Bringing a new dog into your home should be fun and exciting. This will be a very special few weeks, when your family can get to know their new pet, and the dog can start to feel safe and happy with his new owners. Following certain steps will make it easier for the dog to settle in and feel safe, while giving you an opportunity to learn all about how to care for the new member of your family.
- Learn all about the breed. Knowing the personality and temperament of your breed of dog will help you learn how to manage them effectively while also making them happy and comfortable. For example, pekingese puppies may be tiny enough to carry around everywhere, but they’ll thrive best over time if you help them learn some independence to nurture their proud spirit. Understanding the dog’s personality will serve both you and your pet in the long run.
- Use an ID tag. Putting some kind of identification on your dog should be one of the first steps you take after bringing them home. Dogs can be nervous in their first days in a new home, so it’s important that they can be identified if they somehow run away or get lost. A microchip works best, but an ID tag collar will be fine for the time being.
- Start with family introductions. Try not to overwhelm your dog by introducing too many people at once. Start with the family members in the home, and gradually introduce strangers as they get more settled.
- Maintain a calm atmosphere. Too much noise and excitement can freak out a nervous new pup, so try to create a serene environment in the home while the dog adjusts. There’ll be plenty of time for excitement and playing later.
- Stick with the same food. Before you take your dog home from the shelter or breeder, remember to ask what brand of food they eat, and what their feeding routine has been. While you might want to change things up in the future, you’ll need to stick with the same food to begin with and change it gradually over a few weeks to avoid stomach discomfort.
- Head to training classes. Puppy training classes are the perfect place to pick up new skills with your dog and help them get used to being around other animals. Find a class in your area and take your dog over to learn some tricks. If you’re adopting an older dog, check with the former owners first to find out how well they get along with other animals.
- Set a routine. Dogs do well when they have a particular routine and structure to their day. Work out a routine that fits into your usual schedule, being sure to leave time for walks, feeding, and playtime. Your pup will soon get used to the new routine and begin to feel right at home.
- Invest in some toys. Dogs love to have a few toys to entertain themselves with, especially during their alone time. If you’re adopting a breed that loves to chew, make sure you have several chewy toys to keep them occupied and prevent them from running off with all of your favourite shoes.