With approximately 48,255,413 dog-owning households, America is a nation of dog lovers.
Buying or adopting a new puppy is an exciting experience. You’ve most likely been awaiting the arrival of your new canine companion for months (if not years!) and will be eager to welcome them into your home.
However, it’s important to plan for the first few weeks. Strong early routine-building will help your new puppy become settled and get accustomed to his or her new life. We’ve put together this helpful guide to point you in the right direction.
Read on and learn about what to do after getting a new puppy.
The First Day
The first day with your new puppy will be full of excitement. However, you must be careful not to overwhelm it. Here’s a rundown on the first day with your new dog:
Let Your New Puppy Explore
When you arrive home with your new puppy, the first thing it will want to do is explore its new surroundings. This means lots of running around, sniffing, and perhaps a little chewing.
If you don’t have other dogs, allow your new puppy to explore at their own pace. Attach a leash to your puppy’s collar and let them drag it around as they check out their new territory. Be sure to keep them out of harm’s way at all times.
Introducing Your Other Dogs
Make sure you take your other dogs’ needs into account before you buy or adopt a puppy. You need to make sure they are well socialized and won’t be too disturbed by the presence of a new dog.
If possible, let your dogs meet for the first time in a neutral place, like a neighbor’s yard or nearby green area. Ensure they are strictly supervised and give both dogs lots of praise when they behave well together.
The First Week
During the first week of owning a new puppy, they will become more outgoing and comfortable in their new environment. At this stage, your puppy will most likely be very playful, barking a lot, biting things it probably shouldn’t, and having accidents in the house.
Patience and consistency are critical during this time. Let’s look at some good practices for the first week of owning a new puppy:
Begin Training Right Away
Your new puppy wants to be a good boy or girl, but they make mistakes. Be patient but firm with your new puppy. You should use positive reinforcement to teach them basic house training and general good manners.
While they have short attention spans, eight-week old puppies can learn basic commands like “sit” and “stay.” Introducing these commands early puts your dog in an excellent position to learn more when they’re a little older.
A puppy trainer can help put your dog on the road to success. Check out these balanced, effective dog training classes for puppies today.
Let Your New Puppy Get Comfortable
Your new puppy will have chosen their favorite place in the house by now. This could be their crate, a dog bed, or under a table. Wherever it is, this is the place your dog feels most safe and content.
Ensure this area is made comfortable and available to your new puppy, and encourage them to sleep in the same spot every night.
Get Your Puppy Checked Out
When you get a new puppy, Making an appointment with a veterinarian for a comprehensive medical examination is a priority.
They will administer injections, carry out a fecal study to check for parasites or infections, and check the general health of your puppy. Vaccinations must be administered at specific intervals to work correctly, so don’t allow your puppy to fall behind schedule!
The First Month
After 30 days, your puppy will be well accustomed to its new home. Your patience and consistency up to this point will mean your puppy is starting to understand the rules and boundaries of the house.
Here are a few things to consider at the end of the first month:
Ongoing Pet Care
By now, your new puppy will have had at least one round of vaccinations, but depending on their age, more visits may be required before they’re fully vaccinated.
You should also start giving your puppy preventative medications to keep ticks, fleas, worms, and other parasites at bay. These are typically given to puppies on a monthly basis but consult with your veterinarian for more advice.
You should also talk to your veterinarian about sterilizing your puppy, microchipping, and insurance. Your veterinarian may also suggest specific treatments based on your puppy’s age, breed, and health.
Don’t worry if your other dogs aren’t getting along with the new puppy yet. It can take time for an adult dog to adjust to a young, lively puppy.
If your dog is having difficulty with the puppy, consider praising your dog and giving them a treat whenever the puppy comes close. This positive reinforcement method will help your dog associate the new puppy with good things.
As your puppy becomes more confident and outgoing, it’s time to channel its energies into worthwhile training and exercise.
The happiest puppies are well-trained and mentally stimulated. Keep up your puppy’s training to help them grow into a well-trained and obedient dog.
When your puppy reaches around six months old, you can begin formal dog training to build on the obedience and routine they’ve already learned.
New Puppy 101
When you adopt or buy a new puppy, making a plan for the first 30 days will make the experience more enjoyable for you both.
A gentle but firm approach, plus a lot of patience and love, is the key to integrating a new puppy as a valued asset to your family.
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