Adopting a dog is a life-changing moment. It marks a new chapter in your life with a canine friend by your side. When people adopt a rescue dog, many will often choose the younger ones, most often puppies or those that have just become adults. Although it is wonderful that these younger pups are getting a fresh start in a loving home, rescue centers are often filled with senior dogs.
Some shelters do not have the space to accommodate all the animals. This often leads to a sad ending as some of the animals have to be put down. Senior dogs are the ones that have to face this upsetting ending. Reports show that 1.2 million senior dogs in the US are put down. However, recent studies have shown that more people are showing love to older dogs.
If you are one of those who has recently adopted a senior dog, here are a few tips to help you settle them into your home.
Allow Them Time
With most senior dogs, you rarely know their story. You do not know the environments they grew up in or the people they encountered. Bringing them into a new space can understandably be overwhelming for them. To help them feel comfortable, provide them with their own space. It could be a safe spot that they can retreat to and a comfortable bed to sleep on.
Provide them with somewhere where they go when they feel tired or overwhelmed with everything. If they have retreated to their safe spot, allow them time alone, and avoid crowding them or making them feel cornered. This could upset them and make them feel distressed. Instead, offer them toys and things they can do on their own.
Give Them Treats
Of course, this one should be done in moderation. However, an occasional treat to show that you care and want them to feel comfortable can help you to build trust between your senior dog and yourself. You might even consider investing in some of the food toppers from Applaws. These are simple and effective ways to make dry foods tastier for your new senior companion. Additionally, you might even treat them occasionally to some more luxury foods.
Before offering any of these treats, check the ingredients to see if they are suitable for your dog. Senior dogs might have underlying health issues or are more susceptible to developing problems. As such, checking the ingredients beforehand can help you to prevent any unplanned trips to the vet.
Keep A Routine
Dogs love and thrive on a routine. After welcoming home your new dog, try to keep to your routine as much as possible. Your dog will gradually pick up and learn your routine, which will help you feel more comfortable in the space. Create a routine for them around the time of day you walk them, when they are fed, and the time you go to sleep.
Rescuing a senior dog is a rewarding experience. If you need to spend weeks or months building trust between you and your senior dog, be patient with the process. When they begin to trust you and show more affection, the time spent building that trust will be worthwhile.