Congratulations on finding your new canine companion! Or if you’re intending to bring a new dog home soon, welcome to the new world of dog ownership! If you’re a first-time owner, here are some of the things you might need to prepare ahead of time and know what to expect.
- When bringing your new dog home
There will be an adjustment period after you bring you bring your dog home for the first time, be patient as they learn to settle down at your place. Some may be overwhelmed or scared when there is a change of environment, while some may turn hyperactive once they feel more confident. Some dogs take a few days to adjust, others may take months (puppies may settle in faster than adult dogs, and dogs that were in shelters before may take a longer time to settle in). So get your place properly set up and planned out before your dog come home, get yourself mentally prepared.
- Designate a place for your dog
Changing a new environment may be a little stressful, giving them a safe space of their own will allow them to relax and decompress. You may set up this sleeping spot in advance, which is good to start with their confinement area such as their crate. If your dog goes into the confinement area while you’re home, you may want to leave them alone. If you want to interact and play with them, you can call them and see if they come to you. If not, they probably need their time and space for a moment.
- Assume your dog is not housetrained
In the new environment, it is very likely that your new dog does not understand your house is a ‘no-potty’ zone. Instead of giving your new dogs lots of space to have accidents, you may start with restricting the areas where your dog can access at first. When you’re not around, you may keep them in a gated area with pee pads or pee trays set up within, and when you’re home you can take them out of the confined space. By restricting such spaces, you can also prevent damage to your items at home as your dog may not understand which are their toys they can chew on, and which are not.
- Locate a Veterinarian
One of the most important point when getting a new dog is to bring them to a good veterinarian. They will be in charge of looking out for your dog’s health and educate you on the things to take note with regards to health and diet. It is important to look for a veterinarian that you enjoy working with and you can be open with communicating. It is also one of the first places that you will need to bring your dog, for vaccinations and checkups.
- Meeting basic needs
Every dog needs proper nutrition, adequate shelter, physical care, and social interaction. Plan out a daily routine and stick to it, be it mealtimes, walking your dog, playtime or training time. Ensure that they are mentally and physically well stimulated.
Always remember that patience is important, your and your new furry family member are new to each other, it will take some time to adjust. Things will get better once your dog settle in, they are almost certainly not trying to annoy you. Keep your cool when things are not going as planned, it will help you dog to stay calm, creating a calming environment starts from you.
At any point of time you start to be concerned with some kind of behaviour that your dog is exhibiting, it may be a good idea to reach out for help from a professional dog trainer, early intervention always helps.
Check out our Puppy Training to assist you in managing and introduce puppy to your new household.