Helping Your Shelter Dog Settle In

October is Adopt A Shelter Dog Month! If you’re adopting a shelter dog, you definitely have our support. Going to a new home can be stressful for dogs. It is a huge change, after all! You’ll need to take some precautions to get Fido started off on the right paw in his new home. Here, an Eau Claire, WI vet discusses helping your furry pal adjust.

Walk Around

When the big day comes, take Fido for a walk around the block before bringing him inside. This will let him reset, and just gives him a chance to get his bearings.


Petproofing is a must! That means addressing potential hazards, such as small or sharp objects, plastic bags, wires and cords, chemicals, and medication. If you have a yard, make sure your fencing is secure. You’ll also need a sturdy leash and a good collar or harness.


Treats are great tools for bonding with Fido and making him feel safe. Just don’t go overboard! Choose training treats or smaller portions.

Make Interactions Positive

It’s important for Fido to feel safe and secure in his new place. Be friendly, but not overbearing. Don’t force affection on your new buddy!

Safe Space

Fido may feel most secure with a crate, or perhaps with his own room or corner. Make sure he has a quiet, comfy spot he feels safe in!


Pets tend to feel safest when they are kept on a steady routine for things like walks, meals, and playtime. Get Fido settled into his new doggy schedule right away.

Veterinary Care

A veterinary appointment should be one of the first things on the agenda. Fido will need a thorough nose-to-tail exam. This is also a great time to get advice on your pup’s diet and care needs.


Some dogs are over the moon to realize they’ve been adopted: others are more timid, and take time to settle in. Don’t force things! Let Fido have the time he needs to settle in. A good rule of thumb here is the 3/3/3 rule: it will take your pet three days to get used to his new surroundings, three weeks to start to settle in, and three months to really feel at home.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Eau Claire, WI animal clinic, anytime!

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