Taking Puppy Home

The first week with a new puppy is exciting, but it can also be challenging at times. Follow these tips to ensure that the first week with your puppy is as fun and productive as possible.

Week one workout

When you bring home a new puppy, there inevitably needs to be some time for adjustment. But in this first week, you can lay the foundation for a long and happy life together and make the transition as easy as possible for everyone involved.

With any luck, you'll have planned ahead, so you'll have all the supplies, food, and toys you'll need for your new arrival.

In addition, your house should be completely puppy-proof. So now all you have to think about in your puppy's first week are the following handy hints to make the experience as stress-free as possible for both.

Make time for your puppy

The best time to bring your new puppy home is at the beginning of a weekend. If possible, take a few days off to give you time to acquaint your puppy with its new home and begin puppy training.

Name your puppy

Agree on a name ahead of time and make sure everyone uses it all the time when talking to your puppy. This will help him recognize his name and avoid confusion.

Take your dog to the vet

Take your new puppy to your vet as soon as you can. Bring any immunization or other health information you may have received when you got your dog.

Make sure others understand your dog's needs

Once in his new home, your puppy will take time to adjust to strange new surroundings and people. Children can become especially excited, so explain to them that their new friend needs time out for naps and show them how to care for your puppy and play nicely.

Puppy feeding tips

It is a good idea to bring home the pet food that your new puppy had been eating to make the transition to a new home as easy as possible. If you plan to switch foods, you can minimize digestive upsets by having enough of the old food available to make the change gradual. Always put the food in the same spot to establish a routine. If your puppy doesn't seem to be eating, try moistening the food with water to make it easier to eat. There is plenty more information on feeding puppies in case you have difficulties.

Be fair

Never hit your puppy, and never scold for something he did a while ago. Your puppy will have no idea what the problem is and will think you are angry for no reason. Instead, encourage the behavior you do want and discourage the ones you don't want as a more productive approach. Learn more about behavior issues and how to address them.

Get out with your puppy

Begin socializing your puppy as soon as your vet gives the OK. Take him out and gradually introduce him to new people and other puppies in controlled, safe settings. It is one of the most important things you can do for him. It teaches him to be a good citizen and gives him confidence and social skills.

Make introductions to existing pets

If you are bringing home a second puppy or already have other pets, be sure to introduce your new pet to resident pets in controlled situations. If the resident pet is a puppy, let them get to know each other on neutral ground where neither will feel the need to defend territory. Give each pet its own food dish and provide all pets attention to avoid competition.

Dos and don'ts

Don't bring home a new pet during busy times such as birthdays and holidays. The noise and confusion may frighten the pet, and family members are generally too busy with the festivities to devote adequate time to help the puppy become comfortable in his new home.

Do make sure your entire family knows how to act and agree on commands and rules. Complete cooperation from all family members is needed, as when a pet receives mixed signals, it can become confused and not know what to do.

Above all, do have fun – puppies of all ages love a good time! And when a puppy is having fun, it's a fair bet his owner is too.

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