Welcoming home your rescue dog

Edinburgh Holistic Dogs

High paw to you if you are planning to adopt or have just adopted a dog into your family! It’s an exciting time with equal parts of nerves and stress thrown in for good measure. It is a confusing time for you and your new furry family member, so it is best to set off on the right foot and paw.

This is my overview of how to get the best out of your first day together and life beyond! Just remember that each dog is different, don’t rush your new dog but be mindful of the stress that they could be going through or have been through before they have even crossed your front door.

Before You Pick Up Your New Dog

Here are a few things to consider and arrange before you set off to collect your dog. I always think it’s better to be prepared for everything rather than wait to see what happens.

The Dog Schedule

When will they be walked, fed, trained, toileted? What will happen when you go out to work or to the shops? Who will be responsible for dog walks, feeding and clearing up after them?

Supplies & Equipment

Collar, Lead, ID Tag, Bed(s), Crate or dog gates, food bowls, Poop bags, Cleaning supplies, towels (Old human ones are fine), Blankets, Toys – although no need to overdo this at the beginning, Chews think Antlers and Nylabones, Food (The rescue center should be able to tell everything you need to know about their current diet), training treats and Grooming supplies.

Dog Proofing

It’s a good idea to go through your home and remove anything that you don’t want your dog to get his mouth around, e.g. tie up cables/wires. In short, move anything you consider valuable/essential. Get down to dog eye level just to double-check you’ve moved everything.

The Dogs Area

This is the time to decide where your dog’s bed/crates will live i.e. the living room or maybe it’s one in the kitchen and one in your bedroom. Where will his food be kept? Where will his water and food bowls go?

The Dogs Rules

Decide what your dog rules will be before your dog comes home. Will they be allowed on the sofa? Will they be allowed in every room or just a select few? It’s best to stick to these rules, its no good allowing your dog on the sofa for the first couple of days then getting frustrated he’s still getting on a week, month or year later. Ensure all the household members agree to and follow the rules too.

“It’s normal for your dog to be a little aloof so don’t expect big playtime, cuddles and good manners right away.”

The First Day

It’s so important to get this right and not to overwhelm your dog, you may want to show off your new dog. But if you can ensure a quiet first day, then you’ll be helping your dog more than you could possibly know.

Plan where your dog will ride in your car on the way home. Will they be in your boot, in a crate or in crate on the back seat. Ensure it is comfy with blankets and bring a couple of towels in case of travel sickness.

Head straight home. Don’t pop into the coffee shop or visit family. It is best to avoid making the trip longer than needed so no nipping to the shops on the way home. Remember that although you may have met your new dog a few times before now he will still be confused about what’s going on.

When you arrive home, take him straight to the garden/yard or street area where you’d like them to do their business. You may have to wait, but as soon as they ‘go’ praise them and reward them with a treat.

Have outside meetings for people who you live with ensure they come out to meet you and your dog first. Keep it calm and low-key. Let your dog be the one to approach, sniff and control the interaction. Respect your dog’s space so NO hugging, kissing, picking up, staring at, or patting on the top of the head. No welcome-home parties, friends and family who don’t live with you can wait a few days to meet your new arrival.

welcoming home a rescue dog - a dog between the ankles of a person

Bring your dog into your home on their lead, show your dog around their new home but initially keep them in areas they will be allowed in, i.e. kitchen, dining room. If they aren’t going to be allowed in a particular room then keep the door closed. Keep calm and relaxed, don’t rush your dog and let them sniff his way around.

Show them their bed, ideally bring a blanket they have just been lying on in the car and place it on their bed. This will help them settle.

As for toilet breaks, your new dog may be house trained, but in a new home, they may need a little refresher. For the first couple of days give them frequent breaks, then get them into your routine, i.e. they go out first thing, then maybe a few hours later, after a meal and so on.

Finally, just relax. You should go about your normal routine. It’s normal for your dog to be a little aloof so don’t expect big playtime, cuddles and good manners right away. Instead let your dog relax and take in their new home which includes the sights, smells and sounds.

Day Two and Beyond

The best way to set you and your dog up for success as you start your life together is to remember that setbacks may happen but you should just carry on as you mean to do. There is no timeline for a dog to become settled in his new home, each dog is an individual so go at your dog’s pace.

You’ve already placed their bed/crate(s) in the areas you’d like your dog to sleep at night, so get in the habit of putting them to bed with a treat, in that area. This will become an established routine, your dog knows this means sleeping time. Don’t get stressed if your dog sleeps elsewhere like on the carpet and not the cosy bed you bought them.

For meal times try to follow the same feeding schedule as the rescue center which should be 2 meals a day, you can slowly adjust this to suit your timetable. Again follow the same diet as the rescue center and if you want to change it then do this slowly over a few days. Always seek the advice of your vet if you aren’t sure about which food or amount.

Chew toys are a great way to direct your dog’s attention to appropriate chews, and away from home items that you don’t want your dog to destroy. Antlers, Nylabones, Olive Wood, Root chews are all great options.

