Your first day with a new dog is a super exciting time but it can also be pretty nervewracking too! You can somewhat compare it to becoming a parent, especially if it is your first dog and you don’t really know what to expect. There are things that you can do to make this transition easier for both you and the new four-legged member of your family. This article has been put together to help you know exactly what to do in those special first 24 hours.
Have some basic items for your new dog
It goes without saying that you should have some basic necessities for the dog in order to make him/her feel as comfortable as possible and settle in well. Try and get these things in advance before you get the dog so that you can fully focus on your new pet when the time comes and do not need to worry about anything else. The items that you need include the following:
- Dog food (Find out what brand they have been eating and try to stick to this one).
- A leash and a collar.
- Food and drink bowls.
- Poop bags.
Keep the environment calm
Friends and family members might be eager to visit your new dog but try and avoid this for a few days to help your pet settle in with just the members of the household at first. If you have other pets, keep them away from the dog until he/she has had some time to explore its new environment. Encourage kids to give the animal some space too, although this is easier said than done, especially with smaller children. Be sure to keep in mind that although puppies love to play, they also sleep up to 20 hours a day!
Get a routine set up
Much like a newborn baby, it is important that you get a routine set up for your dog as soon as possible – it will be better for you both. The main thing is potty training and it is something to tackle right away. You might be using a wee-pad inside at first or straight away you might want to direct the dog to an area of grass outside. If your dog is a puppy and has not been trained before, take them every 2-hours to their potty area, and make sure that you set an alarm so you don’t forget. Even if you are adopting an older dog, there might still be accidents just be sure to heap lots of praise on him/her when they are successful, keeping lots of treats nearby as extra little incentives.
Implement rules right away
Just like a routine, it is also important that you set up rules for your curious doggy right away. After a few hours of settling in time, your dog might start chewing the furniture, going places he shouldn’t and so on. Make sure that your new pet knows who is boss, you make the rules and you need to show that you are the dominant one right away to help avoid problems further down the line.
Have a dog-free area
Your new dog is sure to be super happy and excited about his new home but having somewhere your dog can be enclosed and chill out by himself for a little while is recommended. A crate or a playpen filled with a blanket and some toys is going to be comfortable for your pet and it’s also going to give them somewhere they can have space if and when they need it. This is perfect for you if you need to get some housework done and don’t need an excited puppy playing at your feet. You should also pet-proof any areas of your house that you don’t want the dog going or any areas that could be dangerous to them. It is really important that you show your new friend around their new home and the areas they are likely to frequent the most.
Take care of yourself
A new dog is a big responsibility, especially if its a puppy that needs teaching everything. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself and getting enough sleep. It’s likely the dog will need toilet breaks during the night, or they might be whining until they get used to their new home. So rest whenever you can during this early stage, it will be worth it. To help your dog sleep, play with them plenty during the day and make their bed/crate as comfortable as possible for a cozy night’s rest.
While some of the tips in this article might vary slightly depending on the age and history of your new dog, the same principles basically apply. Let your pet settle in at its own place, while at the same time making them as comfortable as possible. Set boundaries and a routine right away to help the doggy fit into your family with ease.