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Decompression and Integration

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

Congratulations you adopted a new dog! Now what?

We know how exciting it is to adopt a new family member and how you can’t wait to do all the fun activities you’ve been longing to do with a canine companion. But wait, they need some time to decompress first.

Taking it slow with your new family member for the first few months will solidify your relationship and give you the best path to happiness and success with your new pup.

What is decompression?

Decompression is a calming period a dog needs when first arriving in your home. The dog must have this time to adjust to its new environment, people, and other animals. The average decompression time is about two weeks, but it differs for every animal. Many people do not realize how crucial decompression is and how it can make or break how your dog settles into its new home. Please set your dog up for success.

Closely following this decompression and integration guide and giving your dog plenty of time and space to adjust to their new life is an essential part of ensuring that your new pup is a perfect match for your family.

Create a Management Plan

Adapting to change is always stressful, but even more so for rescue dogs who often come into their new homes having experienced loss and instability. Welcoming a new canine family member and building trust will take time for your existing pet/s as well. Giving everyone the time and space they need to settle in will set all of you up for success and the loving relationships you were hoping for.

Creating a plan ahead of time will help everyone decompress and get to know each other safely and slowly so that you don’t experience setbacks. Your plan should include:

• How to keep pets separated for the first three days (physically and visually)

• How to handle introductions to kids

• How to handle introductions to other household pets

• Exercise, potty, and feeding schedules

All human members of your household should agree to the schedule as well as to how you will handle training your new dog. Remember, clear communication and consistency, especially in the beginning, will help all of you make a smooth transition into an integrated pack.

After You Bring Your New Dog Home

The First 3 Days

Separation is Key

During your new pup’s first 3 days at home, it’s imperative to keep their world small and safe, while simultaneously allowing your current pets time to get used to smelling and hearing a new furry family member in their territory. For thes