Wednesday, December 22, 2021

What to Expect the First Week You Bring a New Dog Home


Family pets offer so many wonderful benefits and will be the focus of many great memories. Having a pet, particularly one that is hands-on like a dog, can help teach kids responsibility, empathy and can help keep them active. They aren’t, however, easy. You need to be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into training and caring for your new pet. With the right structure and discipline (and, of course, lots of love and care), your pet can and will become a beloved member of the family.


That first week can be a huge shock for anyone as you attempt to readjust your schedule and acclimate to being a dog owner. Experienced dog owners are well aware of the struggles and challenges that the first week poses as both the puppy and you adjust to each other, but new dog owners can be thrown for a loop. If you are a new dog owner, know what to expect during that first week and how to make the most out of it:


1.   Socialize Your Pup with the Family


Your pup may be shy when he first comes into your home and may not be as active or as playful as you were expecting – and that’s normal! They’re in a new house, around new smells, and surrounded by new people. Simply coax your puppy into playing with you and to try out their new toys, and for the best successfully the first week, start a new routine right from the start, so your puppy learns what to expect from the get-go. You’ll want to continue to introduce them to as many things as possible from day one throughout their puppyhood to socialize them properly.


2.   Introduce One Room at a Time


Puppies are curious, by they can also get overwhelmed very quickly (and get in trouble if you take your eyes off of them). Choose one room that your puppy can roam around in first, and then as they get older, you can expand your home more and more.


3.   Sign Up With Your Local Vet


Within that first week, you should find and sign up to your local vet. The best option may be the closest, or if that nearby choice doesn’t offer all the services a pup needs (from preventative and wellness care to surgery), then you may want to expand your search radius. You want a vet like Orting Animal Hospital, which offers every service you could need for your puppy and the hands-on experts to care for their health. Book an appointment as soon as you can to get your pup checked out, microchipped, and start their first round of vaccinations.


4.   Start Training on Day One


It’s never too early to start training, especially potty training. It will take time to learn your pup’s specific tells, but a good framework to start with is to take them out regularly, particularly after they wake up from a nap. By taking them out pre-emptively, you associate going to the bathroom with the outdoors.


Obedience training can also be started early, and in fact, should. Go over the house rules that you want to set for your new dog and clear it with everyone in the family. Consistency is the key to a happy puppy and a happy family, and you can start this training from day one by setting up your puppy for success.


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