Interactive food toys such as Classic Kongs are a brilliant way to work your dog’s brain providing mental exercise. Mental exercise will tire your dog out quicker than physical exercise.

Start practising your usual daily routine ASAP even though you’re on holiday while your dog settles in, still act like it’s your normal working day. This means if you will be going out to work Monday to Friday for example then you need to get up at your usual time, practice going out for short periods and coming back several times a day, have meals when you normally would too. Don’t make a big fuss of coming or going. Even if you work from home there are still going to be times when you go out to the shops, to lunch, to meet friends so you still need to practice leaving your dog on their own.

Physical and mental stimulation are necessary parts of your dog’s well-being. Training will not only help you and your dog bond, but it will help your dog settle into their new home and teach your dog confidence to fit into their new life. Try going to dog training classes once your dog has settled in your home.

Time for Walkies

For the first couple of days do not take your dog for walks, only to go out for toilet breaks, this will help your dog get over the stress of moving. Once you can go out for walks stick to local walks only to start with, a walking routine in an area you are familiar with is best.

When you are familiar with your dog’s behaviour, you can venture further afield. Playtime is also a good form of exercise, bonding, and training so don’t forget this part can happen on your walks or before you leave the house. Initially don’t go for long walks, keep them short and sweet, then build them up over time. Avoid interaction with other dogs and unfamiliar people until you and your dog are comfortable with each other.

Final Thoughts

Remember you need patience and positivity to help your dog, they have gone through a big change and it’s easy to only see the bad stuff. If you are ever feeling overwhelmed take a step back and think about things from your dog’s point of view. It isn’t always plain sailing but adopting a dog is worth it.

Where to find our expert!

Welcoming home a rescue dog - The Edinburgh Holistic Dogs logo

Edinburgh Holistic Dogs is a dog walking and training service set up in 2017 by Suzanne Gould, 37. The business aims to provide Calm Confidence for Nervous and Reactive Dogs. They provide Unique Adventure Fill Group walks for Edinburgh’s hounds.

For more information:

Download the K9 app for FREE!

Check out some of our related articles!

Therapy For Dogs

We’re living in an age where we are becoming more aware of our own mental health and wellbeing, and furthermore we are acknowledging the role our dogs play in this.

Read More »

Choosing the right dog walker

Choosing a dog walker is such an incredibly important decision and the research and selection can be quite a stressful and worrying experience. You want to choose the best for your dog, but where do you start? Choosing a great dog walker can be such a valuable and positive addition to your dog’s life, but choosing the wrong set up or individual does have the potential to be detrimental to your dog’s wellbeing.

Read More »
Welcoming home a rescue dog - The Edinburgh Holistic Dogs logo

Edinburgh Holistic Dogs is a dog walking and training service set up in 2017 by Suzanne Gould, 37. The business aims to provide Calm Confidence for Nervous and Reactive Dogs. They provide Unique Adventure Fill Group walks for Edinburgh’s hounds.

For more information:

Check out some of our related articles!

Helping Dogs with the Stress of Fireworks

Fireworks season is one of the most stressful times of the year for our pets – and owners
Research from the RSPCA found 62 per cent of dogs, 55 per cent of horses and 54 per cent of cats show signs of anxiety when they hear fireworks.

Read More »

Canine Lymphoma

As a vet it is never a nice feeling to have to tell an owner that you think their pet might have cancer. Dogs suffer from a variety of different cancers just like humans do. And some are more treatable than others.

Read More »

Download the K9 app for FREE!

Download the app for FREE to read more great articles!

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a monthly email with the latest from K9 Nation!

Sign-up to the K9 Nation newsletter to get website access to our collection of articles and find out first when new articles are added!

Privacy Policy

Protecting your data is very important to K9Nation Limited (“K9Nation”, “us”, “our” or “we”). This policy, together with our Terms and  conditions, sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by K9Nation.

It applies to your use of the website www.K9Nation.uk, the associated ‘K9Nation’ mobile application (together, the “Platform”), all communications between you and us and (unless expressly provided otherwise) all agreements entered into between you and us which involve the collection by, or disclosure to, us of personal data.

Information we may collect about you.

We may collect and process the following data about you:

  • information that you provide by filling in forms on the Platform. This includes information you provide at the time of registering (including, but not limited to, your name, telephone number, address and email address) or at any subsequent point;
  • if you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence;
  • your responses to surveys you choose to complete on the Platform from time to time;
  • details of any photographs, comments, posts, or other information you post on the Platform;
  • device-specific information (such as your hardware model, operating system version, unique device identifiers, and mobile network information); and
  • details of your visits to the Platform (such as the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL) clickstream to, through and from the Platform (including date and time); page response times; page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the Platform).

Information we may collect about others.

We may collect and process data about others that you provide us with, including (but not limited to) information that you provide by filling in forms on the Platform. You represent and warrant to us that you have obtained the express consent from the individuals whose data you provide us with.

For the avoidance of any doubt, any reference in this privacy policy to your data shall include data about other individuals that you have provided us with.

IP Addresses

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration. This is statistical information about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and may be linked to an individual user through other information that is held by us or publically available.

