Puppies are an exciting and adorable family addition, and can create ripples of joy throughout the entire household. However, it can also be quite an adjustment period for both the puppy and his new owners.
According to veterinarian Dr. Brent Mayabb, manager of education and development at Royal Canin USA, pet parents can help ease the transition with some simple steps to ensure healthy growth and development for our four-legged family members. Here are some tips to help make your new puppy's transition easier for both pup and the family:
Get social. Socializing your new puppy early is important to help them learn proper behavior when meeting a new person or animal. Try to introduce your dog to 10 to 20 new people and pets (of varying ages and in different locations) during your first week together. This will help them acclimate to different sizes and temperaments of dogs and cats, as well as a variety of humans. If your dog shows signs of aggression, take them out of the situation and try again with a smaller group or in a different setting.
Exercise before bedtime. As your puppy gets used to being away from its mother and pack, you may hear crying and whining at night. Try to be patient; this behavior is natural and shouldn't last longer than a few weeks. Additionally, try keeping your puppy busy with quick training sessions or playing with toys during the early evening hours. A worn out puppy is a quiet puppy.
Stick to a routine. Take your puppy out often and right before you put them in their pen or kennel before bed. Some veterinarians estimate that for every month your puppy is in your home that is one hour they can 'hold it.' Frequency in routine is very important for house training and rewarding victories during training can be key.
Visit the vet. Your pet's first visit to the vet is very important. The vet will help in scheduling vaccinations and explain the significance of preventative care for fleas, ticks, heartworm, and rabies among other diseases. Proper nutrition is also a means to preventing illness, so be sure to purchase high quality food. Remember to bring a list of questions with you to the appointment—from the beginning, your vet will be an important part of your pet's health.