Bringing home a new puppy is a big undertaking. You have to ensure you are ready to make the puppy feel at home when it comes to live with you. There are several things you can do to make this happen. These five ideas should give you a good start.
1. Give the Puppy a Dedicated Space
Your puppy needs its own dedicated space. For most puppies, a size-appropriate crate is a good idea. Not only does this give the puppy a space where it can feel safe, it also gives you a place to confine the puppy while you are housetraining it.
You shouldn’t think that having a crate is a punishment for the puppy. In the wild, dogs use dens to help them feel safe. Since you aren’t likely to dig a den in your home, a crate is the next best thing for the puppy. The crate you choose should be big enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around. Be careful not to buy a crate that is too big because a too-large crate might work against your housetraining goals by giving the puppy too much space to do its business and get away from the results.
2. Offer Safe Toys
Safe toys that the puppy can’t choke on can help the puppy feel safe. Puppies will often become territorial over these toys, so you should make sure that you are handling them regularly to let the puppy know that even if a human touches the toys they are safe. Puppies that develop possession aggression can end up hurting people. Additionally, possession aggression can lead to food aggression, which is also a problem.
3. Snuggle Often
Giving your new puppy snuggles is a fun way to make it feel welcome. While it is tempting to just snuggle and not enforce the house rules, you need to find the balance between the two. Setting rules and providing discipline when necessary helps your puppy know you as the alpha dog. This can make your puppy feel safe and welcome since there is a pack order, much like what is present in the wild.
Remember that your puppy might have separation anxiety when you leave to run errands or go to work. This is common, so don’t be shocked if the puppy whines or cries when you have to leave. Putting the puppy in the crate might help with this since the puppy won’t be able to get into trouble while you are gone.
4. Provide Necessary Veterinary Care
Your puppy needs proper veterinary care to remain safe and healthy. Making sure that your dog is wormed, has vaccinations and is on a heartworm preventative such as a Trifexis chewable tablet. This is a good start to ensuring your puppy has a long and healthy life. Of course, you should also get your puppy vet care if it is sick or suffers from an injury.
5. Introduce the Puppy to Visitors
Your puppy lives in your home, while visitors don’t. When you have people over, make sure you introduce your puppy to them. This can make your puppy feel safe, and it can help with socialization. If your puppy seems anxious or overwhelmed by visitors, you might need to bring the puppy to its crate since that is the puppy’s safe haven in your home.