Adjusting to Your New Pooch
Updated: Feb 10
Guest blog by Jessica Brody of Our Best Friends
There’s nothing cuter than a puppy, and when you brought one home, you were prepared for some accidents, and maybe having a few of your things chewed up. You knew you’d have some vet bills and you might not be taking a vacation anytime soon. But that new pup grew into a big pup with a lot of energy and a need to chew. Here are seven tips for making adjusting to your new companion a fun and successful transition.
Tip # 1: Go Bare for the First Few Days
Dogs instinctively gravitate toward new things in their environment. This trait served them well back in the days before human civilization, when they were competing with other wild animals for food. But it can get them in trouble nowadays when their curiosity drives them to investigate anything at pooch-level in your home.
One way to prevent them from wreaking havoc is to put anything valuable away. That quilt your mom made you? Do not leave it out or unsupervised for even a few minutes.
Tip # 2: Hide Those Cords
That computer cord? What we said about the quilt times ten. Those things are expensive, you need it, and it’s way too tempting for a teething pup. Route electric cords close to the wall with cord clips and conceal them with cord protectors, and check them daily for teeth marks.
Tip # 3: Control Access
Country Living notes that a baby gate works great for keeping both two- and four-legged kids away from things that might hurt them. Use a model that's high enough to keep your pooch in her place while allowing adults to step over it as necessary. You can also use a permanently mounted fence with a built-in swinging gate, which offers long-term convenience, because your puppy will be a puppy for at least two years, and if your puppy is a big puppy, you’ll have to upgrade the baby gate at some point anyway.
Tip # 4: Also Pet-Proof the Yard
You’ll need a designated area for the pee pads, since a puppy gets the idea to go and follows through almost immediately, well before you’ll have the chance to get them outside. But you will want to take them outside frequently. Most dogs will prefer to do their business outside, and they’ll get the hang of it pretty quickly. And for those times when doggy waste needs addressed, you can always call Poodini Pet Waste Removal for an efficient and affordable clean up.
Which means puppy-proofing the yard. A fenced-in area is best, and, as K9 of Mine suggests, be sure they can’t get under it. Also, watch for places they may have tried to dig under it. They’ll chew large sticks, and as long as they aren’t swallowing the wood, they’re probably okay. But it’s good to have rope bones, chew toys, balls, or other officially-sanctioned toys so they’ll get better at sticking to the things they’re allowed to put in their mouths.
Having a fenced-in backyard also pumps up your property’s curb appeal. Benefits can really pay off if you end up selling in the future. Get familiar with the local market and make choices that are sure to boost your home’s value. For example, Redfin notes that the median sale price for homes in Gilbert are right at $500,000, almost a 30-percent increase year over year.
Tip # 5: Go for Walks
Your new pup is going to need a lot of attention. They’ll need socialization and play time. You can do some of that indoors, but outdoors is the best way to get them running, to wear them out. Be sure they always have access to water and if they show signs of being too hot, get them in the shade or indoors where it’s cooler, especially a pup with a thick coat.
You’ll want to start them on walks early, so they become leash trained. They’ll really look forward to walks all of their lives, and it’s good for you too. Getting them exercise is good for their development and it will help you get a break too, because they’ll sleep more. And they’ll also be less likely to destroy things in the house.
Tip # 6: Consider a Pet Sitter, Walker, or Daycare
If you’re at work all day be sure to walk your dog in the morning and it’s a good idea to make plans for someone to interact with them during the day. If you don’t have family at home, that usually means having a dog walker come in the middle of the day, or taking them to a doggy daycare while you’re at work.
A puppy might be too little to really benefit from a dog walker, and if you take them to a doggy daycare, you’ll have to be sure they’ve got all their shots, but it’s really the best thing you can do for your little friend. They’ll love being around other dogs, they’ll be happy to see you, but so tired they’ll likely fall asleep on the ride home.
Tip # 7: Enjoy Your New Puppy
You got the puppy because it was darn cute. Now you’ve got a lot of responsibility, but you’ve also got a friend for life. You’ll need to make decisions about whether to let your new friend up on the couch, or in your bed, because they’ll really want to, but will learn not to if it’s not allowed. If you do give in, you’ll just have to be okay with it forever, even if they get really big.
Puppies are curious and new things are always interesting. You’ll need to protect your stuff and keep your new tenant stimulated. Good luck. It will be worth it.
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Jessica Brody created Our Best Friends so others could find a place to share stories and photos of their beloved animal companions. Please visit her site for even more images, articles, and pet-related resources.