How to Welcome a New Dog into Your Home
Dogs touch the lives of millions of families up and down the UK. Getting a new dog bring so much joy to their owners, it’s an exciting time for everyone involved. However, it should be managed appropriately, so nobody gets too overwhelmed. Whether it’s a puppy, rescue dog or a dog visiting your home for the first time, here are some times to help you welcome a new dog into your home.
Create a Safe Space for Them
Giving your dog their own safe space to relax in is a great idea. This may be a crate in the spare bedroom or their own dog bed in a quiet nook of the living room. It’s completely up to you. If you’re adopting a dog, just remember they may not have previously been crate trained. If you choose this method it may take a couple of weeks for your dog to get used to their new den.
It’s important you communicate with everyone in the family that your dog’s new safe space is just for them. It’s an area they can retreat to when they’re feeling overwhelmed and appropriate boundaries should be in place. This is particularly important for families with children. Your dog may not want to play with them all the time, so make sure kids understand to leave them alone if they’re in their safe space. After all, we all need a rest from time to time!
Give Them Time to Settle In
Welcoming a new dog into your home is understandably an exciting occasion. You’ve waited weeks to greet them, bought plenty of toys and treats and are itching to get out and explore new walks together. It’s important to remember your new dog’s life has just been turned completely upside down, particularly for new puppies and rescue dogs. Everything is new to them and they can easily be startled or overwhelmed.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and novelty of your new four legged friend. However, it’s important to give them the opportunity to settle in at their own pace. Some dogs thrive in new environments, while for others it scares them. Ensuring they remain in their comfort zone will make their transition to a new home much easier for them.
Consistency is Key
Many dogs thrive in a set routine. It adds predictability to their day and they know what to expect next. Appropriate boundaries and parameters also enable a strong bond to form between you. Consistency is key to help your dog learn how to behave in your home. Even more so if you own multiple dogs!
It’s a good idea to agree the household rules before you welcome a new dog into your home. Will they be allowed on the furniture? What time will they have their meals? Where are they going to sleep at night? Once you’ve agreed the rules, it’s important you stick to them. The same boundaries should be maintained by everyone in the family, including children. You don’t want to confuse your dog with different routines and rules from human to human.
Introduce Everyone Calmly
It’s likely there’s a long list of people eager to meet your new dog. Especially if you’ve been looking forward to their arrival for a while! As we already know, it can take a while for your dog to feel truly settled and until then, they can be easily overwhelmed. Keep new introductions to a minimum at first, ideally to the key people in the household first. There’s plenty of time for them to meet your friends once they’re feeling a little more confident in their new surroundings.
The same goes for other household pets. You need to make sure you introduce them to your new dog gradually too. Remember not all dogs are keen on cats or small furry animals at first. It may take a while to build a positive relationship between them. In the meantime, ensure all interactions between pets are closely monitored, to prevent disagreements. This will ensure all members of the household are behaving appropriately with one another.
How do you like to welcome a new dog into your home? Let us know in the comments!