The first 24 hours with your new dog is an exciting one. Whether she’s an adorable puppy or a rescue full of personality, there are bound to be many cute moments - and many stressful ones. The most important things to remember are to stay patient and calm. Your new pup will take some time to adjust.
Some pre planning will also help make your dog’s transition into your home easier. By knowing what to expect, you can focus on the joys of your new family member, and be less worried about little accidents, behavior slips, and anxiety that you will resolve with your dog in time.
Tips for Keeping a Dog Comfortable on Day One
Preparing for the first day with your dog requires a bit of consideration, and maybe a shopping trip. Address each of these points so you are ready to bring your dog home:
- Buy Your Dog Gear - Make sure you have what you need before picking up your dog. This includes food, bowls, a place to sleep, a leash, a collar, treats, and a few toys. Having to run to the pet store on adoption day adds more stress you don’t need.
- Keep a Calm Environment - You may want to show off your new dog, but wait a few days. The first day already has an abundance of new experiences for your dog. Let your dog slowly get to know the members of your household, including any pets, before introducing new ones.
- Have a Pet Safe Retreat - If you have things you need to do during the day, set up a pen or crate or gate off a room where your dog can rest for a few hours without needing to be watched. Add a bed or blanket for them to sleep on. And if you just need a break from puppy monitoring for a while, that’s alright too. Your dog can nap while you recharge.
- Set Your Routines - A defined housetraining and feeding schedule will help your dog acclimate more quickly as they will soon know what to expect in their day.
- Know the Household Rules - Are there rooms that are off limits for dogs or rules about chewing furniture? Consider these boundaries ahead of time and enforce them from day one. You’ll be continuously monitoring your dog while they are roaming so you can stop any unwanted behavior early on.
Even with these steps, it will still take some time for you to get used to living your dog and your dog to feel at home with you. Some older dogs can take several months, and puppies will need time to learn. Stay patient and keep up with your training and your dog will soon be an irreplaceable part of the family.