Bringing your new puppy home is an exciting but nervewracking time for the whole family. Chances are, even if you’ve owned dogs before you’ll be asking yourself all sorts of questions. Is your home puppy-proof? Can you cope with the daily work of a young puppy? Will all your family members pull their weight when it comes to taking care of the dog? Here are some helpful tips to make you feel more confident about the changes your new puppy will bring to your life.
First of all, make sure the puppy is the right age. If she’s taken away from her mother when she’s too young, she will be traumatised, but if she’s too old she will have bonded more with her home so she will take longer to socialize with your family and form attachments with you. Eight weeks is usually a good age for most puppies to leave home.
Introduce your dog to your house. Take him through the house slowly, starting with the room where your pup’s food and water will be kept, so he can familiarize himself with the places he’ll spend the most time. Feed him before you show him the rest of the house so he’ll be relaxed. Make sure you avoid rooms that you don’t want him to enter. Also introduce your pup to his new bed – put a blanket that smells like his mother there, and let him explore his surroundings at his own pace.
Make sure you start house training your new puppy. This is one of the first and most important steps when you’re training your dog – check out mysweetdogs.com for more information. You need to ensure that you remain calm if your puppy defecates or urinates inside – she’s young, she’s still learning, and she doesn’t know any better yet, and you need to make sure that your relationship doesn’t start off with her feeling afraid of you. Instead, reward her with a doggy treat whenever she goes to the bathroom outside the house, and give her plenty of praise. In the meantime, make sure you take her outside frequently, and leave down puppy pads inside your home. Remember that your pup won’t react well to being left home alone, and plan accordingly for that.
Ensure that your home is prepared for your new arrival. Purchase metal or ceramic bowls for your pup to eat out of, buy or make suitable toys for your dog to gnaw on, and invest in a stair gate if you don’t want him to go upstairs. Although you can’t take your dog out for walks until he’s had his jabs, you can still buy a collar and lead for when the time comes. In the meantime, you can carry your pup around as you introduce his new neighborhood.
Prepare yourself for your puppy’s first night at home. She’s likely to be lonely after leaving her family, so she might yelp and whine a lot through the night. Having a puppy is a lot like having a new baby – you need to be patient and prepare yourself for a lack of sleep. Give your pup a reassuring hot water bottle, and only visit when she isn’t whimpering. This means that you’re rewarding her when she’s quiet, so she knows what is expected of her in the future.
Even though there will be hard times with your new puppy – prized possessions may be chewed, and your sleep will be interrupted – just remember it will be worth it in the end! Make sure you show your puppy in those difficult early days that they’re loved, wanted and cared for, so your attachment to each other grows and they truly become a new member of your family.