The first day is the most important in your long term relationship with your dog. This is the day your dog comes into a brand new environment completely different from its previous life at a shelter or breeder. Here’s a few steps you should take as a new owner to make your dog’s transition to your home as smooth as possible.
If this is your first dog, then you’re going to have to do some shopping. Even so, these supplies will go a long way for the both of you.
A dog crate: This is one of the most important items to have in your household. For older dogs, the crate is a comfort zone until they become familiar with the house. It’s invaluable as a housebreaking tool for puppies.
Food and water bowls: Plastic bowls are cheaper, but more likely to warp due to chewing. Metal Bowls are resistant to tough chewers and easy to clean.
A Collar, leash, and tags: Depending on where you live, identifications and vaccination tags are required by state law. In addition, keeping both tags on a fitted collar or harness will help identify your dog if it is lost.
Pet Gate: Using a gate will assist with your dog in the housebreaking process. A gate also keeps your dog out of important areas of your house.
Make an area just for your new dog
This is where your crate and pet gate will come in handy. Section off a quiet place in your home for your dog. This quiet area is for making your dog acquainted with your home little by little.
Dog Proof your home before you get it
This is especially essential for puppies. Dogs are naturally curious and will eat or chew anything that might fit their fancy. For larger dogs, make sure to keep counters clear and your garbage cans secured.
Secure it for the ride home
Make sure when leaving with your dog to secure it with restraint such as a dog fitting seat belt. An ideal item would be a crate if it fits in your vehicle.
Make sure it’s on the same food the first night
When you bring your dog home, try to keep them on the same food that they were eating at the shelter or breeder. Some breeds have sensitive stomachs. This is doubly so after a stressful situation such as moving or the first few nights at a new home. Keep the same food first and mix new food in slowly.
Establish a routine
Establishing a routine is by far the most important thing for a happy dog. Dogs are creatures of habit and will thrive on regular sleeping, feeding, and walking schedules.
Bringing your new dog home is a thrilling experience. Making your dog comfortable on their first day will jump start a lifetime of friendship.