Introducing a new dog into your
Making the decision to adopt or
purchase a pet is one of the biggest decisions a family, couple
or single will make during their lifetime. Just like children,
dogs need TLC and nurturing as well as basic needs like food,
shelter, and water, and a safe and loving environment. If this
sounds like a huge responsibility, that’s because it is! If
you’re still determined to get a dog and you are up to the
challenge, then you’re in luck. Once you make it past the
purchasing or adoption process and your new addition has made it
home, you will quickly learn that having a pet is also one of
the most wonderful experiences you will have during your
lifetime. Continue reading to find out how to prepare your home
for your new pet.
Depending on whether your new pet is a puppy or an adult dog,
there are several things to consider before you leave the
shelter or pet store. These include:
- What to buy
- The ride home
- Other pets
- Friends and family
What to Buy
Shopping for your new dog can be fun, but it can also be
frustrating if you don’t have an accurate list of must-haves.
Miss any important items on your “what to buy” list, and you
just might find yourself making multiple trips to the pet store
for things that are essential to you and your new pet’s well
being, especially during his first few days in a strange new
place. The following list represents the most important items to
purchase for your new pet and a few that might put your new dog
- Identification tag: Include the dog’s name, full
address, home number, and cell number.
- Dog bowls: Three is a good number. Use one for food and
the other two for fresh water.
- Puppy or dog food
- Dog crate: Metal is better for hot climates and plastic
is better for cooler climates and for air travel
- Expandable lead
- Baby gates
- Puppy pen
- Nail trimmers
- Dog grooming brush, preferably soft
- Dog bed*
- Dog toys*
The Ride Home
Some dogs are perfectly fine with riding in a car. In fact, most
dogs love the breeze across the face or the wind whipping
through their hair. Unfortunately, there are others that may be
too nervous, anxious, or scared to enjoy the ride or they just
might not be used to riding in a vehicle. There are several
items to keep on hand in case your new pooch doesn’t take to the
car. Bring lots of paper towels, cover the seat with a sheet,
bring a box for puppies (this may make them feel more secure),
bring something for them to chew on as this may keep them
occupied, and bring a friend to sit in the back seat with your
new dog and play with him.
Be sure to drive slowly, especially around curves, play some
soothing music such as classical music, and speak softly to your
pet and in conversation. This will also help keep him calm.
Other Pets, Family, and Friends
Once you make it home, you will plenty of training to do. Not
only will your new dog need training, but so will your friends,
family members, and other pets. We’re assuming that you chose
your pet because he’s sweet, friendly, and adorable. If you
already have pets in the home, we are assuming that they are
also friendly and adorable, as well as well trained.
When you first introduce your new pet to pets already in the
home, they may sniff around one another and the new pet may
whimper a bit, but they are ok, so don’t interfere. If for some
reason your pets become aggressive, this is the time to step in.
If it is the new pet that seems aggressive, this is when you
might want to call the shelter or pet store for advice.
If you have a cat in the home, don’t worry. Chances are after
several weeks they will get along just fine. And remember, it’s
the cat that will probably take the longest to get adjusted to
the idea of sharing her space.
A good way to get the family acquainted with the dog and vice
versa is to sit in a circle, with poochie in the middle, and
allow him to introduce himself to each family member on his own.
Each family member should have equal time. Do not force the pet
to spend more time with one over the other. Kids should not pull
or tug on the pet and they should not be aggressive with the pet
in any way. The pet may feel threatened and his instinct may be
to protect himself.
Also, when friends come to visit, to help encourage good
manners, have the friends either kneel down and pet your pooch
or sit in a low chair. Give your pet something to chew on or
hold him while sitting down to get him to calm down. This will
teach good manners – on both sides.
When nighttime arrives and it’s time to settle in for the
evening, make a space for your new pet near your bed. This will
make him feel safe. There may be some whining, but this will
subside after the first few nights. Simply place your hand in or
on the crate or in the box when this happens. Keep in mind that
you will have to take your new pet out several times to relieve
himself during the night, so be prepared. It’s best to get the
job done and take your pet right back to his crate or box. If
you start playing with your new dog at odd hours, he will get
used to having attention during this time.
If for some reason you cannot keep your new pet in the
bedroom with you, you may crate him in the kitchen or bathroom.
To calm his nerves, play some classical music and keep the
lights off or very low.
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Best Dog Pairings
Finding the Perfect Dog Breed for Your Family
My Dog Is Sleeping in My Bed. Is that OK?
The Benefits of Puppy Kindergarten
What to Look for in Dog Day Care Services
The 11 Best Dogs for Apartments
The 11 Best Dogs for Children
Puppy Housebreaking Made Easy
Effective Dog Obedience Training
How to Choose a Dog Breed