With pet adoptions at an all-time high, there are a lot of dogs – both young and old – acclimating to their loving new homes. While it is a time for excitement and happiness, it can also be a bit scary and stressful for the new furry family member. Think about how we humans feel when we have to move; your new pup feels the same way! The good news is that with some pre-planning and plenty of patience, the homecoming can be the start of an amazing, happy life together. Here are 6 tips for helping your new dog settle in:
- Plan ahead. Prepare your home for the new arrival. Gather the supplies you’ll need, including food and water bowls, food, collar and leash, toys, and if you plan to crate train, an appropriate sized crate. Plan to adopt when you can be home for a few days so you can help ease the transition and get to know each other, while assuring the dog that you are there for the long haul. It helps too to establish ground rules with others in the house ahead of time, like who will walk the dog first thing in the morning, will the new family member be allowed on the couch, and reinforce the no feeding from the table, even when puppy dog eyes staring.
- Visit the most important site first. Upon arrival, take the dog to their toileting area immediately and spend plenty of time with them until they get used to the area and relieve themselves – with lots of praise, of course! A new environment with new people, new smells and sounds can derail previous housetraining, so be prepared to so some retraining and reinforcement.
- Set a schedule. Dogs thrive on the comfort of routines. Start, and stick to, a regular schedule of feeding, toileting, play time and exercise and bedtime. Even on Day One, the pup will need family time as well as brief periods of quiet solitary time.
- Provide good nutrition. When you pick up your dog, be sure to ask what they were fed and keep them on that same diet for a few days to avoid any digestive upset. Over time, you can then gradually switch them to new food or a different brand of food. As soon as possible, start adding in key nutrients from The Missing Link. A variety of formulas are available for dogs at any stage of life, from Puppy to Senior. Simply add the powder supplement to their diet to start them off on the right paw with a healthy balance of omegas, vitamins and minerals and probiotics. Just like everything else you are doing, go gradually. Start with a lesser amount than is listed in the feeding instructions then build up over a week or so to the full daily serving. This will give their system a chance to acclimate. By adding a loving spoonful of nutrition to their diet, you are gaining years of health and happiness together.
- Visit your Vet. Make sure your new furry family member gets to the Veterinarian soon for a full review of any health and wellness concerns. Common issues that can accompany your pup from a rescue shelter include fleas, intestinal worms, heartworm and kennel cough. All easily treated when caught early.
- Be patient! Especially during the first few days, be calm and quiet around your new pup and try to limit the level of excitement. Just being there is exciting for them already! Many people say they didn’t experience their dog’s true personality until after several weeks of being adopted. Give your pup time to get to know you, settle in, feel comfortable, gain trust, and soon that perky pup will have you wrapped in unconditional love and furry fun together.
About The Author: Marjorie Murray