1. Gather His Supplies

Get everything you’ll need to make him safe and comfortable before bringing him home. The basics a collar and leash, as well as food and water bowls—you’ll also need a dog bed, pet gate, toys, treats, and grooming supplies. It’s a good idea to have training pads and cleaner on hand for accidents in the early stages of house-training.

  1. Prepare Your Home

Walk through your home and put away items that might be harmful to pups, and pick up those items you don’t want to get chewed. Talk over which family members will take up feeding, walking, and training. If other animals already live at home, be sure their shots are up-to-date for everyone’s safety. And if you have any cats, you should have a designated dog-free area where they can retreat, giving them a way to acclimate to the new member on their own time.

  1. Assign a Safe Space for Him

Some pet parents have a dislike to dog crates, but the animal lovers believe that dogs actually see them as their own room to rest, much like a den. They also serve as a place to feel safe while they adjust. If you’d prefer not to use a crate, of course, use a pet gate to block off a room just for him.

  1. Plan How and When to Bring Him Home

Take a few days off work or plan to pick your dog up on a weekend when you have free time. But don’t pick him up at the beginning of a long vacation; if he gets used to you constantly being home, he can develop separation anxiety when you go back to work. Have someone else drive you to pick him up, or ride along to help comfort him while you drive.

  1. Explore the Yard on Leash

Adopted dogs should have plenty of time and space to sniff out their new surroundings. If you’ve designated a potty space in your yard, lead him to it and reward him with a treat when he uses it successfully.

  1. Get Him Checked by a Vet

Within a week of bringing him home, you should visit a veterinarian for a health check and to make sure he has all his vaccinations.

Adopting a dog is a big transition for both the dog and your family. Covering basics will help your new dog feel secure in his new surroundings and make it easier to bond with your new wet-nosed pal.