Helping Your Puppy Feel Right at Home

Thursday, March 1, 2018

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Getting a new puppy is an extremely exciting, joyful experience that can have the whole family jumping up and down with glee, but none of you should forget that, for that precious puppy you plan to add to your family, the experience might be a little scarier.

When you bring a puppy home, he is likely to require a period of adjustment and so is you. You might hope that your dog will come home and immediately feel...well at home, but it won’t always be that way, and you might hope that your dog will immediately become a constant source of joy for you all, but again, that might not be the case - you’ll undoubtedly love him, but there will be teething problems.

With that in mind, here are some things you can do to help your new puppy adjust (and your family too) to his new home:

Choose the Perfect Puppy

All puppies are perfect, but not every puppy is perfect for your family, so before you head off to Puppy Joy to choose your new bundle of joy, do some research and find a breed that’s most likely to fit in with your family and lifestyle. This should make things easier for all.

Take Things Slow

When you bring your puppy home, it may be tempting to pet him and coo over him and spend all of your days loving him like you’ve never loved before, but you should back off and give him some time to get used to his new situation. Start off by introducing him to one quiet room, which has everything he needs and then gradually introduce him to other places and family members over the first couple of days. Oh, and bear in mind it might take a little while for a bond to form between your pup, yourself and the rest of your family, so don’t be upset if he isn’t overjoyed from the off.

Find Out What Food He’s Been Eating

If you want to minimize the chances of your pup getting an upset stomach when you bring him home, try to ask the shelter/breeder/owner who you’re getting him from, what they have been feeding on. If it’s possible for you to do so, then try to keep feeding him the same. If you aren’t able to do that, try to switch slowly by mixing old food with new in ever-increasing amounts, and be prepared for some possible diarrhoea situations.

If He Won’t Eat, Feed Him Something Interesting

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If your puppy absolutely will not eat, it’s probably that he’s feeling stressed or fussy about the new food you’re feeding him. This is no cause for concern as long as he’s still drinking and it doesn’t go on for longer than a day or two - if it gets beyond that point, try offering him a sausage, some chicken or Easy Cheese, and you’ll probably find he's more likely to eat! If that doesn’t happen, a trip to the vet might be necessary!

Set Up a Routine

If you want to make it easier for your dog to get comfortable in your home and for your family to get more comfortable with their new dog-owning lives, then try to set up and stick to a routine, Schedule when you’ll get up and walk him in the morning, when each of his feeds will be, when you’ll take him out to potty and when you’ll walk him and send him off to bed. In many ways, owning a puppy and making him feel right at home is like being a new parent to a baby!

Stay Close By

When you have a new puppy, you should do your very best to never leave him alone for very long. Many dogs get anxious when they don’t have anyone home with them, and they can pick up a range of destructive behaviors. So, always strive to have someone around to take care of him. If you absolutely must leave him alone, you may want to consider safely crating him (if he’s crate trained) so he can’t do much damage to himself or your home.

Secure the Perimeters and Use a Leash

When a puppy comes to a new environment, it’s not unusual for him to try and run away. So, ensure that your property is fenced off and that you walk him on a leash, like the Flexi Leash always until he has been obedience trained. It’s safer for everyone that way.

Treat Him

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You should never spoil your dog, especially with food, if you want him to be as healthy and happy as he can possibly be, but when he’s just arrived, and he has a lot to learn, giving him lots of treats, like those made by Kong or Whimzees Dental Stix, and playing with him as much as possible is important. It will make him feel loved and help you all to build a strong bond with him.

Don’t Force Them

You should never force your new puppy to do anything he doesn’t want to do. You might think he looks oh so cute in that sweater or you might love having him high five you, but don’t force him to engage in any behaviors that aren't essential if he doesn't like them, when he’s still settling in (or ever if they still distress him). Dogs are not playthings - they are living beings, and they deserve to be treated with respect.

Be Patient

If you expect your new puppy to be perfect in every way from the second he enters your home, you are asking way too much of him. Yes, he might eat your socks or pee in your handbag, and yes it might be annoying, but stay calm and be patient. If you can do this and you enrol him in a positive training class, he will get used to being in your home and behaving as you expect.

If you give your pup the time and space he needs to get used to his new home, and if you do everything above, as well as taking the time to train your puppy to a high level, he will feel right at home in not time at all, and more importantly, he will become your very best friend for many years to come. photo ScreenShot2014-06-25at102225PM_zps4fdda517.png

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