dog and if an additional person is needed to sit next to the dog or have the dog sit in their lap. Having an extra person come along to collect them means that they can focus on keeping the dog calm whilst the other person drives.

Create a safe space in the car for your dog to sit in for the journey home. Car rides can be stressful for a dog, and you must put plans in place to help make them feel as comfortable as possible for the car ride home. Ensure that they are safely secured in something like a crate. You can put toys or a blanket inside to make it more comfortable for them.

an image of an owner with her dog

Beginning Of A New Adventure

As your dog begins to settle, you will likely notice a change in its behavior. They might become more comfortable approaching visitors, be more affectionate than before, and even enjoy participating in fun garden games. In addition to this, their confidence and trust in you will gradually begin to grow. These improvements and positive changes will likely take time, so ensure that you are patient with the process.

Each dog is different, and their backgrounds and past experiences will likely influence their progress. For some, it may take them longer to trust people, and others might be a bit fearful of certain things. It is why patience is crucial when bringing home a rescue dog.

Welcoming a rescue dog can start an exciting chapter in your and your family’s life. Spending time to build a trusting bond between you will help create a solid foundation for your friendship to blossom.


Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.