As you’ve probably read, the pandemic has made puppies a hot commodity. More families than ever are bringing home man’s best friend.

It’s a big decision, one we know that serious and intelligent animal lovers do not take lightly. Getting the right pooch for you and your family often requires a lot of research. And it can be an art as well as a science.

While most of the focus is on the pup himself, many people overlook getting their home ready for the new family member. For the dog, moving to a new home can be an overwhelming, bewildering and even a scary experience. Here are some tips that will not only make your dog happier and more comfortable, but also ensure that your home remains (almost) damage free from your new four-legged dynamo!

Make it a Slow and Gentle Transition

As mentioned above, moving to a new home can be traumatic for a young pup. Imagine if you were suddenly yanked out of the only home you ever loved and now had to share it with loud, overpowering beings that are ten times the size of you! That’s what it feels like for a young dog that suddenly has humans staring down over him, showering him with attention.

Keep your interactions low key and fairly quiet at first. Maybe introduce one family member at a time, one per day. And wait a couple of weeks before inviting friends over to see the new addition. Yes, they all want to see the new pup. But tell them to be patient. They’ll get their chance!

Introduce His Crate

There is a school of thought that a crate is the equivalent of “doggie jail”. We have to respectfully disagree. Dogs instinctively look to den, and a crate will feel like his own personal room, his safety space. And this will make the training process much easier for you and less stressful for him.

Make sure the crate is big enough for your pup to stand up and turn around in comfortably. Pack it with chewy, delicious treats, as well as a nice, fluffy blanket. Your dog will associate the crate with fun and comfort. Never use the crate as punishment!

How long should you crate your pup? That often depends on a variety of factors, including type of dog, temperament and medical history. A good rule of thumb regarding the number of hours to crate a new puppy? Keep the number similar to his age in months. So a five-month old puppy should not be in his crate more than five or six hours per day.

Start Your Training Immediately

The two most essential forms of training are socialization and house training. The earlier you start, the faster your dog will get comfortable with other animals and people. And there’s a better chance to preserve that expensive rug!

Training and discipline are good for dogs. They need structure and order. If your pup does something he shouldn’t, let him know immediately. Just don’t blow your stack. Be calm, but firm and use a stern voice, letting him know he misbehaved. On the flipside, make sure that you praise him when he does well.

Create A Routine

Not only is a routine good for your pup, but it’s also very reassuring. This helps tremendously with house training. Create a firm schedule for walks, meals, bathroom breaks, and exercise and do your best to stick to it. A routine makes for a happier pup; when he knows the big walk is going to be happening at sunrise, he will be very eager to spend that time with you. This routine will help you bond with your buddy, too.

Be Patient

Remember that life for your new family member suddenly became very, very different. There’s lots for the little guy to take in! Give him time to adjust; soon he will turn into your most loyal, most reliable and loving friend. Take our word for it- your patience will be rewarded!

 

Every day is a perfect day to bring home a new pup. But did you know what Tuesday, March 23 is National Puppy Day?

Of course, on this day we want to celebrate puppies. But this day also raises awareness of orphaned pups around the country, as well as the horrors of puppy mills. We can not ask you emphatically enough- please DO NOT patronize puppy mills! Your best bet for a health puppy is always going to be a shelter.