Bringing home your family's first dog is an exciting time for everyone. It is often, however, a bit frightening for your new pet who does not yet know you or your family. The need for an adjustment period is perfectly normal and is not cause for alarm. While your new friend is adjusting to your home, here are four things you can do to make the transition go as smoothly as possible.
Jump Into the Routine
Decide when you and other family members will feed and walk your dog as well as when it's play time. Your new dog will be more comfortable once she learns your household's daily routine and knows what to expect. The fastest way to acclimate to this routine is to live it. If you took time off to spend with your new pet, be sure to leave the house a few times for short periods so that your first day back to work isn't a shock.
Unless you've adopted a puppy, there is no way to know what type of history your new dog may have. It is possible that a previous owner mistreated your new companion and that could make things a little harder for you. Give your pup a little alone time every day and pay attention to how he reacts to objects and people. When introducing children, friends and neighbors to your new dog, instruct them to let the dog approach them and make the first move. Pushing a dog too far too fast may result in a bite. Use this same rule when approaching dogs you don't know. However, despite all the preventative work we do, it is still possible for accidents to happen. Have a personal injury lawyer, like those at Ahlander Injury Law, in the event that a dog bite happens.
Maintain Food Consistency
While it seems some dogs will eat literally anything, most don't respond well to sudden dietary changes. When you pick up your new dog, ask when he was fed last and what he was fed. Give the dog the same food she/he is used to when you get home. If this is not the food you prefer to offer, slowly transition your dog to new food by mixing it in with the old. This will help prevent digestive issues that could further stress both you and the animal. Consistent feeding reduces the odds of dealing with vomiting or diarrhea during your first days of pet ownership. Ask about the dog's toileting schedule as well and be prepared for a few accidents in the house.
Before picking up your new pet, it's a god idea to spend some time dog proofing your house. Make sure electrical cords are tucked out of reach and place indoor potted plants high. Check your fence for holes and weak spots, and make sure household chemicals are out of reach. Although housebroken dogs tend to get in less trouble than puppies, some dogs are delightfully mischievous. These spirited canines are a lot of fun, but you'll want to learn what type of trouble they like before they get into it so you can avoid problems.
Some dogs will bound in your front door, hop on the couch and make themselves at home. Other adoptees will need a little more time to adjust to their new surroundings. The key to a smooth transition is to pay attention to the dog and listen to what he is telling you. If your new pet needs a little space and time alone, don't be discouraged. Your new friend will bond with you and be your best pal soon. A little love and patience is all you'll need. A few treats probably won't hurt, either.