If you’ve done the research and made all the arguments as to why you need a dog, then this article is for you.
After your visit to the shelter or foster home, it’s time to introduce your puppy to his new home. But settling a puppy into new surroundings is a far departure from how humans move house. A lot of considerations must be made to ensure your home is as relaxed and stress-free as can be.
Dogs are greatly influenced by their environment. More so for puppies entering a new home. Not properly introducing your new puppy to his new surroundings can entice destructive and unwarranted behavior. These harmful behaviors can fracture relationships with family members and even your new furry friend before it starts.
To avoid fostering unwarranted behavior from your new companion, here are some ways to gently introduce your puppy to his new home.
Prepare your house
Puppies in new environments have a knack of getting into things and places they shouldn’t. Without properly preparing your home, you’ll soon realize that growing pains will include chewed up shoes or torn furniture. It’s important to keep things of value and anything that could potentially hurt your new puppy (medicine, chemicals, etc.) out of your reach from your new puppy to reduce temptation.
Stock up on supplies
Taking care of a new puppy is hard work. They’ll need numerous potty breaks throughout the day, they’re constantly hungry and will require a few naps a day too. So it helps to be prepared. Be sure to buy the basics ahead of time to ensure a smooth transition once your new puppy arrives.
Stock up on useful dog accessories such as a crate, bed, puppy food and treats, collars and leashes, and even toys to help burn off some of that unbridled energy. Consider buying potty training supplies and some stain and odor-removing cleaners as puppies will definitely make a mess. Baby gates are also useful for creating temporary, gated living spaces.
Arrange for home care
Puppies require a lot of attention to properly assimilate to their new surroundings. Leaving them alone for long periods of time can introduce stress and create certain forms of aggression. Ideally, it’s advisable to take some time off work or school to provide the time needed for both of you to bond.
If you are unable to get time off work to care and train your puppy, consider calling in some support.
Before your puppy arrives, shop around for a good dog walker or doggy daycare. The latter is perfect for transitioning your puppy to his new surroundings as many doggy daycares also provide training and obedience classes.
Establish ground rules
Initial introductions are the perfect time for you to establish necessary ground rules with your new puppy. The first few days of your puppy’s arrival is the ideal time to establish your role as pack leader and build positively-enforced habits.
Initial introductions should include crate training, establishing areas for bathroom breaks, and introducing the puppy to all family members so he becomes comfortable around people.
Environmental changes and breaks in your routine can create anxiety and stress in your new puppy. Avoid doing serious renovation work right before acquiring your new puppy. Just as important is setting up a schedule and sticking to it. A daily routine establishing clear expectations from your puppy, easing their transition to your new home.
Puppy school is a great opportunity for you and your puppy to bond. It’s also a great time to learn the necessary communication skills to effectively communicate with your puppy and train him. Obedience school, particularly group-based programs, are recommended for new puppies as it fosters a positive space for puppies to get comfortable with other canines and strangers.
A little research will go a long way with finding the right school or dog trainer for your puppy. With dog training severely unregulated, doing your research ensures your puppy gets the best training and education possible.
Find a vet
Within the first week of having your new puppy, make sure your canine friend has their first vet visit. It’s important to research and enquire with different vets as your first vet experience should be a pleasant one. If your puppy has to endure a traumatic vet experience, it will become much harder in the future to attend vet appointments.
The Internet is a great tool for finding reviews. So are referrals from friends and colleagues who are dog owners.
With pet ownership on the rise, you may be considering that it’s high time you got a canine companion of your own. After all, pets are a good source of social and emotional support. Not only do they make us happier, they also keep us healthier. And by following the tips in this article, your new puppy will feel the same way.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a Bsc in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Origen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.