A Practical Guide to Introducing a New Puppy to Your Home
Being taken from the security of his mother and the company of his litter mates and brought into a new home can be traumatic for a new puppy. He’ll be disorientated and intimidated by the smells and sounds of this unknown place. Resident humans, dogs, and other pets will frighten him.
Here are some tips for introducing a new puppy which will make the transition as stress-free as possible.
- It is best to initially confine the pup to one room, rather than giving him the entire house to explore. This allows him to orientate and adapt more quickly.
- Provide food, water, toys and a comfortable bed, preferably in an enclosed puppy pen. Don’t isolate him though, give him plenty of company so he doesn’t become afraid.
- Newspapers placed on the floor will soak up any ‘accidents’ and also lay the groundwork for later house-training.
- Try to maintain the diet he had previously, feeding him the same food. Only try him on different food once he is settled in his new home.
- When introducing the puppy to a resident dog make the first introduction while the puppy is asleep. All later meetings should be supervised until the dog gets used to the presence of the puppy.
- Ditto for introducing a new puppy to a cat. First introductions while the puppy is asleep, and supervise later meetings. Dogs and cats can actually co-exist quite peacefully, but a boisterous puppy can easily annoy a cat. And if the cat strikes out with its claws it can seriously injure a puppy.
- Before allowing the puppy to explore the rest of the house do a walk through and make sure that the house is “puppy-proof”.
- Remove all breakable objects from areas the puppy can reach.
- Keep dangerous objects (like electric flex), and toxins (like household cleaners), out of puppy’s reach.
- Remove any objects that could be swallowed.
- Remove objects of real or sentimental value until a puppy is past his chewing stage (that includes your TV remote!).
- Keep all doors and low windows latched. And if you have a cat-flap, make sure that it too, is latched.
- Use dog doors to keep the puppy out of areas of the house where he could hurt himself.
Following these guidelines will make introducing a new puppy easy and stress-free.