The past few months, I’ve had puppy fever. Like, hard.
With both Nick and I working during the day, Tucker was usually left in his crate until one of us got home. Before you begin to feel bad about him being in a crate, know this: he LOVES his crate. He gets rotations of tons of food dispensing toys, things to chew on, and classical music is always playing when we aren’t home in order to drown out any outside noises that scare him.
Yeah, sounds pretty great, huh?
We didn’t feel badly about having him in a crate as much as worrying that he would get lonely. The only separation anxiety he’s ever had has been fear of outside noises (but again, fixed with classical music). But we wanted to start training him to be home alone outside of his crate, so we could do things like scatter his kibble all over the house for him to find. But Tucker is a tried-and-true snoop. He loves sticking his nose where he knows it doesn’t belong.
We were thinking that someday (soon) we would like to get a second dog for the purpose of being an energy outlet for Tucker while we were away, thus decreasing the chances of Mr. Snoop getting into trouble. Plus, if we were to adopt an already housetrained dog, it could teach Tucker how to be content with being home alone!
Sounds like a pretty good argument, huh? 😜
So fast forward to the weekend where we set up a time to go to this adoption event with a local rescue group to check out a dog. It ended up not working out due to the very high adoption fee up front. I was pretty bummed when learning it wouldn’t work, when within literally 1 minute I get an email from a colleague. She sent out an email to my entire organization saying that she needed to find a new home for her dog.
So I read about this seemingly perfect dog and emailed her back to show interest.
Fast forward a few days and a meet-and-greet, and we’ve got a new family member in our home.
Everyone, meet Forrest!
If you’ve ever adopted a dog that’s had a significant past life, you know that the sudden upheaval of their routine can really do a number on them.
It might take the form of accidents in the house, barking, loss of appetite, etc. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help your new furry friend feel at home.
1. If you know their past routine, try to incorporate it in your home and slowly phase into your own.
For example, Forrest was used to eating a few times a day. Currently, Tucker eats some food in toys throughout the day but gets most of it at night through training. So we offered Forrest some food before leaving for work for a few days to help with that.
2. If your new furbaby came with old toys or favorite items from their past home, give them unlimited access to those items to make them feel as at home as possible!
3. Don’t push yourself on them.
Sometimes, like humans, dogs need a little time to adjust. And while we may want to go directly into cuddle mode and squish their faces cause they’re just so darn cute, they may need the exact opposite. Just remember that you are still strangers, and he may be feeling a little sad that his family hasn’t been around in a while.
4. Stick to a regular feeding routine.
Like mentioned earlier, some dogs might not have an appetite after such a dramatic change in their life. Forrest took this route. He is massively overweight, so the fact that he didn’t even want to touch his kibble worried me. But I also knew that he was used to getting lots of table scraps…and that’s just not happening in this house! I made sure to offer him his kibble at the same time every day and left it out for the same amount of time. If he didn’t touch it within my 30 minute time frame, then it was tough. He’d have to wait until the next feeding. He was stubborn for a few days (I think he was working me to get some human food), but his appetite eventually came back. Be strong!
5. They’ll probably sleep – a lot!
No, you probably didn’t just adopt the laziest dog in the world. Have you ever come home from a major event or stressful day in your life and all you wanted to do was sleep? We’ve all been there. For the first day, all Forrest wanted to do was sleep. And that’s okay. We were implementing all of the above tips, we knew he was healthy, but we also knew he just needed time to adjust to his new life.
Fast forward to today and he’s settled in nicely! He and Tucker are absolute best buds, he enjoys going on long walks, and he loves his chin scratched. He’s a total love bug! 💙
Have you recently adopted a dog? I’d love to hear about him/her!! You can bet more stories of Forrest & Tucker are in the works!
Until next time,