A Tail-Wagging Welcome: 7 Tips for Making Your New Puppy Feel at Home

Welcoming a new furry friend is sure to send a case of the zoomies zooming through your household.  While your pup will undoubtedly bring you and your family lots of joy, their transition into your home will be stressful for everyone involved. After all, a newborn puppy will need time to acclimate to its new environment and lifestyle.

Before the puppy smell begins to fade, establishing a routine that keeps both you and your puppy happy is a must. Although sleepless nights and heart-wrenching whimpers are the crosses new dog owners have to bear, these bouts of homesickness will be a thing of the past once your puppy develops relationships with your family. 

As you’re preparing to bring your new tail-wagging family member home, here are seven tips to keep in mind to make the transition process smooth and stress-free 

Splurge on a high-quality dog bed

Creating a safe sanctuary in your home dedicated to your puppy is one of the best ways to make them feel right at home. The highlight of your dog’s space will be their bed, where they can relax and nap after chasing balls and playing tug of war. 

You’ll have many different options to choose from when purchasing your puppy’s bed, from donut beds to raised beds. However, by investing in one of the best memory foam dog beds money can buy, your puppy will have the perfect place to sleep. As your puppy grows in size and age, a memory foam dog bed can provide them with relief from any aches or pains that may creep in. Memory foam can also regulate temperature better than any other bedding material, ensuring your puppy will stay cool in the hotter summer months.

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Other additions to your puppy’s sleeping area may include its crate, a water bowl, and pee pads. You should enclose their sanctuary with a gate and fencing. When you have guests over, you can place your puppy in their safe space. That way, your furry friend won’t become overexcited or a chew toy to other canine visitors. 

To prevent puppy tantrums, try to decorate with a familiar scent like an old t-shirt. Scents your puppy knows can help relieve their anxiety and keep them calm.

Purchase all the essentials ahead of time

Heading to the pet store can be overwhelming for new puppy owners. With a plethora of options for dog bowls, toys, food, crates, collars, leashes, and grooming supplies, it can be hard to determine what you’ll need when you bring your puppy home

Keep in mind what stage of growth your puppy is in, and it’ll be easier to narrow down what essentials you need to purchase. If your puppy is teething, purchase chew toys, tug toys, or any other stuffed distractions that will curb puppy boredom. 

When shopping for a crate, make sure it’s large enough that when your puppy is fully grown, it can stand up, lie down, and turn around with ease. 

Allow your puppy to explore

When you bring your puppy through your front door, they’ll immediately want to explore every inch of your home. Dogs see the world through their nose, so allow your puppy to acquaint themselves with the scents in your house. 

If there are any areas you’d prefer your puppy to stay out of, simply keep doors shut or buy dog gates to block off prohibited zones. To build a bond with your canine companion, be gentle if your puppy enters a no-dog zone. 

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For a well-adjusted pup, don’t forget to allow them into the backyard once they’ve explored your home’s interior. 

Make the ride home comfortable

Car rides can be highly stressful for any dog. Keep in mind that your puppy doesn’t know you very well yet, and being in a car with a stranger can spike their anxiety. That said, bring a basket or spacious crate with blankets and towels for your puppy to ride in so they’re physically safe during the ride home. A few chew toys can also keep them occupied in the car. 

Additionally, bring an extra family member along to keep your puppy company as you drive. Socialization begins the moment you pick your puppy up, so a little extra attention during the car ride home will make them feel loved and safe.

Establish a routine immediately

During the training period, your puppy must have a healthy routine. Bathroom breaks, meals, walks, and bedtimes should be at the same time every day. Consistency will help your dog feel less anxious about its new home and lifestyle. Enforcing the schedule also establishes your role as the head honcho, ensuring that obedience training goes according to plan. 

Dedicate time to bonding

Socializing with your puppy will help them become more acquainted with you and help them react positively to other people they meet. The window for proper socialization can last up to 16 weeks after your puppy was born, so carving out time to bond with your dog as soon as you adopt is imperative. 

Show your puppy kindness and gentleness, and reward them with food and treats to create positive associations with good behavior. Once you’ve bonded with your puppy, you can take it out to public places to interact with other people and pets and continue socializing.

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Don’t rush the process

Your puppy will adjust to its new home, no matter how long the process takes. Allow your puppy to take its time becoming acquainted with you, your family, and your home. Once it has adjusted, bring your puppy outside. Interacting with the outside world is another adjustment stage, but they will feel comfortable in public spaces with time and training.

The bottom line

Adopting a puppy involves a lot of patience and training, but it’s well worth the effort to keep your fluffy friend happy and healthy. Once your puppy feels safe, and at home, you will have gained a new friend for life.