🍎 Health & Wellness

A Guide to Looking After a Small Rescue Dog

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February 9, 2023

Key Takeaways

Have you rescued a small dog recently? Here’s a blog post serving as a guide to caring for a small rescue dog.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 3.1 million dogs are rescued annually. These dogs enter animal shelters spread across the United States. ASPCA also notes that approximately 390,000 shelter dogs are euthanized yearly.

Adoption rates for dogs skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to The Washington Post, many animal shelters rehomed up to 13 dogs daily. The Humane Society of the United States claims that approximately 3.2 million cats and dogs are adopted yearly. They state that one in four dogs found in animal shelters get adopted.

If you’re looking to adopt a dog, you might want to head down to your closest animal shelter. Likewise, if you’ve already adopted a rescue dog, you might be seeking some help. People often underestimate the care needed to look after rescue dogs, particularly smaller breeds. However, we’re here to help you. Hence, we’ve prepared this blog post to serve as a guide to looking after small rescue dogs.  

How to Care for a Small Rescue Dog

Here’s a guide to caring for a small rescue dog.


It’s generally a good idea to start housetraining immediately after bringing your rescue dog home. Your small rescue dog will need time to adapt to its new environment, and you’ll have to facilitate them. It’s a good idea to keep your dog in the kitchen. Doing so will make cleaning their mess easier. In addition, ensure that you dog-proof your home to restrict your dog’s access until they’re fully trained. You might also want to get some pet cameras to watch your dog when away from home. We recommend checking out Pet Cube’s pet cameras

Starting training immediately after bringing your dog home is a good idea because it enables you to establish routines and boundaries. You’ll want to enforce your household’s hierarchy. Dogs are pack animals by nature. They must learn to follow the human in charge. If you don’t establish a hierarchy, your dog may start acting out. In addition, most rescue dogs have never had a stable life. Therefore, you have to get them to trust you. Otherwise, they’ll be anxious and aggressive with you because they expect you to ship them off somewhere else soon. 

If you’re having trouble training your dog, consider downloading Pupford’s mobile app. You can also access K9 Training Institute’s free workshops for assistance. 


You’ll naturally want to show off your dog to your family members or friends. However, consider giving your dog some time and space. Rescue dogs often don’t react well to seeing new faces. Trainers recommend giving your dog two to three weeks to adjust to their new surroundings before exposing them to other people. Instead, utilize this time to develop a stronger bond with your dog. Consider taking your dogs for long walks and regular exercise. Try letting your dog build trust with you. 

You’ll also want to consider dogs are individuals. As a result, some dogs are more outgoing while others are introverted. If your dog is outgoing, you’ll face fewer difficulties to get it to socialize with others. However, if your dog is introverted, they’ll be shy and fearful of other people. You might have to spend more time to help your dog come out of its shell. 

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Learn to Care for a Small Rescue Dog with Scruffy the Dog

Scruffy the Dog is the ideal website for dog owners looking for assistance handling their canine compatriots. We publish blog posts to help you prepare your apartment for small hypoallergenic dogs. In addition, we also have guides about essential dog walking stuff. Furthermore, we also share dog grooming tips, pet travel tips, homemade recipes for small dogs, and more. Visit our website today to get started.

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