Bringing a new dog home can be a little over whelming, and it is easy to forget all the things you may need and should consider to help welcome them into their new family. We have pulled together some tips to help you feel more prepared.
What you may need to welcome a dog into your home
- A crate – make sure it is the right size for your new addition; your dog should be able to stand up and turn around comfortably within it. Dogs are naturally den animals so they will find comfort in their own safe space, placing a blanket over the top and providing a bed or blanket within will help make it more comfortable
- Food and water dishes
- Dog bed – providing suitable comfortable beds or blankets around the main living areas of your home will allow your dog to relax with the family.
- Good quality dog food – it is important to provide your new dog a good quality diet with healthy ingredients. Check to see what they have been fed before, initially feed them this to help them settle into their new home, once they have settled a new diet can be introduced over several days to try and limit any upset tummies.
- Treats – again a good high quality treat will help a lot when it comes to training your new dog.
- Poop bags – always needed to clean up after your new addition!
- Collar, lead and I.D tag – you will require these for walking your new dog, by law your dog must have a collar and some form of identification (whether that is on a tag or plate on the collar) with the owners name and address on.
- Adaptil – is a synthetic copy of the comforting pheromone released by a mother dog to reassure her puppies. This can be extremely handy to help your new dog feel reassured and comfortable while settling into their new home and experiencing new things.
- Baby gate(s) – these are brilliant tool to help restrict access to rooms you do not want your new addition to go into.
- Local vet number and emergency number – always have these to hand, whether it’s for a routine check-up or in an emergency you always want to be able to contact your vet for advice and help.
What to expect when bringing your new dog home
- An adjustment period – when you first bring your new dog home there will be a ‘honeymoon’ period while they adjust to their new life with you. Any bad habits or behaviours that they may have gained from their previous home may not be apparent straight off and may take time to show.
- Toilet training – your new dog may not have lived in a house before, may not have been toilet trained properly at their old home, or just be nervous and have accidents. So keep an eye on them constantly to help them learn that going out side is where the toilet is and not in the house. When they go to the toilet where you want them to make sure you give them lots of praise and a treat or two, they will soon learn where to go.
- Chewing – although your new dog may not be a puppy, they may still chew items around the home. This is because they will not yet know which items are their chew toys and which are not. Restricting the areas they are able to visit will allow you to keep an eye on hem and give them something that is ok o chew if you notice them chewing something wrong.
Introducing your dog to family and existing pets
Supervision is a must when introducing any new addition to other members of the family, whether they are of the furry kind or not. They may already be used to children and other animals, but your children and animals are all new to them and will take a little time to adjust and make friends.
If already used to children that doesn’t mean they will used to your children, consider the points below when introducing them:
- Allow your new dog to approach your children in their own time and on their own terms.
- Reducing the feeling of being over whelmed and feeling threatened will mean less chance of snapping out of fear or uncertainness.
- Encourage children to be calm around your new dog as they may not be used to high pitch screaming which may cause them to become over excited or frightened.
Introducing your new dog to existing family dogs can also take a little time. These steps are a few things to consider making things easier:
- Get them to meet on neutral territory, meeting on a walk is probably best
- Remove all items that may lead to fights in the house e.g. toys or treats
- Ignore the dogs until they have calmed down as they can fight for your attention also
Your new addition maybe used to cats, but your cat will be unfamiliar to them so it will take time for both of them to adjust.
- Always make sure their encounters with each other are supervised until you are certain that they are friends.
- Don’t allow your new addition to frighten your cat or give chase as this will not create a sound basis for a lasting friendship.
- Using a pen or carrier for initial introductions can be of benefit, but make sure your cat is not scared of being in a carrier if this is what you wish to use as this will not help the introduction go smoothly.
- A pen or carrier allows them to see each other and sniff each other without any chance of intimidation or attack. The bars of the carrier or pen allow them to be close to each other but also provide protection.
- Keeping your dog on a lead whilst meeting your cat can also help, getting them to sit and be calm and rewarding them for this. Do no force the meeting and if your dog becomes too excitable then remove them from the meeting.
Remember that everything will be new to your new addition, even if they are ‘used to’ cats, dogs and children they will not be used to yours. Take each day a step at a time, encourage good behaviour and provide them with everything that they will need to settle in and become a valued family member who is loved by all.
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