The first few days you spend with your new puppy can have a major impact on your relationship and how the dog feels about his or her new home. Just like all first impressions, the first impression you give your puppy when it meets you and enters into the new home is very important.
Bringing home a new puppy is extremely exciting, and living with a puppy is truly one of the best experiences a person can have. Ideally, you want the first few days, and weeks, of the puppy’s new life with you and your family to be a comfortable transition for the dog. It should minimize any fear, stress, anxiety, or uncertainty that the dog might experience.
This is likely your puppy’s first time away from its mother and siblings, so it is important to take steps to ensure that your first few weeks together are as comfortable as possible for your new pooch. Keep reading to learn how you can best prepare for your new dog’s arrival.
Prepare your house – and family – for the puppy
Welcoming a puppy into your home can take some effort, and if you have a family, everyone needs to be on the same page as regards pet care. You should have a family meeting before bringing the dog home to discuss who in the family will be the dog’s primary caregiver.
You must also decide on the house rules, such as which furniture the dog is allowed onto and what rooms are off-limits. Deciding this ahead of time will limit confusion for the dog and other family members.
You should also do a quick check of your house and try to puppy-proof the home. Puppies love exploring and chewing on anything they can find. While this can be extremely annoying, it can also be deadly for the dog if they are able to get a hold of cleaning products or other corrosive materials. Any medicines, plants, or chemicals which could prove harmful to the dog should be secured.
Ensure you have all of the supplies you need beforehand
The last thing you want is to bring your new dog home and suddenly realize that you do not have any dog food, pee pads, or toys. To ensure that you have all of the products you need, you can follow a puppy care guide and browse through hundreds of different puppy products available at Petbarn.
When buying dog food, you will want to ensure that you buy a puppy or junior dog food that has the extra nutrients that growing dogs need.
You will also want to stock up on dog toys, bedding, walking supplies, and toilet training materials like pee pads or AstroTurf pee solutions. Buying toys for a puppy is one of the most fun parts of dog ownership, but all dogs have different preferences, so do not be surprised or discouraged if your dog is picky about the toys which he or she enjoys.
Introduce your dog to its new home, crate, and routine
When you bring your puppy home, you need to ensure that the atmosphere in the home is relaxed and not overwhelming for the dog. Naturally, when a puppy is brought home, everyone in the family – and the neighbors, and friends, and extended family – will want to see the new puppy.
However, this level of interaction and attention can be very stressful for young dogs who have just left their mother and siblings for the first time. For the first few days, try to maintain a calm atmosphere in the home and avoid inviting anyone over to see the puppy.
You will also want to introduce your dog to his or her crate right away so that they feel comfortable inside the crate. The crate training process can take a few months, so do not be discouraged if you are finding it difficult at first.
Creating a routine for your new puppy right away will help your dog feel confident and reassured. Your puppy has just entered into a brand-new home and family – having a sense of what will happen every day will help him or her to feel confident and comfortable at home.
Try to organize a schedule for bathroom breaks, feeding time, walks, and other forms of exercise, and stick to the schedule as much as possible. You may, of course, need to adjust for their needs – puppies need a lot of extra naps! But having a flexible schedule will help them to feel at home in the new environment more quickly.