It’s always a very exciting time to welcome a new family member into the home.  But it can be very stressful, too.  Here are some tips to make the transition go more smoothly.

Introductions

If you have an existing pet in the home, try to make the initial introductions on neutral territory.  If you have an existing dog, try letting them meet at a park.  This will help to alleviate any potential “this is my house” issues.  Let them get to know each other at the park, and then it’s like “hey, we get to bring home my new friend.”  Even meeting in the driveway can be better than inside the house.  If you have a cat, make sure you allow the cat to meet the new family member on their own terms.  They should have a safe place where the new pup isn’t allowed to go.

It can often be tempting to cuddle and fawn all over the new addition.  But this can be very scary to a new dog.  Allow every one time to meet and interact, but give the new one some space too.  Allow them the ability to search, learn and gain confidence.

Be sure to spend quality one-on-one time with each pet, old and new.  Reassure your existing pets that you still love them and have time for them too.

With some time and patience, your growing family can become a unified pack living in harmony.  What a beautiful thing!

Preparation

It’s important that you prepare for the new family member.  Don’t wait until the day you get the new dog to get the needed supplies.  Here are a few things you will need:

  • Food bowl
  • Water bowl
  • Food (blatant plug here – be sure to talk with Fido’s about the best options)
  • Collar/harness
  • Leash
  • Bedding
  • Toys – age and size appropriate
  • Crate

Training

Depending on the dog you are getting and your experience with dogs, you may or may not need some assistance with training.  If this is your first dog, it’s always a good idea to get some help so the whole family is on the same page when it comes to training methods.  It can be very confusing for a dog to be taught the same thing in multiple ways.  Consistency is key.

If you have a puppy, be sure to expose the puppy to as many sights and sounds during his young learning weeks.  More on that here. 

With some focused attention, you can make this a smooth transition for everyone.  And once you get settled, be sure to bring your new family member to Fido’s Market so we can pour on our love too!