Bringing a new dog home is a very exciting time, but there is also a lot to think about when it comes to settling them into their new environment.
Our friends at Battersea have pulled together a handy list of things to consider, so you can help your new dog feel right at home.
Start as you mean to go on
If there are any rules around the house that you want your new dog to stick to, it’s important that these are put in place from the start. It’s harder to break a habit than create a new one!
If you’re not keen on having your dog on the sofa, for example, it’s a good idea to make that a rule as soon as they arrive. You can play with them and sit with them on the floor instead to show them that there are better places to have fun and get a fuss.
Give them a safe space
Your dog will need a chance to get used to their new home in their own time. A good way to help them feel more secure is to give them their own quiet, safe space where they can have the option to go off on their own to have some chilled downtime. You could make this from an open dog crate with some blankets over it, or just a comfy bed somewhere quiet.
This space should be somewhere away from people, in a place where they can be safely left alone. Make sure everyone in the household knows that when the dog is in their quiet space, they should be left alone and not disturbed.
Give them time
When you arrive home for the first time, some more confident dogs may walk in like they’ve lived there forever and immediately make themselves at home, while others may take a bit longer to adjust, especially in the first few days.
The most important thing is to allow your new dog to settle into their new routines and new environment at their own speed. They may want to spend some time alone, to begin with, and that’s fine, so try not to take it personally. Trust that your dog will let you know when they are ready to come and say hello, and that they will probably feel better and more secure around you because you’ve allowed them to settle in their own time.
Don’t force them to interact
First impressions count, and those first few days having your dog at home are an important time as you start building their trust and help them get used to their new environment and routine.
Like the start of any good friendship, you need to get to know each other, and you should keep the pressure off them and don’t expect them to do too much straight away.
Getting a dog is exciting, so it’s only natural to want to show them off, but they need a chance to get used to their new family and their new environment first – ideally, you should hold off any visitors for at least the first few days.
Train them from a puppy
If you’re bringing home a puppy, or a younger dog, remember that they will eventually get bigger, so don’t encourage any behaviours or habits that you would be unhappy with when they are fully grown. A training class is a great way to learn and understand the basics, for both you and your dog, and they can be pretty fun too!
Dog-proof your home as much as possible
It can be helpful to think of your new dog as a small, furry child in terms of what they will be able to reach and have access to around the home.
Make sure toxic foods and plants, and any harmful substances and items are stored or locked safely away from curious noses and mouths. If there are parts of the house that might be less safe for a dog, or you would just rather they didn’t have access to, you can use baby gates or keep certain doors shut to stop your dog from exploring too far.
Canine Cottages and Battersea
Canine Cottages and Battersea are continuing to partner in 2022. By sponsoring Battersea’s pet advice email service, The Battersea Way, Canine Cottages is helping to promote responsible pet ownership. Sign up to the emails to receive more advice and tips from Battersea experts.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.