Your puppy will be entering a new environment—probably for the first time—so they want to feel safe and reassured. By preparing ahead of time and following these suggestions, your puppy’s transition into a new home will be as stress-free and uneventful as possible.
BEFORE PUPPY’S ARRIVAL
- Inside: Walk the house, viewing your place from a puppy-eye level. Child-proof doors, check for electrical cords that can be chewed, move objects to higher positions such as household plants, and put away anything they should not be putting into their mouths.
- Outside: Walk your yard and garage thoroughly. Put away any hazardous materials such as chemical cleaners, pesticides, fertilizers, and antifreeze. Seal off access to any dangerous places, making sure to check for any gaps if you have a fence. Check the mulch in any garden beds to make sure it is safe for pets. Cocoa bean mulch is particularly toxic to dogs.
- Schedule your puppy’s arrival for a day when you and your family will be home all day, in your normal routine, and no strangers are around.
- If you have children at home, speak to them before the puppy’s arrival as they will be too excited to sit when the big day happens.
- Children, especially, need to learn how to play with a dog, how to give consistent commands, and what rules to follow.
- If you have other pets, the new puppy should meet the other dogs on neutral territory and on leash. Before meeting a cat, your puppy should be exercised and calm. Some initial swatting is to be expected but monitor both animals closely and praise both for good behavior.
- Before bringing them into the house, introduce your puppy to their bathroom “spot” in the yard.
- Allow your puppy to explore the house, and check out their crate and new toys at their own pace. Reduce exposure to loud noises and frantic activity during this time so that they may adjust normally to their new surroundings.
Once your new puppy has settled in with your family, socialization will be a key part of their development. Check out these articles to better understand how to prepare your puppy to be comfortable with new people, dogs, and other species.