Cookie Policy

The Platform uses cookies to distinguish you from other users. This helps us provide you with a good experience when you use the Platform and also allows us to improve the Platform.

Please note that it is possible to disable cookies being stored on your computer by changing your browser settings. However, the Platform may not perform properly or some features may not be available to you if you disable cookies.

For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our cookie policy.

Where we store your personal information.

The data that we collect about you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”), including the USA. It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our service providers. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing.

Your passwords are stored in K9Nation’s database in encrypted form. We do not disclose your account details, postal or email addresses to anyone except when legally required to do so. We will only hold your information for as long as is necessary for the purpose we collect it for, or for such additional time as may be required by law or any relevant regulatory body.


Sensitive information between your browser and the Platform is transferred in encrypted form using Secure Socket Layer (SSL). When transmitting sensitive information, you should always make sure that your browser can validate the Platform’s certificate. It is your responsibility to keep your password secure.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although K9Nation will do its best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to the Platform, any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try and prevent any unauthorised access.

How we use your information.

We use information held about you (and information about others) in the following ways:

  • to provide you with our services;
  • to reply to requests for information or any other kind of request as indicated by your correspondence;
  • to provide you with information about other goods and services we offer that are similar to those you have already purchased or enquired about;
  • to allow you to participate in interactive features of the Platform when you choose to do so, including interaction with external social networks and platforms;
  • to improve the Platform and ensure the content on the Platform is presented in the most effective manner for you and your computer or mobile device;
  • to administer our Platform and for internal operations ,including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical and survey purposes;
  • to measure or understand the effectiveness of advertising served to you on the Platform; and
  • to notify you about changes to our service, the Platform.

Disclosure of your information

We may disclose your personal information to any business partner, sub-contractor or supplier of K9Nation for the performance of any contract we enter into with you, and/or a member of our group.

We may also disclose your personal information to third parties:

  • in the event that we sell or buy any business or assets, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the prospective seller or buyer of such business or assets;
  • if K9Nation or substantially all of its assets are acquired by a third party, in which case personal data held by us about our customers will be one of the transferred assets;
  • in order to enforce the Terms and Conditions and any other agreement between you and us; or
  • if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation or to protect the rights, property, or safety of K9Nation, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations.

Marketing communications and your rights

By registering for an account on the Platform, you give your permission for us to use your personal data for marketing purposes in relation to our products and services. You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data by contacting us.

The Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to access information held about you by submitting a request in accordance with the act and is subject to a £10 administrative fee. All such requests should be sent via our contact form.

Changes to this policy

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page, and where appropriate, notified to you by email.

Questions, comments and requests regarding this privacy policy are welcome and should be addressed via our email address: hello@k9nation.dog

Cookie Policy

We use cookies and similar tools on our website, www.K9Nation.uk, and the associated ‘K9Nation’ mobile application (together, the “Platform”) to improve their performance and enhance your user experience. This policy explains how we do that.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files which a website may put on your computer or mobile device when you first visit a site or page. The cookie will help the website, or another website, to recognise your device the next time you visit. We use the term “cookies” in this policy to refer to all files that collect
information in this way.

There are many functions cookies serve. For example, they can help us to remember your username and preferences, analyse how well the website is performing, or even allow us to recommend content we believe will be most relevant to you.

Certain cookies contain personal information – for example, if you click to “remember me” when logging in, a cookie will store your user identifier. Most cookies will not collect information that identifies you, but will instead collect more general information such as how users arrive at and use the website.

The cookies we use.

At the date of the last update of this Cookie Policy, the list below represents a comprehensive list of all cookies set on the Platform, but please note that the cookies we use are subject to fairly frequent change. The purposes of the cookies in use, as described below will not change without this policy being updated. However we may not update this policy every time the identity of a particular cookie or the party setting the cookie changes.


Category: Strictly necessary

Party: BorrowMyDoggy.com

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses cookies to enable the essential features of the website, such as the navigation system, signing up for the service, subscribing, verifying and messaging.


Category: Analytical /  Performance

Parties: Amplitude, Hotjar, Segment, Google Analytics, Optimizely, Improvely

Purpose: These cookies are used to analyse data from users’ visits in order to help us improve the service or create and analyse content tests to allow us to optimise the experience for future users.


Category: Functionality

Party: BorrowMyDoggy.com

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses functionality cookies to improve the experience for its users. For example, to save users from having to remember their username, we use a cookie to remember this information.


Category: Advertising

Parties: Google Adwords, Facebook, DoubleClick, Affiliate Window, Improvely

Purpose: BorrowMyDoggy uses paid advertising in order to recruit new customers. These paid advertising channels will set cookies so that we can measure the effectiveness of this advertising.

Can you block cookies?

It is possible to block cookies, although remember that if you do choose to disable cookies, you may find that certain sections of the Platform do not work properly.

More detail on how businesses use cookies is available at http://www.allaboutcookies.org.

If you have any queries regarding this Cookie Policy please contact our Privacy Officer at hello@k9nation.dog