How To Introduce A New Puppy To Your Family

  • 31/01/2018
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Getting a new puppy is always an exciting life event. However, you can’t just get a canine buddy and expect things to naturally play out without some preparation and planning. Before you bring your new friend home, here are some things to keep in mind that will help you successfully introduce a new puppy to your family.

Tips for When You’re Getting Your First Dog

1. Prepare everything your puppy needs beforehand.

Make sure you’ve already bought a dog bed, a crate, and a few toys to make it easier for the puppy to adjust to their new environment. If your new dog is a few months older, ask what the pup’s current diet is like and how often they were being fed so that you can buy the same food in advance—provided that the diet is a healthy one, of course. This will help prevent your puppy from getting stomach upset from unfamiliar food and irregular feeding schedules.

2. Puppy-proof your home

You don’t want your curious new pup to accidentally hurt itself by poking its nose into places it shouldn’t have been! Keep any dangerous chemicals out of reach, tape any loose electrical cables to baseboards, and remove any houseplants that could be poisonous to your dog.

3. Leash the puppy while showing them around your home

Don’t allow the puppy to freely run around the house, or else you’ll have to deal with pee and poo everywhere. The first place you should bring your pup to is their toileting area, so they can immediately remember it whenever they need to do their business.

What to Do if You Have Existing Pets

1. Always provide an escape route for your existing pet.

Your old dog or cat should have an off-limits zone, where they can retreat and recharge from interacting with the newcomer. Otherwise, your old pet may become so overwhelmed that they end up lashing out and hurting the puppy.

2. Reinforce good behaviour using treats and training.

Reward your new puppy for acting calm around your older dog or cat. On that same note, reward your existing pet for properly tolerating the puppy. If your pets keep slipping out of their collars, though, you could try buying a beautiful martingale collar. It’s specially designed to gently tighten evenly around your pet’s neck when pulled, preventing them from backing out of the collar. 

3. Prevent territorial behaviour by keeping them in different rooms.

At least do this in the beginning, when they haven’t been properly introduced to each other yet. This allows both old and new pets to get used to smelling and hearing one another without direct interaction. Feed them in different areas so that they don’t become territorial of each other’s food. Similarly, keep your old pet’s toys away from the puppy.

What to Do If You Have a Child

1. Teach your child how to handle the puppy.

Make them understand that puppies are not like stuffed toys that can take a lot of rough handling. If necessary, let the child practice petting a stuffed toy. Better yet, tell the child to try petting their own head or arm to get a better idea of how it feels.

 

2. Tell the child to use a soft voice when communicating.

Any type of high-pitched noise—including screaming—can startle a puppy and cause them to act aggressively towards a child. Encourage your child to practice enticing the puppy to approach them with a gentler tone.

3. Let the puppy come to the child, not the other way around.

Try enforcing a “no seats = no pets” rule. Encourage the child to sit down and allow the puppy to approach before petting them. Making the puppy sit still while the child lavishes it with excessive attention will only cause the pup to avoid the child.

A new puppy is a big responsibility, so it’s important to educate yourself before committing to your lifelong animal friend. Keep these tips in mind, and you’re well on your way to creating a harmonious relationship between your puppy and your family.

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