Live, Love, Bark: A Guide to Adopting an Abused Dog
Live, Love, Bark: A Guide to Adopting an Abused Dog
Are you contemplating adopting a dog with a history of abuse? Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about preparing for your new pup.
Are you planning on adopting an abused dog?
Dogs are a great life-long companion for both families and individuals. Dogs are popular for their loyalty to their handlers and unconditional love. Studies show that 9 in 10 American households consider dogs as part of the family.
In recent years, people have been promoting adoption over buying from a pet store or dealer. This is great for dogs looking for a second chance at getting a home. However, there are many cases where dogs from adoption centers may have a history of abuse.
Adopting an abused puppy can be a challenge, but you don't have to go through it alone. This article covers some tips on how to adopt an abused dog. Read on to discover more!
What to Know Before the Adoption
As mentioned prior, adopting abused dogs is a little more challenging than others. Your new pooch may have some behavioral problems, like trust or territorial issues. Dogs with a history of physical abuse may be fearful and even act out with aggression.
If you're adopting an abused dog, ask the shelter about their behavior since their rescue. It would also help to know what condition the dog was in when the shelter took them in. Ask what medical treatment the dog needs and if they also need maintenance medicine.
Dogs that come from a neglectful home may sustain various injuries or diseases. Aside from physical injuries, they may also have worms, parasites, and deformities. Some dogs go into shelters with visual, dental, or hearing issues.
It's crucial to understand the commitment needed to take in an abused dog. It will take a long time to rehabilitate the dog and reintegrate them back into society. Before you bring home an abused dog, ensure that you're ready for this kind of commitment.
Preparing the Essentials
If you think you're ready for the commitment of adopting an abused dog, it's time to prepare the essentials. Here's a quick starter kit:
Food and Supplements
Start by preparing enough food for your dog's nourishment. Ask your vet or the shelter what the best food is to give your dog.
Some dogs may have allergies to certain ingredients, like protein, gluten, beef, or lamb. It's common for abused dogs to lack a balanced diet before they arrive at a shelter.
Ask your vet or shelter which of your dog's nutritional needs require attention. They may also be able to recommend supplements to help your dog get back in good shape.
Doggy crates are a basic need for every new puppy you bring home, especially if they have a history of abuse. Dogs from puppy mills often live their life in crates. However, this doesn't mean that you have to keep your pooch in a crate all the time.
The crate offers dogs some comfort due to the familiarity. They can retreat to this crate if they get overwhelmed or overstimulated in their new home. Ensure that the crate is big enough to let your dog move around if they need to.
The dog should be able to stand up and stretch. They should also have enough room to turn around to find the most comfortable spot. If your dog isn't potty-trained, a doggy crate can help you minimize messes to clean up.
Leash or Harness
A leash or harness can come in handy when training an abused dog. If a dog isn't used to a leash, it's best to use a harness instead. This prevents you from straining or hurting your dog's neck and trachea.
SA harness also offers much more control than a leash. You won't have to worry about your dog escaping the leash and running away.
It's good practice to get your dog tagged or microchipped. This ensures that your dog will come back to you even if they escape. Your dog's tag should contain your address and phone number.
Toys and Treats
Dog treats will come in handy when you start training your dog. Getting toys also helps your dog feel more at home and comfortable. It gives them something to do and put their energy on if they feel anxious or agitated.
Cultivate a Safe Environment
It's best to introduce an abused dog to a new environment at a gradual pace. Help them get comfortable in the house before you introduce them to any other people or dogs. This is where your doggy crate comes in.
The doggy crate will serve as their safe haven in a strange new environment. As much as possible, keep the noise to a minimum and keep them company. Let your dog know that your home is a safe environment and that they are in good hands.
Socialize Your Dog
Socializing your dog is part of basic training as it serves as the first step to rehabilitation. It helps your dog reintegrate itself back into the world. Once they're comfortable in their crate, you can then let them explore the house a little more.
Ensure to watch over your dog for signs of anxiety. Your dog will let you know if they are not ready for new things. While it may take some time, some patience and understanding will go a long way.
Training and Rehabilitation
Adopting an abused adult dog means that you will need to do a lot of training and rehabilitation. It's crucial to understand that the problems aren't innate within your dog. It is a result of their previous owner's bad treatment.
Biting, snapping, and lack of potty training are commonly observed abused dog behavior. Your dog may act out due to fear of new people and dogs.
Be patient when training your dog. Repetition, practice, and love will help you break bad habits and form new ones.
Your Essential Guide to Adopting an Abused Dog
Adopting an abused dog can be a challenge at first. However, seeing your dog grow and learn to love is a rewarding experience. Don't let your dog's trauma affect the potential relationship you can have.
Need help with training? If you're in Dallas, Texas, we got you! Contact us today to get started on training your dog.
K-9 Culture Dog Training
Serving the Dallas / Fort Worth Metro Area