Paws Down…Tails Up
Helping Your Rescue Dog Thrive
Rescuing a dog from a shelter is an incredible act of love. My husband and I recently rescued a two-year-old street dog, and in addition to oodles of patience, these are some of the toys and tools that have proved invaluable the past few months. Most experts agree that it takes a rescue dog’s nervous system about three months to acclimate, once the pup has arrived at its furever home. With that in mind, the goal is to understand that a new rescue is navigating a lot of new expectations, experiences, and emotions.
A COZY RESTING SPOT
If you’ve spent some time on social media, you have probably seen videos of new rescue dogs—giddy with joy—snuggling in their first-ever bed. FÜZI has several high-sided beds for extra coziness. Info: fuzipets.com
CALMING = CARING
A new rescue dog is nervous and unsure of the new sights, sounds, and surroundings. It’s incredibly helpful to have calming products on hand—like these Alzoo diffusers and collars—to see what works best for your new buddy.
INVEST IN GPS
Of course, it makes sense that newly adopted dogs are a flight risk, so having a GPS collar set up on day one is a good idea. The Link unit is on the smaller side, plus its functionality is top-notch. Info: linkmypet.com
NYC-based store Gotham is lovely and eclectic, plus they create high-quality CBD products. In addition to their own line of tinctures, they offer these calming Head & Heal bacon treats from Cortland, New York. Info: gotham.nyc
SAVE YOUR SILLS
Though it’s not guaranteed, there’s certainly a chance your new dog might be curious about what’s on the other side of the windows. Prevent potential windowsill scratches with these ingenious protectors from Sill Shield, which come in standard and custom sizes. Info: sillshield.com
Walking a new-to-you dog requires patience and vigilance, since they might be skittish. This handy Gentle Creatures gadget simultaneously attaches to the harness and the dog’s regular collar, providing the ultimate protection against any potential harness-Houdini escapes. Info: gentlecreatures.co
Sometimes a new buddy needs a little encouragement with toys, so these Project Hive scented dog toys are wonderful. The scents range from Calming Lavender to Tropical Coconut and help kick-start a play session.
SAFETY ABOVE ALL ELSE
Your new four-legged bestie loves the satisfaction of a bully stick chew toy, but it’s critical to keep safety top-of-mind. As your dog gets to the end of the stick, that last nub can be a choking hazard. Safety Chew is an effortless way to keep play time safe. Info: safetychew.com
LICK MATS TO THE RESCUE
Regulating emotions—fear, excitement, nervousness—can be a challenge for your new dog, at first. Licking is a naturally soothing activity for dogs, so keep a few Soda Pup lick mats in the freezer. Fill them with peanut butter or yogurt. Info: sodapup.com
DEALING WITH DENTAL
We all know how crucial dental care is for our dogs, but a new rescue might be leery of bristles in its mouth. Use the toothbrush as a toy, at the start. You can rely on dental bones like these from Zesty Paws, in the meantime.
Any new dog—and most dogs, in general—will benefit from interactive toys. This Tree Tugger toy from Jolly Pets is great exercise for your pets and just might give you a little time to rejuvenate. It’s helpful to have a few toys that your new dog can play with independently.
THE BEST OF BALL
Keeping with the theme of finding ways for a new rescue pup to play independently, this PetSafe Automatic Ball Launcher Dog Toy is a valuable tool. Not only will it launch standard tennis balls, it also has the added safety feature of a motion detector. Info: Petco.com