Bringing a new dog into the home
Whether you are rehoming an adult dog, or bringing home a tiny puppy, this is an immensely exciting time for the whole family. There are a few things you need to plan before you’re ready to welcome your new addition, so that when they finally arrive, you can focus your attention on them fully. The more groundwork and preparation you can do beforehand to research about dogs, feeding routines and training tips, the better.
Register at the local Vet’s practice
Ask around your family and friends, to find recommendations for the best local Vet’s surgery, and if they’re not already registered, do this straight away. It’s best to be prepared in case of any eventuality, in case your dog takes ill, needs to be microchipped or requires vaccinations.
Socialise your dog with other dogs and humans
If you are rehoming an adult dog, or planning on training a young pup, research for a training class that only uses praise and reward techniques, rather than using choke chains and military style drills. A new puppy class is great fun for doggy interaction, where dogs and their owners can make great friends and have lots of fun. If you’re walking your new dog in the street or at the park, allow your dog to say hello to other dogs, with their owner’s permission of course.
Introduce a training plan and house rules for your new dog, before you bring them home, and make sure the whole family is on board with the changes to family living.
Prepare your home
A new puppy can be a world-class chewer and always seem to get into mischief somewhere they aren’t allowed to be. You will need to do some home organising before arrival day and make sure you remove anything you don’t want soiled or chewed. Make sure that anything that could injure your dog, certain plants, cleaning products and medicines are well out of the dog’s reach.
Choose a name
One of the many exciting things about getting a new pet is making a family decision to choose a name. Once you’ve found one that everyone agrees on, begin to use it as soon as possible and each time you interact with your dog. They will soon begin to react to it and come to your call.
When your dog meets any other pets and family members for the first time, it’s essential to supervise these introductions. Careful handling will help your dog to settle into your family life, and set the scene for future interactions. If children are involved, allow the dog to approach the child to prevent feelings of him being threatened, rather than the other way round, so that the dog is less likely to snap as a means of self-defence. Dogs don’t always appreciate being cuddled or hugged unless they’ve been familiar with this embrace from an early age.
Arrange for home care
In an ideal world you can take a few days from work to bond with your dog and get your new puppy settled into a routine, and possibly begin some house training. However, even if you can take some leave time, you will still need to arrange a backup team for dog day-care and dog walking.
The first few weeks that your new dog spends in your home will be a huge period of adjustment for everyone, including the dog. A routine helps not only with house training, but also to reassure your dog. Find a schedule for meals, toilet breaks, playtime and walks, and try to keep to it.