How to Strengthen the Bond Between You and Your Adopted Dog

Adopted dogs make some of the most loving and loyal pets around. Choosing to adopt a dog from a shelter is also an incredible thing to do, as it gives a dog that otherwise hasn’t had the best luck in life the chance to find a safe and comfortable home. Of course, bringing your adopted new friend home is only the first step – to make the dog (and you!) as happy as possible, it’s essential to put effort into bonding with them. Read on to learn how. 

Start Training as Soon as Possible 

Even if your adopted dog has already been trained by a previous owner, it’s a good idea to start training as soon as you bring it home. Not only will teaching your new canine friend basic commands mean that their behavior improves, but they will also see you as their guardian, leading to a stronger connection. Your dog will always look to you for guidance, and your presence will instill confidence in them. If you’ve never trained a dog before, there are many great dog training tips online to help you get started. 

Exercise as a Duo 

Spending time with your newly adopted dog is essential. It’s also important to ensure the time spent with your dog provides a good bonding experience, and there’s none better than exercising. Your new dog will love getting some fresh air and bounding around the park, so be sure to take him out regularly. To seal the bond, participate in the exercise – running around with your dog and playing fetch. 

Of course, how much exercise your adopted dog needs will depend on the breed and age. Certain breeds – like border collies and greyhounds – need lots of activity. Others, like a pug, will be more than happy with a gentle meander through the dog park. 

Prioritize Your Dog’s Health

The shelter will have (more than likely) made sure your new dog is up to date with vaccines and is in generally good health. Now that you own the dog, the responsibility falls on you, and it’s something you should prioritize. After all, a healthy dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog is far more likely to bond with you!

As soon as you bring your new adopted dog home, find the best dog health insurance to cover unexpected vet costs. You never know what the future holds. Your dog might get seriously injured and need surgery. Or, it might develop health issues down the line and need regular medication. By getting pet insurance that covers those costs, you won’t be left surprised and potentially out of pocket when it happens. 

Stick to a Routine 

Let your dog feel more at home in your household by creating a dog routine and sticking to it. The sticking to it part is especially important! Dogs – especially older dogs who may have experienced a troublesome past – need stability in their lives to feel calm and relaxed. Little things like feeding your dog and taking it on walks at the same time each day can make a world of difference. When your dog knows what to expect and feels calm about the day ahead, he is likelier to bond with you. 

Create a Home for Your Adopted Dog

Your dog didn’t have a place to truly know as its own when at the shelter. Now, you have the chance to change that by making your house their home. Giving them their own space, including a dog bed and food bowl, will help them feel more comfortable in your space. As a result, your dog will warm to you more quickly. 

Pet and Cuddle Your Dog Often 

One of the best (and most enjoyable) ways to strengthen the bond between you and your adopted pup is to pet and cuddle them as often as possible. Give your new friend plenty of strokes, learning their favorite spots as you go. You might discover they absolutely love ear scratches! Cuddle time is always appreciated, too – especially after a long walk through the park. 

Give Your Dog Some Space 

As much as you want to smother your canine friend with love (and they definitely deserve that!), remember that dogs need space much like humans do. Occasionally, they will want to be left alone, and you can usually spot the signs through their body language. It’s best to let them be during this time. Doing this will make them feel more at home and, in turn, will help them feel more connected to you when you do hang out. 

Get Dog Toys and Play

Dogs love to play! It’s how they bond with other dogs, so strengthen your human-dog bond by purchasing plenty of pet toys and having fun. Most dogs really love to play tug of war, so a chew toy will definitely be a good purchase. A ball and ball thrower will also ensure your energetic pup gets plenty of exercise on your walks. 

Pamper Your Dog 

Your adopted dog may not have experienced much grooming in its past life. If that’s the case, you might find grooming a little tricky in the early days, especially when trying to bathe them or trim their nails! However, the more you do it, the more your dog will see that it’s not so bad and even grow to enjoy the pampering session. Make it as much of a relaxing experience for your dog as you can by playing soothing music for dogs, taking your time, and rewarding with treats. 

Keep Your Dog Away from Stressful Situations 

You are your new dog’s guardian, and it’s up to you to keep them away from stressful situations. Your dog may have gone through a lot in the past, so it’s important to show your canine friend that it won’t happen again. By giving your dog a friendly, comfortable, and endlessly safe environment, they are sure to love you deeply before long.