Friday, August 26, 2011
Bringing home a new puppy may invoke a “now what?” feeling once you walk through the door with your furry friend. Fortunately, these initial days can go smoothly if you take them slowly and prepare yourself for those all important first experiences. Review the following tips to acclimate your puppy to her new home:
The best way for your pooch to get the lay of the land is with a guided tour. Guide her through the house, allowing her to sniff out any rooms in which she’ll be allowed. A tour serves as the ideal time to begin setting limits as well: if your puppy tries to chew or pick up an object that’s not meant for paws or jaws, gently take the items from her and tell her no. Then direct her attention to something that is acceptable for chewing, such as a toy or a rawhide bone.
If you’ll be using a crate, show it to your dog as part of the tour. Place a treat inside the crate in advance of her arrival for him to discover while exploring her new home. If she goes in, leave the door open while she explores, and give her a few minutes to check out her new digs.
Before you get your dog, ask the former owners what kind of dog food was used, and then buy the same food. This will make the transition easier on your puppy’s tummy and will aid in keeping her healthy during this stressful time. Talk to your veterinarian for recommendations on food types and quantities and how many times per day to feed your dog.
Those first few nights can be tough for a new puppy—so many strange sounds and shadows! Help ease her anxiety by placing one of your old shirts in her crate or bed, or buy an inexpensive ticking clock or radio and place it in the room (but not the crate or bed) for comfort.
Surprise parties are for people, not dogs! Ask your family not to bombard the new puppy when she comes home. Give her some time to warm up, and introduce her to her new family members gradually. The same rule applies for other pets in the house: both the senior pet and the new puppy will benefit from a casual first meeting.
Remember to be patient with your puppy as she becomes acclimated, and enjoy getting to know her! Before long, she’ll be a well-adjusted dog and a beloved part of the family.