If you’ve decided to welcome a new furry friend into your home, congratulations! Puppies are fun, loving, cuddly, and energetic – but they can also be a real handful if you’ve never had to deal with getting them situated in a new environment. To make the transition a little easier, here are a few basic tips on settling your new fuzzy friend into your home.
1. Don’t overwhelm them
New puppies are exciting! You want nothing more than to bring home your bundle of joy and get right to playtime. However, puppies are sensitive, so they require a calm introduction into any new space.
Before arriving home with your pup, prepare a quiet, comfortable room that they’re free to explore on their own. If you have kids, let them meet the puppy one by one and remind them to keep their voices down and be gentle to avoid any spooks.
2. Set up food & water
Set out two bowls – one for food, one for water – in an easily accessible location. You should feed your puppy high-quality dry chow made for his specific age and size. You can set a consistent mealtime or fill up the bowl to let your pup graze throughout the day.
Water should be changed every day to ensure freshness. Keep an eye on the bowl to make sure it never runs dry.
As for treats, save those for an occasional snack or to use as a reward for good behavior!
3. Be diligent about potty training
Potty training a new dog is always the hardest task, but if you’re diligent in these early stages, it won’t be a problem in the future.
There are three different methods for potty training as recommended by the American Kennel Club: 1) crate training, 2) paper pad training, and 3) making frequent, regularly scheduled trips outdoors. Whichever you choose, be consistent with it.
If there’s an accident inside the house, make sure you thoroughly clean the area, keep a close eye on it, and stick with the routine you have set up in order to reinforce good habits.
4. Stay safe
Having a new dog roaming around the house is almost like bringing home a new toddler – meaning they’ll try to get into as much playful mischief as possible. That’s why you will want to safety-proof the house.
- Remove any houseplants or food items out of chomp’s way
- Keep floors safe and clear, especially of any sharp objects or loose wires/cords
- Keep lids on trash cans, cabinet doors closed, and repair any holes in screen doors or windows
- Remain vigilant when going on walks or playing outdoors to make sure your pup doesn’t eat or play with anything strange
- Keep your puppy within a containment system.
5. Get established with a vet
Regular vet visits may seem like a hassle, especially if your dog always seems healthy. But puppies require a lot of shots and vaccines to ensure they remain healthy and energetic in the future, so it’s best to find a vet you can trust.
A good vet should be compassionate and patient with you and your dog. Their practice should be highly rated, have clean facilities, and use up-to-date vet software. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions about their experience, policies, and practices.
6. Set good routines
Is there anything more tempting than a cute little pup who just wants to play when you’re supposed to be doing chores? As hard as it may be, it’s important to find good routines and stick to them. That includes feeding and potty routines, but also playtime, bedtime, and (if you choose to use one) crate time.
Setting up a daily routine makes things easier for you and your dog – and makes sure laundry doesn’t pile up because you two are busy playing outside.
7. Have fun!
Puppies are little furry balls of energy that can sometimes make messes and cause trouble, but they’re just like any other baby in that regard. If you’re having behavior problems, you may want to look into dog training – and maybe spend a little more time running around outside so your pup can expend some extra energy. You may feel frustrated at times, but don’t forget to be affectionate and show your furbaby plenty of love.