How to Introduce a New Dog or Puppy to Your Home
Amidst the excitement of deciding to add a new furry family member to your home, it’s important to prepare the humans, pets, and environment they will be joining to ensure a smooth transition. Follow below for some quick tips to make sure your home is ready to welcome a new dog to your crew.
1. Prepare a Space
Just like siblings don’t like to share, a new pet must have their own dedicated area as well as their own resources like toys, beds, bowls, and crate. Allowing them their own space can help with things like routine, crate training, and safety from chewing or ingesting inappropriate things in the home.
Each pet should have their own resources where they can feel safe and unchallenged by other pets or humans in the house at first. Your dedicated space should be puppy-proofed with nothing dangerous around, on a cleanable surface for accidents, and easy to access for the new pet.
2. Prepare to Monitor
Puppies are perhaps even less trustworthy alone than a toddler with access to crayons- they can harm themselves or your home in a very short amount of time! It’s important that when outside their dedicated safe area (see above), they are directly monitored by a caretaker to ensure they are avoiding dangerous activities and inappropriate bathroom habits. They should stay in the room where the owner is located unless safely in their designated quiet space.
3. Prepare to Reward
When it comes to training, dogs especially respond well to rewards when learning new things such as potty training or new life routines. This adjustment to your home will be overwhelming and confusing for most pets, so making it clear when your pet is doing the right thing (such as going in their kennel or urinating outside) can set your pet up for a faster adjustment.
4. Prepare Polite Introductions
Introducing your new dog to the members in the home they are entering can also be overwhelming and scary. It’s ideal that your dog meets people one at a time in a quiet environment, and that introductions with other pets in the home are similarly done with intention and safety in mind.
Dogs should ideally meet in a neutral location (outside the home) for a brief amount of time, where both are on loose leashes and controlled by their own handlers. A reward should also be given when meeting new people for the dog, to better socialize and form positive associations with others.
5. Prepare a Potty Routine
Whether you’re dealing with a new puppy or adult dog, routine is king when it comes to adjusting to new bathroom habits. Designating an area where your dog is taken to go potty (urinate or defecate) as well as a predictable schedule can make potty training much easier on everyone! A good rule of thumb is to take your puppy out to poop after each meal, and every few hours to urinate. For more information on potty training, visit our article here!
6. Prepare to be PATIENT
Just like each person is different, each dog is different in how quickly they adjust to their new home. Some pets are quick to adjust within days, while some may take weeks to months to settle into their new routine. Some dogs need lots of encouragement and reward to learn what is expected of them, while others may be faster to figure this out.
Be consistent with your expectations and correct undesirable behaviors gently (while rewarding their success generously) and your dog will be on their way to being a model citizen with a strong bond to their forever family.
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