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Transitioning to a New Home

FROM SHELTER DOG TO COMPANION: The transition from shelter dog to family member can be difficult for some dogs. This guide should help make the process smoother.

Congratulations on adopting your new dog! It is exciting to save a dog’s life and welcome him into your home. We hope that your new addition will be with you for a long time and enhance your life. Adopting a dog is a big commitment and an important decision, so you want to set him up for success!


Food, water, collar, leash(not retractable), crate, toys, and treats


Here at BARCS your dog has been eating Hill's Science Diet Adult(unless on a prescription diet/puppy food). You are getting a sample bag to take home, if you choose a new brand of food for your new pet its best to mix what they are currently eating with the new food, to avoid an upset stomach.


To give your dog the best opportunity to succeed in his new home, we recommend giving him time to decompress from the stressful situations that he may have experienced before becoming a part of your family. Your new dog may be stressed by moving into his new home, so we recommend giving him two weeks to adjust to your family and his new environment.

We want your dog to start the journey of his new life in a safe and predictable environment. While it is understandable to want to take your new dog everywhere with you and introduce him to dogs and people, it can be confusing and stressful for him. By controlling his environment and limiting his exposure to outside stressors, you give him time to get accustomed to his new life in a safe, slow way. Also, by restricting his interactions to his new family, he gets to learn his new home, the relationships that exist within it, and where he fits in: he starts to look to you for guidance rather than having to figure it out on his own. That means you will have a dog that is less nervous and more confident!