Bringing a Puppy Home: All You Need to Know
Bringing a new puppy into your home is one of the best feelings ever. But that feeling can quickly fade away once you realize how big of a responsibility raising a puppy is. And it’s probably worse for the puppy – it’s just been taken from the mother and siblings and moved into a new unfamiliar environment. This can be scary and confusing.
That’s why we’ve prepared this guide with some tips on how to help your puppy get accustomed to the new environment. Let’s get to it!
Before The Puppy Arrives
Creating a good environment in which the puppy can grow and learn starts even before you bring the puppy home.
1. Set some basic rules with your family
Getting a new puppy is a big commitment, so before you do it, make sure to consult all your family members. Then, decide who is going to be the primary caretaker and who will be responsible for which activity.
Also, set some ground rules in advance to avoid confusing the pup once it gets there. For example, will the puppy be allowed on the bed, are there any rooms off-limit, where will the puppy sleep, and so on. Just make sure that everyone is on the same page and will treat the puppy based on the same rules.
2. Get some supplies
To avoid rush trips to the store, stock up on supplies ahead of time. Here’s what you’ll need at first:
- Bowls for food and water
- Leash and collar
- Chewing toys
- Food and treats
- Maybe some dog fences to close off any sections of your home
3. Prepare the house
Puppies can chew their way through anything, so it’s important to prepare your home before they arrive. First off, create a temporary gated space for your puppy where it can stay while left alone to prevent them from causing any accidents.
Next, remove any objects and products that can hurt your puppy, such as cleaning chemicals, toxic plants, or medicine. Puppies are very curious and will eat and sniff anything in their way, so make sure they don’t find anything that can hurt them.
Once Your Puppy Is At Home
1. Keep it Low-key
You might be tempted to invite all your friends to check out your new puppy, but avoid doing so for the first few days. Being taken to a new place and immediately bombarded with loud and lively strangers can be really overwhelming to a puppy.
Instead, keep a calm and mellow mood and let your puppy settle and get used to your family members.
2. Potty training
Before bringing your puppy into the house, take them to your chosen potty area and spend a few moments there. If your puppy does potty outside, make sure to praise them and use positive reinforcements, like a treat. They’ll soon catch on and be excited to go outside for potty time.
3. Introduce the crate
Crates are the best way to house train your puppy, but they may need a little time to adjust at first. Put some bedding and chew toys inside the crate and leave the door open. After they spend a few minutes there, close the door and open it as soon as they start pawing at the door.
Then, close them inside the crate again and give them treats and positive praises. Repeat these steps a few times and you’re good to go!
4. Start training
The earlier you start training your puppy, the faster and easier it will be to teach them good manners. Start by correcting negative behaviour like biting and chewing and redirecting them to chewing toys.
Remember not to yell at your puppy or punish them as that will only frighten and confuse them. They are only just starting to learn what’s expected of them, so simple praise of good behaviour and deflecting bad behaviour is an effective way to start training early on.
Not long after that you need to think about serious training. For that you need a really good dog trainer. Like our Trinny for instance. Find out what makes her such a good choice by checking out her biography HERE.
5. Set a routine
A routine helps immensely with house training and provides reassurance to your puppy. Figure out a schedule that works for you and your family members, so you can always go on walks at the same time. Meals and exercise should also be done at the same time every day.
After a while of doing things routinely, potty time will also become much more predictable and you won’t have to worry so much about it.
After A Few Weeks
1. Choose a vet
Puppies should visit the vet for a wellness exam and to make sure their health is in optimal condition. Your vet should also set up a vaccination schedule.
It’s especially important to make your puppy’s first vet visit a pleasant experience so they are not scared in the future.
2. Start socializing
Once your puppy is fully vaccinated, it’s time to start creating positive encounters with other dogs and people. Socializing while they’re still young will help improve their behavioral development and shape how they act when they grow older.
3. Start leaving them alone
By now, your puppy should be accustomed to your home and family, it’s time to start leaving them alone for short periods of time. This will help prepare them for life without you and prevent separation anxiety later on in their life.
First off, start by leaving them alone in their crate for a few minutes and reward them when you come back. Then, gradually increase the duration. After a while, you can start leaving the house. Start with a short trip to the grocery store, and once you see how the puppy behaves, gradually increase the duration.
Puppy parenthood is a wonderful time where you build a strong and loving bond with your puppy. This bond will last for their entire lives, so make sure you’re off to a good start.
Follow the tips outlined in this article, and remember to take it slowly and be patient. Changing your schedule and investing a little extra time is a small price to pay in the long run for a best friend.
Still not sure about everything to do with bringing a puppy home? Then check out our previous article – 10 Questions to ask your self before getting a puppy.
You will love your puppy, and then you will love your dog! Trust me.