Bringing Home Your Newly Adopted Dog
Bringing home a newly adopted dog is a pretty exciting event for most families. But there is more to a successful homecoming than just walking through the front door. Consider how overwhelming it might be for your new best friend…the new faces, the new smells, the new sounds, the new house, in fact, the new everything!
Once you get your new dog home, the whole situation could also be a little overwhelming for you too. Whether he/she is a puppy, a young dog or an adult, a little preparation and planning on your part before the new arrival will help ease the stress for you and your pup. Now is the time to begin building that great relationship that you pictured when you made the decision to share your home with a dog.
Preparing the family…
Your new dog is going to be a new member in your family, so everyone in the family should be part of the adoption process.
- Everyone should agree with the idea…it’s not a good idea to “surprise” Dad when he comes home from work with your new dog and no one in the family should have a fear of dogs.
- If you already have a dog, you may want to take her with you.
- See how the new dog interacts with each family member, including your current canine if you have one.
- Set the ground rules about this additional family member that might include:
- Who is responsible for what
- Where the dog will sleep
- Furniture restrictions
- Will you be feeding her from the table
- “Potty” clean up responsibilities
Shopping for doggie essentials…
Whether you have a current canine resident in your home or not, there will be certain things that you should already have purchased before the day of arrival. For the sake of being thorough, we will plan as though this will be the only dog in your home.
Things you will need:
- Bowls for food and water
- Food; it’s probably a good idea to find out what type of food your new dog has been eating in order to prevent any tummy problems. (you may consider asking a vet for recommendations for the type of food that would be best for the age and size of your new dog).
- Leash, collar and ID tag, take these items with you when picking up your dog. (we’ll talk about those in future articles)
- Bedding, old blankets work well (it’s helpful if they are a size that can fit into your washer and dryer).
- Your dog needs toys! Toys aren’t just or fun, they will help ease stress, and if you have a puppy, the right toys can help during the teething period. Always be careful of the toys you buy, ask for suggestions at the pet store for toys that are sturdy and age/size appropriate.
The first day home
The first day in her new home can be pretty confusing, but try to stay calm, even if there are little accidents that occur.
- Introduce her to where she can find food and water, and where her sleeping quarters are.
- Take her outside frequently to go “potty”, and always take her to the same spot. When there is success, give lots of verbal and physical praise. Be prepared with a yummy treat to give to her immediately, especially if she’s a young puppy. If there is an accident in the house, keep your cool and take her outside…It’s ok to say “No” if caught in the act, but striking her or punishing isn’t a good idea. Remember: “Praise is a better trainer than punishment”
One of the best things you can do for a new dog, especially a puppy, is to enroll them into training classes.
We believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are under given circumstances and situations.
Check out our Family Friendly Training Classes.