Getting a new dog, or a dog for the first time, is always exciting and fun. Bringing a new member of the family home is a big cause for celebration, and it’s important that things go well so that the new family member feels safe and secure. Even experienced pet owners can run into some complications settling a new dog into their lives and families and getting them on a schedule that works for everyone. So, to help you have the smoothest transition possible, we’ve outlined some of the most common challenges faced and some simple suggestions you can use to make things easier.
Getting on a Schedule
Don’t be scared by the thought of having to set a schedule for your new friend. He will start to feel loved and at home quicker if he knows what to expect and when. Things like feeding at the same time every morning and night and taking him out for walks at roughly the same time of day will make him feel secure and get him settled quicker into your family’s routine. Show him where his bed his and which toys are his. Keeping his stuff together by putting his toys on or around the bed will help him to quickly recognize, “These things are mine.” Set a routine that works with your schedule and is easy to keep so that everyone involved is happy and stress free.
Introducing to your current Dog
The first meeting of your new dog and your current dog is very important. It should take place in a neutral space like a park so that your current dog doesn’t feel overly possessive of his home before he gets acquainted with the new dog. Keeping both dogs on a loose leash will help you and a friend or family member to remain in control of the situation while giving them the freedom to go where they want and do what they feel like doing. Keep the energy low and positive and let them sniff, make noises and get to know each other in whatever way they want to. Don’t be afraid of this meeting or what will happen, and speak in soothing tones to keep everyone calm.
Introducing to your Kids
Every child wants a dog to love, pet and play with, so bringing home a new little buddy for your child can be very exciting and high energy. However, when bringing home a new dog and introducing him to your kids, keep in mind that the dog isn’t sure what’s happening, and a calm environment is what will suit the meeting best. Even though your child will be understandably excited, explain to your kids how important this first impression is and that loud noises or quick movements might cause the new dog to be afraid. It’s also a good idea to keep your new dog on a leash during this first meeting, just to make sure you are in control if the reaction is not immediately what you would want. But remember, this is an exciting moment, so let your happiness and affection for the new dog shine through!