7 Ways to Make Your New Puppy’s Transition Easier
Bringing your new puppy home is certainly an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming for both you and your puppy. The new people, surroundings and rules can be quite stressful for your puppy. Remember that your puppy is just a baby and is away from his littermates for the first time. Some puppies have an easier time settling in than others, but there are ways you can help ease the transition. Below are seven ways to help ease your puppy’s transition and prepare for a fun and exciting life together.
Take It Slow
Avoid overstimulating your puppy by introducing him to too much too quickly. A sudden barrage of new people, places and scents can actually be stressful for your puppy. Introduce him to your home slowly, perhaps starting with just the room where he will sleep and eat. Gradually expand his surroundings until he is familiar with and comfortable in his new home.
Some puppies can be a bit slow to warm up to a new family, but do not be discouraged. Introduce your puppy to family members and friends one at a time and try to include plenty of one-on-one time. Let your puppy take the lead in showing you just how much interaction he is comfortable with for now.
Use a Crate
While a crate may look like puppy jail to you, puppies enjoy having a secure place of their own. Not only does the crate give your puppy much-needed security, it also keeps your puppy safe and out of trouble when you aren’t able to supervise. However, if your puppy has been sleeping with his littermates, adjusting to alone time in a crate can be stressful. Draping a light blanket over the crate can help make it seem cozier and more den-like.
If your puppy is very anxious at night, you may need to sleep next to the crate for a few days. Some puppies simply need a little extra reassurance during the transition.
Provide a Familiar Scent
When you bring your new puppy home, ask for a towel with the scent of his littermates on it. Dogs identify familiar things through scent, and the comforting scent of his littermates may be reassuring. Place the towel in his crate to help him feel safe in his new environment.
Give Your Puppy Space
Puppies are lots of fun, and it is hard to resist the temptation to play with your puppy at all times. However, it is a good idea to give your puppy some alone time to decompress. Some puppies need more space than others, so always follow your puppy’s lead. Your puppy may feel more like quietly chewing on a toy or exploring a puppy-proofed space on his own, and that is perfectly fine.
Be Careful With Diet Changes
If you are planning to change your puppy’s food, wait until he has fully settled into his new home before making changes. The transition to a new home can be stressful enough to cause diarrhea, and abrupt changes to diet can worsen the problem.
Set a Routine
Dogs thrive on routine, and setting a routine early can help your puppy transition to your home. Try to keep feeding and sleeping times, walks and potty breaks on a consistent schedule. Sticking to a routine will help your puppy know what is happening next, which can help alleviate his anxiety.
Approach your puppy’s transition with patience and understanding. Set clear rules, and use gentle redirection instead of harsh punishments. Always supervise your puppy, but know that some housetraining accidents and other mistakes will probably happen. Realize that some puppies simply take more time to settle in a new home, but you are already building a strong bond with your puppy that will last a lifetime.