As we discussed before, a new dog can be a great way to celebrate the holidays with your family as long as you’re committed to being a loving dog family. Dogs can lighten up any room; studies have shown that a dog’s presence can help relieve stress and can even increase a person’s quality of life. But before your new dog can brighten up your day, it may take a little time for him to acclimate to his new surroundings.
It’s best to have all your supplies prepared before you bring your dog home, so in the week leading up to his arrival, be sure to purchase toys, cleaners, waste bags, food, etc. On the day of his arrival, arrange to bring him directly home from the shelter or his original location. Here are a few other tips to make the next few weeks a little easier on everyone:
Take your time while introducing him to new family members. It’s tempting to immediately pet and hug a dog when he arrives at your house, but he needs a little time to gather all the new smells and experiences. For the first day especially, let the dog approach you. Stay calm and offer treats for good behaviors. Keep a close eye on small children who may be a little too eager for your furry friend’s tastes.
Utilize the leash as much as you need. Leashes are great tools for guiding dogs through new and strange experiences. On the first day, you may choose to keep your new dog on a leash as you give him a tour through your home and backyard. Give your dog plenty of outside time and re-establish potty time procedures, even if he has been potty trained before.
You may want to crate train for a while. Crate training gives your dog his own safe space when he’s overwhelmed and helps to establish boundaries and routines. Make sure the crate is comfortable with a bed and blanket and a few toys, as well as access to water. You can use the crate to establish bedtime and feeding times, as well as to teach your dog which areas are on- or off-limits.
Above all, patience is the most important thing while your dog is getting used to your home. Especially if he’s coming from a shelter, he’s been through a lot of stressful emotions leading up to his arrival at your home; with a little time and a lot of love, he’ll feel right at home. When establishing your dog’s routines, be sure to include a highly nutritional diet at feeding time. To learn more about human grade dog food, contact us or browse through our site.