Adopting a dog is a rewarding experience. But you need to remember that moving to a new home can be stressful for your new pet. It can feel anxious and might take time to adjust your home’s environment. This is especially true for puppies and shelter dogs who tend to be more fearful of their new home. Even senior dogs might require a few weeks’ time to settle in because they are used to living in a certain way.
However, with a little pre-planning and thought, you can make the transition easy for your dog. Here are a few tips that you can use to make your dog feel comfortable at home.
Tip #1 – Plan in Advance
The day you bring your dog home is going to be a crazy one! There will be a lot that you have to think about and do to make your dog feel welcome. Therefore, to make your dog feel comfortable at home, you must plan in advance.
This means that you need to cancel any appointments that you may have for at least 5 days. Ideally, you should take a few days off from work and dedicate all your time to your new friend. When you spend time with your new dog, it will start feeling more comfortable with you.
Tip #2 – Talk to Your Dog’s Previous Owners
A great tip to make your dog feel comfortable at home is by talking to its previous owners. If you are adopting a dog from a shelter, then you should speak to the shelter owner. An in-depth conversation will help you learn about your dog’s personality, temperament, likes, and dislikes. Once you have a good insight into what your dog is fond of, you will be able to work accordingly. For instance, if there’s a specific exercise that your dog enjoys, then you could engage in that. This will even help you bond with your new friend.
Talking to previous owners is extremely important when it comes to your dog’s diet. Dogs are creatures of habit and they get used to eating a particular kind of food. So, if you prepared a meal plan that is completely different from your dog’s previous diet, you will have put in extra effort to make the transition smooth. You could probably start by incorporating some elements of its previous diet in the new diet. This will help your dog get used to its new meal plan.
Remember, you will only learn such details by having a proper discussion with your dog’s old owner.
Tip #3 – Don’t Overwhelm Your Dog
You might have a rosy picture of what your life is going to look like with a dog. But let us warn you that it’s going to take a little time before the picture becomes a reality.
When you introduce your dog to its new home, you need to be patient and calm. Remember that at this stage you both are strangers to each other. If you have little kids at home, train them to keep a safe distance from the dog at the beginning.
So, when you bring your dog home, remain calm, and don’t overwhelm your new furry friend with too much affection. Welcome the dog into its new space with love but try not to shower it with too many hugs or kisses.
Tip #4 – Build a Private Space for Your Dog
This is an extremely important tip if you are bringing in a shelter dog or a small pup. A private space in your home will help your new friend feel relaxed and comfortable. This is also true for other dogs who like to take occasional breaks when they’re in a completely new environment. Some dog experts suggest that you use a crate for this purpose, but there is still plenty of room for creativity.
When you build this space, make sure that it is easily accessible to your dog. The best place would be a corner from where your dog can see everyone and know what is happening. This will help you make your dog feel comfortable at home even when you’re not around.
Tip #5 – Settle Your Dog into A Routine
Dogs love routine behavior so the quicker you settle it into a routine, the more comfortable it will feel. You can make your dog feel comfortable at home by taking the following steps:
· Having a fixed mealtime
· Going for walks at the same time every day
· Having a scheduled bedtime.
The routine should also include cuddle time, exercise time, and any other activity that your dog enjoys doing. A well planned out routine will help your dog feel relaxed and comfortable.
Tip #6 – Don’t Frighten Your Dog
When you add a dog to your family, it will take time to settle in. In this period, there might be some litter box accidents, breaking and chewing incidents, etc. Sometimes, your dog might even attempt to escape your house. Whatever happens, don’t lose your calm and remember your dog is still learning.
An important way to make your dog feel comfortable at home is to avoid punishing it when it does something wrong. If you hit or yell at your dog, it can start feeling scared of you. There are plenty of other tricks you can use to discourage unwanted behavior without hurting your dog. For instance, positive reinforcement is an excellent way to teach your dog how to behave properly.
Tip #7 – Make Sure Your Dog is Comfortable While You’re Away
If you’re a dog-parent with a full-time job, you will have to leave your friend alone for some time. this can cause your dog to suffer from separation anxiety. So, whenever you leave your dog at home, you should keep the TV or radio on. Make sure that you pick a channel that won’t scare your dog.
If your dog doesn’t like to have the TV on, you could probably keep a light on while you’re away. If this also doesn’t work out, you could hire a dog-sitter to watch your dog and keep it company.
You might initially find it difficult to make your dog feel comfortable at home. But once, you’re past that stage, we assure you that you will have the time of your life with it. So, don’t stress out and enjoy every moment that you spend with your new friend.
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