How to Acclimate Your New Puppy
Did you get a new puppy during the holiday season, or are you thinking of adopting soon? Here are some tips to make sure you and your pup are both comfortable in your home.
Be sure to plan ahead. Inviting a dog to live in your home can be a lot to handle. Puppy proof whichever rooms in your house you want the puppy to be. Move anything that could be chewed, climbed on, or ruined by accidents out of reach. Tie or tape up electrical cords, curtains, and hanging decorations. Prepare a place to sleep, like a bed or a kennel. Put lids on trash cans so the smell doesn't attract your dog.
Introduce the Family
It's important for new puppies to meet as many new and different types of people as possible. They need to get used to seeing tall people, people with beards, children, and people of different genders and races. Of course, try to introduce these people slowly, so that your new friend isn't overwhelmed. It's also important to socialize your dog to other animals. If you have other pets, you may start by introducing them into the room with your puppy while they are still in the crate. This way they can safely sniff each other out. Once your puppy has all of their vaccinations, it's also a great idea to drop them off for dayplay at Woof's! They can help teach your dog manners and they will love romping around with new friends!
Create a Routine
Start getting your puppy used to a day-to-day routine, and stick to it. Decide when it's playtime, when you will be going on walks, and when your puppy will have meals. This will help them get used to being alone for a period of time, and they will learn when to expect you home. Creating a routine is a great way to start setting boundaries with your dog.
Allow Alone Time
Although it will be tempting to spend all of your time with your puppy, it's important for them to get used to being alone as well. Especially if they will be spending time alone during the day while you are gone. They may whine a bit, but eventually they will learn to self sooth. You can put a blanket or a t-shirt that smells like you in their crate to help them relax.
Begin to Potty Train
Decide on a potty training command for your dog, and keep it consistent. It can be as simple as "Go Potty". Use this phrase every time you let the puppy out, and use positive reinforcement by petting them, saying "good job", or even giving them a treat when they go outside. Your dog will learn quickly to wait to go until they are outside, and may even establish their own command for you to let them out, such as standing near the door.
Stimulate Your Puppy
While playing with your puppy, be sure to touch their feet and ears. Brush their coat and get them used to baths, so their first trip to the groomers will go smoothly. You can even use an electric toothbrush to get your puppy used to the sound of electric nail trimmers. Your puppy and the groomers at Woof's will be glad that you've taken this step.
Find your Veterinarian
Choosing your vet is a very important step, and one that should not be taken lightly. Be sure to find a Dr. you trust. You may want to take your puppy to a checkup before you take them home. Just like you have to acclimate your puppy to your home, you'll want to acclimate them to the vet's office so they won't be scared to go back.
Remember your new puppy is a baby - so you should treat it like you would a baby or toddler. They are learning and exploring a new situation, and there may be some bumps in the road. Be patient and understanding, and reinforce positive behavior, rather than always punishing "bad" behavior.