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Preparing for a New Adult Dog

by Site Administrator

How do I know if my dog is an adult, puppy, or senior?

Many references will say a dog is an adult from 1 to 7 years of age, after that, he is a "senior." However, large and giant breed dogs may not actually stop growing until they are at least 18 months old, and won't reach social maturity until the age of 2.  Talk to your vet about this if you have a large or giant breed dog.       

What should I expect during the ride home?

The first ride in a car might be stressful for your dog depending on his history. If your adult dog has been in a shelter for awhile, it may be difficult for him. If he’s used to car rides, he might enjoy the trip! Take a crate with you and make a nice bed or provide a pile of blankets so he can lay down. Avoid feeding for several hours before the first ride to avoid car sickness.

How should I introduce my new adult dog to my household?

Walk your adult dog around his new home.  Show him his food, water and bedding.   Take him outside and show him where you want him to eliminate and praise him when he does. If he seems very anxious, you may want to confine him to a small area of the house at first.  You can use special "calming" products to help him feel comfortable.    

  • DAP Dog Appeasing Pheromone
    • Available in a spray, a diffuser or a collar, this hormone mimics the natural pheromone released by the mother dog 3-5 days after having a litter of puppies, causing a calming and reassuring effect on the dog.

  • Vetri-Science treats
    • Calming treats can be offered in any fearful situation

Should I keep my adult dog in a crate when I am not at home?

Crates are excellent training tools if the dog is not house trained already or is likely to be destructive when left alone.  Some adult dogs are more comfortable in a crate if that is how they were raised from a puppy.  Otherwise, not necessary.

  • Petnation Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home
    • lightweight, durable, foldable, ventilated soft crate

  • Newport Pet Crate End Table
    • attractive enough to keep in the living room

When should my new adult dog meet my other pets ?

Keep all other pets in the house away until the newcomer is comfortable in his area.  Provide as much human interaction as possible!   When the dog appears to be relaxed,  you can gradually allow him to explore the rest of the house and meet other pets, under your direct supervision, until all residents are content with each other. Most adult dogs will adapt very quickly, if they have been around other dogs in the past.

  • Zuke's Jerky Naturals Dog Treats

    • Treats can encourage dogs to be more social with each other.  Have a    "treat party" when the dogs encounter each other, turning a  potentially negative situation into a positive one. 

  • DAP Dog Appeasing Pheromone (see above)