Bringing a new dog into your family is always exciting. A change of routine, more love and cuddles, and yes, a little more work. But it is all worth it. There is definitely a period of adjustment for family members both human and furry alike. That’s why we have some great tips for you for when you are ready to introduce a new dog to the family.
First, prepare your home
You will need to dog proof your home and get it ready for your new dog. Make sure your house is safe for a dog and remove any potential hazards. Walk around your house consider things your dog might be able to get to. Foods like raisins and chocolate should be stored well out of reach of dogs. Also, check to make sure don’t have any houseplants that are poisonous to dogs. Put away any power cords or electronics that they may chew on as well as small objects they may try to swallow.
Introduce them to the home slowly
Do not let the new dog have run of the entire house immediately. Create an area or two just for the new family member. Like the living room and the laundry room. Let family members engage with them slowly. If you have a lot of members, or even one young and spunky toddler, don’t let them come on too strong. We don’t want the new dog to be scared of their new home.
However, don’t let it be in a spot where resident animals are particularly fond. The resident animal may take the new scent as a threat and start marking their territory or acting out in other ways.
If you already have another dog or cat then you will need to gradually introduce your new arrival.
- Try and get them to meet on neutral grounds and check that they get along.
- If they are coming straight home, introduce them through a closed door with scents. Get a clean sock or towel for each pet and rub the scent of each animal on each of them. Separate them into different rooms and let them explore the scent.
- Then let them slowly smell at and under the door
- After scent have been introduced, try and make the first formal meeting by slowly cracking the door. If they react badly, close it and redo the scent training. Eventually, it will get easier.
If you have tried repeatedly to get your new dog integrated into the household with no success, contact a professional animal behaviorist. Your veterinarian can recommend someone in your area who can expedite their positive interaction. Don’t hesitate to contact an expert—dog fights can be serious and can potentially cause harm to both dogs. Getting the right start can set the stage for a long and loving relationship.
And of course, if you need help taking care of the new family member while you’re at work or on vacation, please don’t hesitate to call us! We would love to meet them and give them some TLC!