4 Things We Did to Prepare for Adopting New Dogs

These 4 things helped us to ease Milo and Adeline's transition into their new lives with us
How We Prepared for Adopting New Dogs: 4 Things That Worked for Us including personalized collars and tags, relearning potty training and more #adoptdontshop

In case you haven’t heard the news yet, we recently adopted two long haired dachshunds from Portland Dachshund Rescue! Their names are Adeline and Milo and they are both 4 years old… and a bundle of energy. I know it seems sudden given that Noodle passed in September, but I honestly just couldn’t handle the house being so quiet and I knew we were able to provide a good home for dogs in need — especially a bonded pair. I’ve gotten a few questions about what we did to prepare for adopting our new dogs, so here’s a bit of what we did to ease the transition.

How We Prepared for Adopting New Dogs: 4 Things That Worked for Us

I should probably start this list of tips off with a disclaimer: I am not a dog behavioralist, vet, or really any sort of expert on dogs at all. This post is literally an overview of some really basic things that we did. If you have deeper, more in-depth questions, definitely reach out to a professional!

Make a vet appointment right away

Once we had a date set for when our newly adopted dogs would be coming home to us, I called our vet to update her. I told her all about them, forwarded their vet records, and made an appointment to bring them in. Milo and Adeline were up-to-date on all their vaccines and had just had their dentals done, but I wanted to establish them with our vet right away in case anything were to happen.

This appointment also helped us to set a benchmark for their weight because they were a bit overweight. We worked with our vet to chat about food options, exercise plans, and a timeline for when we hope to see weight loss results. I love our vet so much, so knowing that she’s already met our little meatballs makes me feel good!

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Do a potty-training refresher

I feel like no matter the age of a newly adopted dog, you’ll need to do a refresher on potty training with them. Think of it this way: they are in a new place, with new people and a totally new routine. They might not know which door to even stand next to in order to signal they need to go out!

We decided to set up Milo and Adeline for success by taking them out every 2 hours every day for 2 weeks to help establish a routine. We literally had a notebook where we wrote down the time, who did what, and any other notes to keep track! Also, setting an alarm on your phone helps a ton.

After 2 weeks, we pushed it to 3 hours… then 4. The big thing that I realized is that this exercise is really about getting them to trust me and know that I will take them out when they need to go. We also learned their potty patterns and when they usually like to go. For example, Milo always needs to go out after he eats dinner so now we know to plan accordingly.

Order personalized collars and tags

Once we had a pick up date set for when we’d get them, I also ordered personalized collars and tags. This way they will immediately be identifiable just in case they were to get loose. They are microchipped, but I feel like you can’t be too careful when it comes to making sure someone can contact you right away if your dog is found.

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Take time off to help the dogs settle in

This tip might not be feasible for everyone, but because we adopted new dogs over the holidays we were both able to take some time off. Not only did this help us to get to know the dogs better, but we also could take our time in introducing them to Diamond. Thanks to the time off, we could slowly introduce them to different parts of our yard, the birds, and other aspects of our life that might be different from what they are used to.

Now that it’s been about 2.5 months with our newly adopted dogs, it’s amazing how much more comfortable they’ve gotten with us and their new home! I’d love to know what other things have worked for you while preparing to adopt a new dog or dogs. Leave a comment and let me know.

Photography by Jojotastic.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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