As a pet owner, one of the most exciting events you can look forward to is bringing home a new puppy. But before doing so, it’s important that you and your home are ready to accommodate a new bundle of fur in the family, so you won’t get too stressed out. Aside from that, if you already own other dogs at home, it’s also crucial to prep and introduce the new pup to them.
From puppy-proofing your home to letting your other pets properly meet the new puppy for the first time, here’s a guide on how to bring your new pup home for the first time.
How to Prep Your ‘Top Dog’ Before Bringing a Puppy Home
Aside from the initial excitement, better prepare your money and checklist for your new puppy. Also, make sure to keep an eye on your things, and we mean, every single item in your home that your puppy could possibly chew on. Having to take care of a puppy also requires tons of patience and understanding, since your puppy has just been taken from their mother and siblings. They will find themselves in an unfamiliar environment, so it’ll take them a bit to get used to their surroundings, and it’s your responsibility as their pet owner to make this transition as smooth and easy as possible.
Consider Your Current Dog’s Temperament
Is your current dog territorial? It may be a bit difficult to let your senior dog get close to the new puppy if they are. If they’re the type of dog that throws their weight around and changes in behavior when meeting other dogs or animals, they may cause harm to your new pup. On the other hand, if your senior dog is a small breed, be careful not to let the new puppy play around with them too much as they might harm one another. Always check how your current dog and new puppy are interacting and behaving around each other. Do your research to see if their breeds can get along well with each other.
Find a Neutral Territory and Watch Your Dog’s Behaviour
When letting your current senior dog meet your new puppy for the first time, find a neutral ground for them to meet on. It should be a place that’s a bit far from your house and not in front of it. Bring them both to an empty court, a garden, an empty park, or your neighbour’s grounds (with permission, of course). Avoid noisy areas and places with other dogs.
You can start by walking them together to familiarise themselves with one another before they reach the meeting area. Then, keep them both on the leash and let them interact with each other. Gauge both dogs on their reactions, let them sniff one another and greet each other. Make sure to check for their behaviour or posture, such as raised fur, growling or baring their teeth. You can gradually let them get closer to one another until they’re comfortable enough to interact without the leashes. Some dogs may warm up faster than others, so you can follow their lead and let them be familiar with one another.
Another alternative would be to let them interact with a fence in between them to gauge their reactions. Once they’re more comfortable with one another, you can walk home together and let them play together first in your backyard or front yard. All throughout they should be comfortable and friendly with each other. If any changes in behaviour, separate them immediately. Gradually, you can take the new puppy inside with the senior dog. Make sure to always look for positive signs during their interaction and to always keep an eye on them. Keep them apart if you’re not present.
Introduce the Puppy to His New Home and Family
If you have other dogs in the house, do the same steps above, so they can gradually become more comfortable and friendly with one another. Before you let your puppy inside, make sure you’re done preparing and puppy-proofing the place. When letting your puppy into your new home, limit the spaces he can explore first. You can assign a space or room where he can stay, and that’s where you can also set up his puppy crate.
When introducing your new puppy to other family members, especially children, make sure they’re handling the puppy well. Since your puppy is still getting used to you and new people, try not to jostle and stress them out too much. You want to make sure your dog is comfortable at all times.
Start Crate and Potty Training
Once you set up the place where you can place your crate, start crate training right away. You can also start potty training as well. You can lure your puppy into the space with treats and reward them with positive reinforcement. The crate should be big enough for your puppy to move around comfortably and their sleeping area is set up. You can also add in toys that they can play with and chew on. Then, separate the feeding area by putting it on the other side of the crate. Provide your puppy with fresh water at all times and appropriate amounts of food during their feeding schedule.
When doing the potty training, let your puppy poop and pee in their designated potty area. Take them out to do their business every morning, after each meal, and before bed. When they’re done pooping or peeing, make sure to reward them each time with a treat and lots of praise. Avoid punishment if they make a mistake inside the house and make sure to take them outside on time.
Decide On The House Rules
You can decide on the house rules on what is appropriate for your new puppy. For example, if they can be on your furniture, bed, or couch. Otherwise, if they’re not allowed, make sure to establish that from the get-go. Puppies are eager learners and are natural pleasers, so they are willing to follow the rules, just as long as you are consistent about it. You can decide on these house rules with your fellow family members that you want to establish for your new puppy to follow.
The anticipation of bringing home a new puppy to your home can be exciting for pet owners. Just be sure to have everything ready for your puppy to easily adjust to and to lessen your whole puppy training experience. This includes prepping how to introduce your new puppy to your current and senior dog/s. The general rule is to not rush these things and to gradually introduce them to your new puppy. It applies to crate training, potty training, establishing new rules, and introducing them to other members of your family. Remember to be consistent and patient!