5 Ways you can make your Dog feel Comfortable and Safe

Oct 01, 2019     |      Sophie's Circle

A man looking admiringly at his dog.Adopting a dog is such an exciting time for the whole family! You are not only bringing home a pet, but a best friend who will wag his tail when you come home, listen to all your stories about the day's events, and miss you when you leave. If this is your first dog or if it has been a while since you last adopted a dog, this checklist will help you ensure he feels safe and comfortable in his new home. 

Create a Space to Call His Own
An easy way to begin setting up your home for your new furry friend is to create a space for him to rest. Pet gates blocking off a tiled or linoleum flooring area that is easy to clean or pet crates that enclose your dog in an area all his own can offer a safe temporary space for your dog when he needs time to relax and recharge or you are heading out to meet some friends for dinner. This is especially the case with puppies who may have potty accidents while you are away. Trained older dogs may still enjoy a crate like a bedroom that has been set up just for them. If you adopt a housebroken dog you trust to leave in the house while you are away, you can leave the door open for him to enter and exit freely. Just be sure the crate is large enough for him to stand up and turn around.

As for timing, puppies may be crated or placed in pens for a couple of hours. However, they will need to be let outside every two hours in the beginning for potty breaks to avoid accidents. Housebroken adult dogs may be left for longer, though they will need a potty and water break three to five times per day. Also, spending quality time with your dog before and after crating will help him feel better about his new space. 

Leave your Scent
Do you have an old t-shirt, towel or blanket you plan to throw out? Many dogs are not big chewers and appreciate your scent left behind on something soft in the crate or playpen when you leave. As your dog comes to know you better, he will begin to associate your scent with comfort and security. Therefore, if you adopt a dog that is not known to chew clothing, before you get rid of a stained shirt or torn towel, use it once more and let your new furry friend have it instead. 

Look Better, Feel Better
You know that wonderful fresh feeling you experience after taking a shower, getting your hair cut, buying a new outfit, or having your nails polished? It may not be fun for everyone to sit through the process of becoming clean and styled, but it is important for health reasons as well as our social confidence to practice good hygiene and remove split ends or chipped polish. The same goes for dogs. Not every dog will love a sudsy bath or sit quietly through a grooming session. However, establishing a regular grooming routine for your canine friend is essential to him looking and feeling his best.

This Temperature is Just Right
Unlike humans, dogs get rid of their excess body heat through panting when they are hot and they have permanently attached fur coats to protect them from the cold. However, finding the right temperature for your dog will take some observation at first. If you see your dog is unable to stop panting or has shallow fast panting for an extended period of time that seems longer than it should take to calm down from being excited to see his people return home, you can try setting the thermostat to a cooler temp.

Additionally, for dogs with thin, short or smooth coats, it may be more difficult for them to regulate heat in colder temperatures. Begin watching for signs of being cold such as shivering when temperatures fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. All dogs regardless of age, size, or coat should have a place to go for warmth when the outside air hits 32 degrees or below. 

Good Eats and Healthy Nutritious Treats
Is there anything more comforting than a good meal? Unfortunately, dinner time is not a one-meal-fits-all topic. Good nutrition for each dog is based on the individual dog's age, size, sensitivities or allergies, and extra care health needs. Sites like Dog Food Advisor coupled with the advice from your local vet can provide you with the right path for a full and happy dog.

As for treats, any food item you give your dog should be easily digestible and sized appropriately to avoid choking hazards. Here again, your vet may have excellent recommendations. You can also have fun giving your dog certain washed fruits and frozen vegetables. The American Kennel Club lists safe and unsafe foods to try.

With the above tips on how to make your newly adopted dog feel comfortable and safe in your home, your and your furry companion should be well on your way to enjoying this incredible new adventure together. After all, we all need a place we can relax and unwind. A cozy bed with your scent on something soft and cuddle-worthy, a little nail clipping or maybe a proper hair cut, and a good meal is a great way to ensure your dog loves with his new digs with his chosen family.