The first couple of days with a new dog at home are critical ones.
Your new dog will be anxious and confused. It’s imperative that you do everything in your power to make the transition a smooth one for both you and your new dog. We have some tips and helpful guidelines for you to follow.
Prepping For Your Pup
Figure out where your new dog will be spending most of his time. Because of the change of environment, housebreaking will be essential or need to be reinforced. Kitchens work best in the beginning. If you plan on crate training your dog, be sure to have a crate set up and ready to go for his arrival.
Puppies are curious, especially in brand new areas. They’re much like little kids in the beginning so you want to dog proof your home, in particular the areas where he’ll likely spend most of his time. This means taping or putting up electrical cords, moving any foods, plants, or household chemicals up to higher unreachable places, and if feasible, installing baby gates.
Having a new dog at home means you need to start training him right away. Establish the vocabulary you want to use for simple commands and stick to them. Dogs are accustomed to routine and they thrive best with them.
First Day Jitters
When you pick up your new dog, ask questions. Find out what kind of food he was fed and when. Give him the same food for the next few days, slowly introducing a new one, should you decide. You want to really ease into this to avoid any digestive issues. If he has any favorite toys or blankets, obtain and bring those as well. These will be small reminders of his former home and make him feel more comfortable at his new house.
On the ride home, make sure your dog is safely secured preferably in a crate. Some dogs find car trips stressful, so having him in a safe place will make the trip home easier on him and you.
He’s home, except he doesn’t quite know it! He’s been through a lot and doesn’t know what to expect. Give your new dog some time to get acclimated to his new surroundings. If you have children in the home, allow them to approach your dog calmly, even though we know they’re probably bubbling over with excitement. That excitement can frighten him, so be methodical with introductions.
Once home, take him to out to relieve himself immediately. Allow him to peruse the area and get familiar with the surrounding scents. There’s a chance that he won’t relieve himself, so prepare yourself and home for the accidents, because they’re bound to happen. New home, new people, new sounds, new living quarters – all of these are things that could make him excited and have an accident. If you plan to crate train your dog, make it nice and comfy for him. Leave the crate open so that he can go in and out whenever he wants. Dogs like having a space to themselves and crates are nice and snug enough for them to feel some sense of comfort. This would be a great place to put his favorite blanket or toy.
On the very first day, give your new dog some moments of solitary confinement. This is not a form a punishment. Time alone and perhaps in his crate is what he’ll need to establish some independence. Be strong! He’s going to whine and whimper, but don’t give in and comfort him. When he has quieted down, reward him with praise or a toy for his good behavior.
In The Upcoming Weeks
You’ll begin to notice your dog’s true personality. You’re starting to get a feel for the other. Habits will start form. Maintain your feeding and walking schedules, because dogs love routine. Stay in contact with his vet. Continue to praise him and educate yourself. We, at PetCenter, are here for you, too!