Preparing Your Home for Your Adopted Dog

October 31, 2018

Congratulations on making the decision to adopt a dog! In opening your home to a new, furry friend you are not only gaining a loyal companion and a friend for life, you are also rescuing him from an uncertain future and giving him the loving family that he deserves. 

While you are undoubtedly very excited to bring your dog home for the very first time, it is important to understand that the entire situation will be confusing and possibly overwhelming or even frightening for your new pet. A home is a very different environment to a shelter. Even if your dog has been in foster care, you are still introducing him to new sights, smells and people. 

To help make the transition as smooth as possible, here are our top tips for preparing your home for your adopted dog.

Sort out his identification

One of the most important things that you should do is ensure that your new pet’s ID reflects your ownership of him so that, should he become lost, he is more likely to be returned to you. This will mean buying a collar and tag ahead of his arrival, and, if he is microchipped, contacting the provider to register your contact information. The latter may be something that the rescue shelter may do on your behalf. 

Buy all of the equipment you will need in advance

You don’t want to have to rush out to the shop and buy supplies the moment you get home with your dog. Instead, you'll want to spend time helping reassure him, so he becomes comfortable in your home. You can help this process by getting all of the equipment you need ready before you bring him home. This includes:

  • Where he will sleep and any blankets you wish to provide
  • Food and water dishes
  • His food
  • Any toys you wish to provide
  • A crate for crate-training
  • Grooming essentials such as a brush and toothbrush

Dog-proof your home

You will undoubtedly want to make sure that your home is as safe for your dog and possible. Many owners find that this exercise is much like toddler-proofing a property. You will need to ensure that there are no loose wires and electrical cords where your dog can chew them, and no toxic substances left within reach. This may mean putting purses and bags away, changing the cupboards where cleaning chemicals are stored and remembering to put the toilet lid down! 

Secure your yard

Your yard will quickly become your dog’s domain and not only will he go potty outside, but he will probably spend a great deal of time exploring, playing and sleeping in your yard – especially when the weather is warm. However, dogs are natural roamers and you will want to ensure that your new canine pal can’t escape. Make sure all of your boundaries are secure including locked gates and fences that he can’t climb over or dig under. Make sure that there is nothing pushed up against fences that he can use for climbing. 

As well as securing your yard, you should also check that there aren’t any toxic substances that your dog can get to. They may look pretty, but many plants and flowers are highly poisonous. You will also need to carefully lock away any household chemicals such as pesticides, paint or antifreeze. 

Decide on the rules and stick to them

You will need to start training your dog on the house rules from the moment you bring him home. Since successful training and good canine behavior relies on consistency, one of the best things that you can do is to decide on what your house rules will be before you bring your dog home, and make sure everyone in the family commits to them. If don’t allow your new pooch on the sofa, but your kids do, it will send very mixed and confusing messages to him.


If you would like more advice on the best ways to prepare your home for the arrival of your adopted dog, please do not hesitate to contact our team.  Our vet in Algonquin, IL would be happy to answer any questions.