The first impression is always important not only to us, human beings, but also to our pets. When you want to introduce a new dog into your home or to introduce your current dog to a new house or apartment, there are many factors that could go wrong.
New surroundings can be stressful, especially for younger puppies or for those which have a hard time dealing with separation and letting go of their previous accommodation. If you wish to make the most out of the first introduction and to make your canine pal feel as comfortable and safe as possible, you must focus on three steps – preparing your home, preparing the dog and then moving onto the introductory part.
1. Prepare your home
Stock up on all essentials like food and water bowls, sleeping area (dog bed, basket, blanket, basically anything that will do), dog food, treats, toys, waste bags, grooming supplies. After you have all of your essentials ready, it’s time to doggie-proof your home.
This means hiding all detergents, chemicals, toxic substances and possible chocking hazards. When a dog is introduced into a new home it will be curious and will want to sniff, touch and possibly lick everything that seems appealing enough. Transform your home into a safe and comforting zone for the new puppy.
2. Prepare the dog
Get a sturdy leash that allows the dog to move around and in the same time allows you to easily restrict too much movement. Purchase a suitable collar with ID tags. Make sure your canine pal isn’t stressed out, anxious, hungry or needs to potty before you bring it into the house or apartment. If the dog already feels comfortable enough around you, this will help it adapt to its new surroundings faster.
3. The introduction
Keep the dog on a leash when approaching your building. Allow it to sniff around the outdoor area in order to get familiar with the new scents and sights. After the pup has been properly introduced to the area surrounding your house or apartment, bring it to your door. Get it to sit down and walk through the door, then invite the dog to get up and to follow you inside.
Do not let the canine loose! Walk slowly from one room to another and keep the pup on the leash while allowing it to sniff around. It’s of intrinsic importance to not let go of the dog and to not allow it to roam everywhere. The canine is already overwhelmed by its new surroundings, so keep it on the leash and establish a slow, calm sequence by spending a few minutes in each room. Do not talk to the pet, unless it’s a short word in a soothing voice.
Give your pet some time to get accustomed to the new sights and smells before approaching each new room. Make sure there’s nobody home at that time. Your new pet is already excited enough and there’s no need to make the situation stressful by introducing it to strange people from the very beginning.
Once the dog has settled in, introduce it to your family. Do not allow them to pet the canine, hug it, play with it or show too much affection right away. It’s essential for the pup to learn how everybody smells and to grasp the idea that other people are going to be residing there too. Keep noisy and impatient children out of its reach, otherwise it might get stressed out.
Treat the dog with a small amount of food or a dog treat in order to make it associate the new home with a positive and rewarding experience. Do not shout, scold or punish it if it does something wrong. If the dog decides to scent-mark its territory by peeing where it’s not supposed to, simply say a firm “No” or take the dog to its designated potty spot and explain in a soft voice that it must do its business there. Any type of aggressive approach on your end will result in stress, confusion and possible aggression on the dog’s behalf.
Last, but not least, remember that each dog is unique on its own. It might take anywhere from several hours to several weeks for the pup to completely settle in.
Scared to introduce to your new puppy to your current dog? Click to find out how to do it the proper way.