It’s an exciting time when you’ve decided to open your home to a new k9 friend. You can’t help but think about all the fun you’ll have on your walks, the other dogs you’ll meet at the park and all of the snuggles you’ll have together on the couch. You want your new pet’s transition into your home to go as smoothly as possible, of course.
Here are some things you can do to help ensure your future four-legged pal’s comfort on the first day:
Be Zen! It’s a potentially stressful time with lots of changes for your new pal. Try to keep a positive and calm attitude. We know you’re thrilled about your new friend but too much excitement may be overwhelming for them at first. Consider using a synthetic “happy” pheromone spray such as DAP to make the situation more calm and relaxing for your pet.
Go for a walk! Before your bring your new dog into the house, put a leash on and take them for a long walk around the neighbourhood. This will help them learn some of the familiar smells and sounds nearby as well as drain nervous energy and help calm them once it is time to introduce them to their forever home.
Give a tour! Keeping the leash on, take your new dog and show them your home. Go slowly, from room to room, allowing them to smell and check everything out. Keeping your pet on leash the first time allows for some calm control of the situation and should help make it less overwhelming for your new friend.
Give a reward! After you’ve completed the leashed tour of your home, bring your dog to the area where their food and water dishes will be kept. Offer a treat and some fresh water at this time.
Give some space! Now it’s time to take the leash off and show your new pet where their special area will be. This area may be a corner in the kitchen with their bed, a spot on the couch with their blanket or wherever you think will make a good spot for them when they’re relaxing. Show your dog where you would like them to spend time when it is quiet or when you are out of the house. Don’t be surprised if your new furry friend settles into a particular area and ignores everyone for a little while – after all, it’s been an exciting day with lots of changes.