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Adopt a Shelter Dog Month 2018: Top mistakes made when bringing home your new dog

October 29, 2018

We're almost at the end of Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! I hope these blog posts have given you some information on what adopting from a shelter is like and how to go about it, and have better prepared you for the adoption process. In the last post of this series I've listed some of the most common mistakes that new dog guardians make, and how to avoid them. 



1) Too much, too soon

It's common to hear rescue and shelter volunteers refer to something called the "decompression" period. Typically the decompression period is the period of time after your new dog is in their home where they need to "decompress" from the stress they may have been under in the shelter and during the transition period into their new home. The decompression period can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks after you've brought the dog home, and the goal is to keep things as low-key, predictable and structured as possible. This means refraining from taking your dog all over the place, introducing him to everyone in your neighborhood, and excessive amounts of exercise. While we may be excited about our new family member, it's important to remember that they don't know they're home. They don't know you're their family, and only time and consistency will help them understand this. Imagine being brought into an entirely new environment, with a different species who speak a totally different language than you. Even if they are well meaning, it could still be a potentially scary situation, and it's important that we consider our dog's perspective during this exciting time. Allow them the time to adjust to the environment before do