Getting a new dog is an experience that will bring you endless joy! But how long does it take for your new pup to settle in? Like us, our dogs also love having routines, so being consistent during the first few weeks of adjustment is important. Whether you just got a puppy or adopted an older dog, they’ll take at least a few days to adjust to their new home.
Here are some tips to help your new canine companion thrive in their new surroundings.
Preparing Your Dog’s New Home
Before bringing a new pet home, it’s best to prepare your home by creating a safe and comfortable room for them to live in. For example, don’t let your new dog sleep in the kids’ bedroom if you have children. It’s also important to be wary of any potential hazards around the house. If you’re bringing home a puppy or even just a small breed, they can get into very small spaces! To avoid accidents and injuries, make sure to:
- Close off gaps, such as those behind kitchen appliances and under furniture
- Block off open fireplaces using a screen
- Make sure all windows and external doors are closed
- Make sure electric cables are out of reach from your pup to prevent chewing
- Close toilet lids
- Remove any small ornaments or objects that your dog may swallow
- Remove any fragile items that could be knocked over, such as vases or reading glasses
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Always buy high-quality dog food. It will pay for itself in the first year or two. According to PDSA vet Anna Ewers-Clark, the best doggie diet should be a “high quality, complete, balanced diet designed specifically for your dog’s life stage.”
Feeding your dog homemade food is a healthy alternative and it will help prevent your dog from being hungry all the time and give you more control over what and how much your dog is eating.
Why not try out our recipe for healthy wild oats dog bones! A dog’s diet should consist of a variety of food, be sure to ask your vet to help you make the best choices. Also, make sure they have fresh water available at all times.
Dogs thrive on routine, which is why it’s important to establish one as soon as possible after adopting your new pup. You can help your new dog adjust to your home by feeding him at the same time every day, going outside for potty breaks at the same time, going for a daily walk at the same time, and going to bed around the same time each night.
Dogs are social creatures that need to be introduced to new routines slowly. Be sure to include some of your normal activities into the day during those first few weeks, so that your dog can adjust to what will eventually become his new routine.
You will always need to toilet train puppies, but an older adopted dog may also need some help. At first, you and your new dog are not going to be on the same schedule. Be prepared for accidents during the first couple of weeks as your new dog adjusts to its new home.
Your new pup might be eating more or drinking more water during the transition, which means he will need to go out more frequently. Make sure you take your dog outside at least every two hours, and reward them every time they eliminate outdoors.
Dogs are creatures of habit, so if they are accustomed to regular walks, they will appreciate the effort. One way to keep your dog happy is to take him on hikes or have him join you on a run. He will love the chance to explore new environments and spend some time off-leash.
Be sure to take your pup somewhere he can meet other dogs. Like us, dogs are social creatures. Meeting other dogs will teach your pooch how to interact with them and prevent aggression. Socialisation is also vital for a happy pup.
“The best way to fill your dog’s social needs is to get him out every day to mix with other dogs, or to get another dog,” says renowned dog behaviourist, Dr. Nicholas Dodman. “If you decide to get another dog, choose a compatible breed. At first, your dog may be upset with the newcomer, but after several days they should get along fine.”
Dogs love toys, and have a blast playing with anything they can get their paws on. Toys can help prevent your dog from developing behavioural issues, and provide comfort for them when you have to leave them at home.
Dogs don’t get bored of toys like cats do, so feel free to get creative with your dog’s toy box. However, be sure to carefully supervise during play to make sure they don’t chew anything they shouldn’t. Playing with your dog is a great way to bond with your dog, as he will start to associate you with fun!
Toys can provide great exercise, and food puzzle games can provide both physical and mental stimulation. It’s worth noting that puzzle games aren’t enough on their own for mental development. Studies show that dogs need human interaction alongside mental enrichment to thrive.
If your dog is taking longer than usual to adjust, that’s okay! Each dog is different and some are more cautious than others. When helping your dog adjust to their new life, remember that patience is key. Eventually your dog will feel comfortable in their home, and they’ll get there in time! If you’re still concerned, consult your vet or canine behaviourist for advice.6 Top Tips to Bringing Home a New Dog Click To Tweet