Bringing a new, cute, cuddly puppy home is an exciting time for everyone. But it can also be an overwhelming time for your new furry friend, so it is vital that you welcome him into the family very carefully. In the stressful experience of suddenly being surrounded by a new environment and by new people, it’s important to make your puppy feel safe, welcome and comfortable.
Here are our top tips to try and make this transition as smooth and positive as possible for your new pup – remember every pup is different and may respond differently, depending on their temperament…
Reduce change where possible
It is important to first remember your puppy has just left behind both his mother and his littermates. He is now faced with having to adjust to a new home full of different smells and different faces. He will get used to this, but on his first day, he definitely needs a little time to adjust.
Even if you plan on changing your puppy’s diet further down the line, it is important not to make too many changes at once. Familiar food will be a comfort to your puppy in this new strange place, so regardless of your future preference, try to keep him on the same food he has been eating with his breeder/rescue centre for at least a week.
Give them room to breathe
Your puppy will love to know that you are close by and there to protect them, but it’s also important to let them explore their new environment and let them know they have a quiet space to go to if they need it.
When you get home, show him around his new home. Limit this to one or two rooms initially so as not to overwhelm him and remember, you must supervise him. You’ll be amazed at the amount of mischief a puppy can get themselves into. Also, don’t forget to introduce them to their own space, and if possible, use a blanket from their old bed to put in their new one so it feels familiar.
Remember, puppies don’t need to be taught when bedtime is, so let them sleep as and when they need to. TOP TIP: we’ve found that placing a ticking clock close to pup’s bed helps them to relax as the rhythm of the ticking sound is similar to mum’s heartbeat.
Create a puppy-proof area
Although the house should be well prepared for your new companion, providing your puppy with a secure room or creating a pen that isn’t around any furniture and safely away from mischief will buy you some much-needed peace of mind.
Depending on the breed, your pup will most likely want to chew, scratch and generally explore. Be sure to remove anything that you don’t want to be damaged and indeed, can cause harm to your new family member. Instead, provide your puppy with new toys to explore. Giving them a nice range to play with will make them feel less lonely and will divert their attention away from missing their litter mates.
Be prepared for accidents
Before you bring your puppy into the house, take him outside to his allocated toilet spot and allow him to relieve himself. It is important to immediately begin the toilet training routine as this will help him learn quicker.
Puppies don’t develop real bladder control until they are a few months old. Regardless of previous habits, your house will be a brand-new environment and they will need to learn where the boundaries are. Placing puppy pads close to doorways can help to train them to get closer to their outside toilet area.
Introduce other pets slowly
Puppies often have a lot more energy than other household pets. If you have older dogs or cats, it’s a good idea to introduce them slowly and let your puppy get used to the environment before also learning how to behave around less enthusiastic animals.
When your puppy is ready to change food, why not consider Vitalin’s Puppy Food? Formulated as a nutritionally complete and balanced recipe to help maximise puppy’s growth and development, our hypoallergenic and wheat gluten free food contains high quality protein from 100% British chicken, with rice and nutrient packed botanicals.