Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting thing to happen in any pet owners’ life, but it can be very daunting for the dog. They are in a brand new, unusual territory, so it can sometimes take a while for them to adapt and become relaxed and content in his or her new surroundings. It is important to make them feel comfortable so they get settled in as smoothly as possible and can start forming a bond with you as the owner. To do so, we have shared some valuable tips on how to plan your all-important first week with your new friend.
Start with the Basics
Start with the fun part - naming your puppy! Once you have decided, stick with it! If not your new dog will get confused and it will be much more difficult for it to become responsive to you calling its name. Say its name slowly and clearly, and reward the dog each time he or she responds. Are you up to date with important vet vaccinations? This should be a priority. Make sure you are stocked up on all the essentials; quality dog food (which is suitable for the dogs age and breed), food and water bowls, a comfortable bed, ID collar and lead, chew toys and absorbent training pads in case of any accidents.
Prepare your Home
Before your new puppy steps one of their little paws through your front door, you need to make sure your home has been suitably pet-proofed ready for its arrival. Your home should be clean, tidy, and any sharp or potentially dangerous objects placed out of sight and reach. Installing baby gates might be useful if there is a room that is particularly out of bounds. For more information on how to prepare your home for the arrival of a new puppy, see our previous post here.
It’s important to try and get him or her acquainted to the most important areas first, such as where to use the toilet to avoid any accidents. Show your companion the garden and reward him or her each time they successfully go to the bathroom in that area. Make a point of taking them outside every morning and every evening to use the bathroom so eventually they will get into a routine. Make sure they become accustomed to their bed - it should be warm, comfortable and inviting. Not so far away as to make them feel isolated, but try and avoid keeping your new dog in your bedroom to avoid any messy indoor accidents. The third important area for them to become accustomed with is where their food and water is kept - but this should be the easiest!
Take your Time
If it’s possible for you to have a couple of days off work to help your puppy settle in, then take advantage of this. By making time to get to know your new friend and helping him or her get used to their new home, the bond between you will become a lot stronger, and the moving in period will go much more smoothly. Let each member of the family spend some quality time with the pup, so each face becomes familiar, and slowly it will build trust. Show how much it is loved and give it lots of care and attention. He or she will slowly reciprocate the feeling and build a level of obedience and loyalty. However, try and avoid having too many strangers over to visit in the first week, as you don’t want to confuse the puppy.
Welcoming a new puppy into your home isn’t all plain sailing. Anxious behaviour, toilet accidents and sleepless nights could all be part of the deal but practice, patience and perseverance is key in this situation. By letting your puppy settle into your home comfortably, in its own time, you can begin to lay the foundations to a happy, loving and long life together.