Last Updated on September 27, 2022 by Dogs Vets
How to Integrate Your New Puppy into the Family
Bringing home a new puppy for the first time should be an exciting occasion.
However, many dogs find moving into a new environment incredibly unnerving at first. With all these new smells and new people, the experience can be a little daunting initially.
Because of this, you need to take things slowly for the first few days and weeks to help your pooch settle in nicely.
For those who have an existing dog, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure your puppy and pooch gel together and live in perfect harmony.
Here are some great tips that can help your new puppy settle in when you first bring them home and help them integrate perfectly into the family dynamics.
Don’t Put Any Pressure on Them
Make sure to pay extra attention during the first few days of your puppy arriving at your home. This is when you begin building your dog’s trust in you and helping them get used to their new surroundings and routine.
You are essentially getting to know each other, meaning you need to focus on helping them feel relaxed and at ease.
Keep the pressure off your puppy during this time. Don’t expect to do too much right away.
Of course, it is natural to get excited about finally having your puppy home safe and sound, but they need an opportunity to get used to you, your loved ones, and your existing dog (if you have one). Try to avoid having visitors over for the first week or two.
Once your puppy’s tail starts wagging and they feel calm and content, you can start to have people over to meet the new addition to the family.
Make Sure Your House Is in Order
You’ll want your puppy to feel safe and sound the moment they arrive at their forever home. Once you get the move date, take the days in the leadup of it to get your property in tip-top condition.
If you’ve never had a dog before, you’ll be amazed at all the furniture and items they can sink their teeth into! What’s more, their health and safety could be put at risk if there is something hazardous lurking around.
It’s wise to take out dog insurance before your puppy arrives too. You can purchase dog insurance from Purely Pets that will cover your pooch in the event of them becoming injured.
Try and see things through the eyes of a puppy. What may seem benign or boring to us can be incredibly exciting to puppies. Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen.
There are lots of things to consider keeping out of sight and out of mind for the first few weeks and months. These include any dangling wires, string, fabrics, and small objects like coins and paperclips.
Provide a Safe Space
To help your pooch get used to their new surroundings on their own terms, you must provide them with a safe place that they can escape to as and when they need to.
When the puppy comes through the front door, you’re all bound to be excited.
However, if you make lots of noise, this can frighten them! Your puppy will require quiet time, so having somewhere they know they can take themselves away to can lessen anxiety.
You may decide on having an open crate with a couple of blankets over it, or just a comfy bed that’s in a quiet location. Make sure the space is away from people.
If you have a dog already in the household, make sure their safe space is in a different area.
Everyone in the household needs to be aware not to disturb the puppy if they decide on going to their safe space. Also, don’t feel offended if they keep venturing off! Just imagine putting yourself in their shoes and seeing how frightening it can be to arrive in an unfamiliar environment.
Stick to the Rules
For existing dog owners, you’ll have been through the rules and training regime before.
This means when a new pooch arrives on the scene, you can’t give into their puppy dog eyes and let things slide! Discipline is a must for all dogs, regardless of age.
If you have household rules, you need to stick to them and ensure your puppy is aware of them. Understandably, when they’re so young, your puppy is going to need time to adjust and get to grips with the day-to-day running of the house.
Bad habits can form fast and be incredibly hard to break once started.
For instance, if you don’t want your puppy to go on the sofa, that rule must be in place from day one.
Instead, why not play with them on the floor? That way, you’ll teach them that fun things only occur off the sofa. Also, if there are any zones of the house that aren’t safe or you’d prefer they didn’t venture to, you should consider installing a baby gate. This will keep specific areas off limits and stop your canine friends’ nose poking their way in!
Be Patient Introducing Your Puppy to Your Existing Dog
For those who already have a dog, welcoming a new one into the home should be done with plenty of care and attention. This is because some dogs can feel incredibly threatened, especially when a bouncy, young puppy comes into their space.
You need to allocate lots of time for your puppy and existing dog to familiarise themselves with each other and become accustomed.
If you have an older dog, they’re not going to be in the mood for lots of play! At the start, keep their beds and food bowls separate.
Make sure to have someone home at all times as your puppy settles in. You should read your puppy and existing dog’s body language for any signs of stress too.
Prepare the Family
Getting a puppy is a huge commitment that the whole family needs to be on board with. This goes far beyond just agreeing to get a puppy. All the family need to be invested in the puppy you bring home, and how they’re going to be raised.
A big part of this is planning in advance what rules are going to be put in place.
Everyone needs to stick together on these, otherwise, your puppy will be confused and not know whether they’re coming or going!
There are lots of jobs involved with looking after a dog, so you need to establish who is going to be picking up poo or weighing out breakfast. It can be stressful getting everything in order, but as long as you retain a positive mindset, everything should work out in the end.
When a new puppy arrives on the scene, it’s your duty to provide plenty of love, care, and support to help them settle in nicely. If you have a dog already, you’re in charge of helping the two create a special bond.
While things may be rocky at the start, as long as you do all the above, your puppy should soon feel relaxed in your home, and you can get to work on creating many happy memories with man’s best friend.
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