06 Apr Tips and Tricks to Help Your New Puppy Settle in at Home
Puppies are often extra playful during their younger years, and they sure love to stay busy! When you take on ownership of a puppy with many years of life ahead of them, it’s important to consider all of the challenges you both may face as you grow together. From the very beginning when they meet you for the first time and move to an entirely new environment, expect that your puppy will most likely experience nervousness and hesitation toward some unfamiliar things.
Are you bringing your puppy home soon and do you have preparations set up in advance? Or do you already have your furry friend and are looking for ways to improve the adjustment process? Learn about our favorite tips and tricks to help you determine where you should start with helping your new puppy settle in at their furever home.
Be Patient and Slowly Introduce New Things
There are so many new objects, toys, environments, people, animals, and little critters for puppies to sniff and learn about! Knowing that, don’t forget they’re still developing and can quickly become overwhelmed, which could leave a negative association with the experience.
The best thing for you to do is to keep things calm and positive. This helps them know that they can move at their own pace with your correct guidance along the way. When you show your puppy that you’re there for them to rely on even in their scariest situations, they’ll feel best assured and most comfortable.
Be prepared when your puppy meets other new furry friends as well. Take the time to slowly introduce (no dog parks yet) other dogs and visit with small groups first for balanced socialization out of the house. In the same light, if you have other animals living at home, be sure to set times for when your new puppy is separated from them. With certain communication barriers between different animals, like a dog and a cat, it could take time for them to completely adjust together.
Plus, having ample time for socialization early on will set them up for success if you decide to take them to doggy daycare or a dog park, with other puppy friends to meet!
Puppy Proof and Protect Your Home
While your puppy is still very young and curious in the new environment, it’s especially important to supervise them closely, and constantly.
Keep electrical cords, cleaning supplies, trash, food, medications, and houseplants completely out of reach. Take a look around and see if you can find any small objects that could pose a choking hazard, or sharp objects that could be dangerous, and put them away.
Don’t forget to check your yard as well! Look for any ways your puppy could escape in the yard such as gaps in your fencing or any garden beds they could get into. Make sure to keep the yard clean and free of pesticides or fertilizer treatments before they go out. There are MANY poisonous plants, so get the list from the internet and be sure these are removed!
If you must leave and you don’t trust your puppy alone in your home just yet, leave them safe in their crate if they’re crate trained. You can also look into a trusted pet sitter to stay with your puppy and even take them for a walk. This is a great option if you work long hours as well because puppies cannot “hold it” for long periods of time!
Give Your Puppy Their Own Quiet, Safe Space
It might take quite a bit of time for your puppy to understand their new environment and become fully adjusted. Thankfully, there are some easy things you can do to help speed up the process. The goal is to make them feel as comfortable as possible!
Start by providing your puppy with their own designated space to relax and go to when they need time alone or less noise. It’s ideal to give them their own specially designed room or at least a large area so that they can grow with the space. This leaves the option to gate off the area to avoid potty accidents around the house.
Sometimes, we forget how much a dog’s crate, bed, feeding station, and toys can take up space during all the excitement of adoption. If you don’t have enough space to accommodate their own area and belongings as they grow, consider taking advantage of your home’s equity to extend your square footage. Who knows, you may even find yourself getting another puppy one day and you’ll be thankful you have the extra space for two furry friends or more! They’re full of energy and ready to explore every nook and cranny. The last thing you want is both you and your puppy feeling trapped in a limited space
In their space, be sure to add some familiar scents! This could be toys or blankets from their previous living area, or even one of your own pieces of clothing to make them feel like you’re with them at any time.
Implementing small touches like these will especially help them get accustomed to their sleeping area, which means less whining and barking at night!
Follow a Structured Daily Routine
Whenever possible, do your best to keep a daily schedule with your puppy. Dog’s best understand when to have their alone time, naps, mealtime, potty breaks, and playtime with consistency.
When you establish a predictable routine, this will keep your puppy feeling safe and secure without the worry of something unexpected happening. If sudden occurrences take place more often than not, it could impact their mental health and possibly cause separation anxiety, which takes a long time to manage.
Introduce Essential Training & Grooming Early
The earlier you begin with training and grooming, the better! As each goes hand in hand, you’ll also be able to avoid more stubborn behavior now and when they’re an adult. Your puppy’s most critical time for learning is within 8-16 weeks during the developmental period. This is when training can have a significant impact on in-house behavior and socialization as they continue to grow.
It may not be easy at first, but with a repetitive pattern, the situation will stick in their head. Try your best with things such as brushing their hair and teeth, trimming their nails (tips only), and trying simple commands like “sit”, “stay”, and “come”. By continuously practicing, you’ll also be able to build a more trusting bond with your puppy quickly.
With time, patience, and a lot of learning experiences, you and your puppy will be living at home in harmony sooner than you think. Always remember, it all starts with the moment you bring them home and how you raise them in their youngest years! It’s more than puppy love with your new canine companion.
Edited by TOP DOG Barkery