This is an exciting time for you and your family. You get to add a new furry family member, whether it is your first dog or you have had them your whole life, it is important to prepare for what is about to happen. Even if you are adopting a new dog or getting a brand new puppy, you need to make sure you are up to the challenges and demands of bringing a new dog into your home. This article is designed to help every dog owner prepare for these critical first few weeks.
Crate training is crucial to help a new dog or puppy to feel comfortable in a new home. It also allows us to be able to learn their bathroom habits and how often they may need to go to the bathroom. Dogs naturally do not like to go to the bathroom in a properly sized crate. If you need help with crate training please read our crate training help article. The crate is going to be an amazing place for your dog or puppy to be and will allow you to have peace of mind that they will not chew or destroy household items or go to the bathroom in the house. Tho sooner you start the better they adjust to the crate and learn to like it. Most importantly this will just reduce the dogs stress of being in a new home and allow them to have a safe place to be.
One of the most important aspects of a dog’s life that needs to be determined before getting the dog is their exercise routine. This takes into account many factors such as the dog’s age, breed, temperament. For a young puppy you need to be very careful that you are not over-exerting them, but also not giving them too little exercise. For an adult dog you need to take into account the dog’s breed and temperament. A high drive terrier will need a lot more exercise then a bulldog or mastiff. If you cannot meet the exercise needs of the dog you are looking at or have acquired make sure you can afford a dog walker or daycare. Another option is to consider adjusting your schedule to accommodate your dogs needs. If your dog needs a longer morning walk before work, you may have to get up earlier. Exercise is extremely important for your new pups, mental and physical health. This will keep them calmer and happier that they are getting the interaction of play with you. The best way to bond with your new dog is through walking them on a leash, think of the leash as your umbilical cord to your dog. It allows them to feel your motion, pace, etc. A long walk is not only great exercise but a big step to improving your bond with the dog. Dogs who are under exercised can begin to exhibit worsening behavior problems such as destructive chewing, digging, biting, reactivity. So make sure you and your family know when, how long, and who will be walking your dog to make sure they are calm and happy.
Make sure your house is ready for a new dog that may or may not know the rules of living in a home yet. Make sure your house is prepared with puppy gates, carpet cleaner, cover garbage, etc. Dogs are curious and will try to feel things out with their mouth by either chewing or eating new objects. Make sure any toxic household items are away and cannot be reached by your new dog. Make sure garages are covered and cannot be eaten by the dog. If an accident does happen in your house make sure you have the right cleaning supplies in order to remove the smell and leftover matter. Always start with giving your dog a room then gradually increase the amount fo room they have in your house. This will make it less overwhelming and less likely for them to get into things they should not be. Save yourself a lot of trips to the vet as well.
Lets face it you’re going to need help with your dog. Finding yourself a trainer that can help you and your new dog throughout the process is key. Your trainer should have a lot of knowledge in all aspects of dogs and dog training to help guide you in your journey. Training is also key to a happy and healthy life with your dog to make sure they are getting enough mental and physical exercise. A trainer will help write-up an exercise plan or may give you insights into how much exercise your new pup may need. Finding a trainer that you bond with the most and your dog seems to respond to is key because you want to be able to trust your trainer and the information they give you.
Overall, bringing a new dog into your home is a wonderful and exciting time in your life. I hope we have provided some helpful insights to your needs and the journey that is ahead of you. Remember, owning a dog is a lifetime commitment to a dog and should not be taken lightly. Our furry family members need guidance, rules, clear communication just like our children do. Be sure to take your time and pick your new family member wisely and consider the requirements of that animal to your lifestyle.