Everything You Need to Know Before Bringing Your Dog Home for the First Time
Owning a dog is so difficult that it can seem like an easy task to bring it home. But this is much more than buying food, toys, and a leash. Here’s what you need to know to make your dog’s homecoming as happy as possible.
Dogs need time and space to adjust to their new surroundings, so your first challenge is to provide your new buddy with a separate, safe and cozy place. The Oregon Animal Welfare Society (OHS) recommends giving your puppy a whole room while he adjusts. If you can’t turn it, a closed box or paddock in a quiet corner will do. Keep other pets and children away from the dog area, and remove or secure any items that might seem a little edible to a stressed dog – cat litter, electrical cords, houseplants, toys, shoes, clothes and food. any.
The drive home is where it all becomes real. Some dogs like to ride in cars, but some of them are very nervous. According to Petfinder’s Guide to the First 30 Days of Adoption of Dogs and the Humane Society of USA (HSUS) Guidelines for Traveling with Pets , putting your dog in a crate in the car is the best way to keep him safe on the way home. … ( A little protection from dogs won’t hurt either.) Making them feel safe will minimize stress for everyone involved. Do not make other stops or leave your dog in the car; go straight home.
Once you got to the house, it’s time to show your dog to its new digs – for example, show them literally. Petfinder, HSUS and OHS make it very clear that the first stop after getting out of the car should be where you want your dog to pee. Before you step inside, lead your dog to the spot, let him go about his business, and reward him with treats and praise when they do. Once you’re inside, walk them to their eating area, then to their room or crate area, giving them time to really get to know each area before moving on.
With these tips and a little luck, you and your dog should come out of the first 24 hours of dog ownership with nerves. Take a deep breath and get ready – the real work has just begun.
This story was originally published in September 2016. It was updated on March 9, 2021 to include new information and reflect the current Lifehacker style guidelines.