You’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed right now. You have to pick out the perfect name for your new furry friend, train him or her to be obedient and well behaved, teach them how to act in public, take care of all their needs (feeding, bathing), and make sure they love you back! Sound like a lot? It is! That’s why we’ve compiled some helpful tips below that will walk you through what you need to know about bringing home a new dog.
What to Do Before You Bring Your Dog or Puppy Home
Helping your new dog feel comfortable should begin before you even bring him or her home. You should do plenty of research in advance, and try to adopt a dog that has similar qualities as your family. If you have children at home, make sure the adoption process is thorough enough so you know how they will react with other animals.
Once you’ve decided on the right pup for you, the following are a few good ways to prepare your home and family for the new arrival.
Make sure you buy the right food for your dog or puppy. Dogs and puppies each have specific nutritional needs.
Make sure everyone in the household knows about bringing a new animal home so they’re all prepared when it finally happens.
Prepare Your Home Environment
Before bringing your new dog home, make sure you prepare his or her space by removing any toxic plants from the house such as aloe plants and philodendrons. You should also get rid of anything with fumes like paint thinner or household cleaners.
Establish the location of the dog’s crate, bed, and bowls. Create a list of all items needed to properly prepare for the dog such as food, treats, and supplies. Decide where those things will be stored in your home and decide on house rules with other members of your household who may be coming into contact with the dog if you are not around while others are home.
Pick Out Toys
Make sure your dog or puppy has toys so he or she can stay entertained while you’re away.
Establish Rules and Boundaries
You should set rules about where he or she is allowed in the house as well as what behaviors you expect from your pet. You need to make sure everyone in your household is on the same page.
Create a Schedule
You’ll need to create a schedule for your new pet so they are not left alone for too long. You should also think about how much attention you want to give them in terms of feeding and exercise.
Talk to Family Members About What to Expect
You should also talk to your family members about rules and expectations. For example, you may not want your children to play with the dog while he or she is eating.
Introduce Your Dog to Surroundings Slowly
When you first bring your new dog home, you need to introduce it to its surroundings slowly, otherwise it may get frightened. You can start by walking around the house with your pet, letting it sniff things as you go.
You should also take him or her out in a small enclosed area so they don’t feel overwhelmed too quickly. If possible, try to introduce them to other people first before bringing friends over for a visit. Remember, your pet should be vaccinated before coming into contact with other people or animals.
Be especially careful when introducing your new dog to children. While kids and dogs usually get along quite well, make sure your dog feels comfortable. Scared dogs may snap or bite, which can lead to injury.
Make Sure Your Pet Is Comfortable
Ease your dog into its new home gently. You can add a dog bed or blanket that smells like home to your pet’s space. Your pup will feel more at home and less lonely if they have some comforting items around them while adjusting to the new environment.
Establish (and Stick to) a Routine
One way to help your pet settle in is to be consistent. Before you brought your dog home, you should have created a routine. Once your pup has joined the family, you need to be consistent.
For example, you should have a set bedtime and wake-up time for your pet. You should also stick to the same schedule as you did before bringing him or her home, such as feeding them at around the same time every day. Dogs thrive on routine.
Make sure you also stick to the rules you and your family created. For example, if your new dog is not allowed on the couch, make sure every person knows to follow the rule.
Exercise Your Dog
You should also make sure your pet is comfortable with its new surroundings. It can be frightening for a dog to get used to a new house, with different sights and sounds than what they’re accustomed to. The best way you can help them adjust quickly is by taking it on walks where it will have the opportunity to explore safely without fear of being hit by cars or getting lost in unfamiliar territory. Make sure these outings are short too. That means going just one block at first rather than three or four blocks.
Exercise is important for dogs, so make time to get out with him or her every day. If it’s too hot outside, try bringing a ball into an air conditioned building and playing inside. Always supervise any exercise session!
Make Sure Your Dog Is Healthy
You should make sure your pet is healthy when you bring it home. If you don’t have updated vaccination records, make going to the vet a priority. Your vet will also be able to make sure your pet is microchipped.
Ensure Your Pet Has Proper ID
You should also make sure your new dog has a collar and ID with your address and phone number. The first few weeks can be scary for your new arrival, so you want to make sure that if the worst happens and your pup escapes, you’ll be able to find him or her easily.
If you’re considering bringing a new dog home, but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. These steps should help make the transition go smoothly and give your new pup a happy place to call their own! We hope this blog post has been helpful for those of you who are getting ready to welcome an adorable puppy into your family.