If you’re anything like the 23 million Americans that brought a new dog into their family during the pandemic, chances are you’re planning on bringing a new canine companion into the home. In this article, we’ll go through 5 elements you should consider before bringing your new dog to your home.
Let’s start with the basics. Is your home ready for a new dog? If you already have existing pets, it’s important to consider how your current furry friends will feel about the new addition. Make sure you have plenty of dog bowls, leashes, and crate (or bedging) areas carved out for each animal. If you’re worried about a fight over resources, it’s never a bad idea to have additional water bowls and dedicated feeding areas.
Another element to consider is the personality of your dog. If the breed you’re adopting is prone to running, digging, or general escape artist behavior- you’ll want to make sure you have your doors secured and a sturdy fence in place.
Your work schedule
No dog does well in isolation. Dogs need to be walked, especially if you’ve gone for a herding or hunting breed. Make sure that you have a schedule in place with your family, friends, or if needed- hire a dog walker to ensure that your dog is getting plenty of mental stimulation.
How will you train your dog? Moreso, what does your lifestyle look like? It’s important to set the ground rules from day 1 when bringing home your pup. Beyond the basics of leash training,, each dog owner has a different idea of what a ‘trained dog’ looks like.
Consider what a trained dog means to you and your family. From there, educate yourself. Read up on crate training pros and cons, what your breed of canine responds well to, and how you’ll keep both of you accountable.
Do you have an existing vet your other pets see? If not, get referrals from fellow dog owners and do your research on both the vet and the facility. Establishing a relationship with your vet early on means a healthier dog. Managing health with regular check ups and keeping shots up to date help prevent long term health issues.
Your plan for Day 1
Contrary to popular belief, it’s better to handle taking the dog home with minimal excitement. You’re removing her or she from the environment they’re familiar with, which means you should excuse calm energy. Instead of running home, first take a long walk with the dog before giving the dog a tour of the home. Do not attempt to establish rules or correct behavior in the first tour, it’s important for the dog to form a sense of security.
From there, you can show your dog the feeding and bedding areas and finally, remove their leash. Animals can take a few days to warm up to a new environment and even longer to establish true security. Observe your dog’s behavior and gradually introduce training once they’re behaving securely.
Have you brought home a new dog ? What did you wish you’d done differently? Share your story in the comments.