Introducing a New Dog to Your Family
- 26 May 2017
- 0 Comments
- Pet Wants
If your household already has one pet and you’re planning to bring a new dog home, you may be wondering what steps you can take to ensure this transition goes as smoothly as possible. Although introducing a new dog to all the members of your family can present some challenges, the good news is by being proactive about managing this change, you’ll be able to get ahead of many of those challenges.
Making Your Choice
One of the traits that makes dogs so special as pets is different breeds and individual dogs all have very unique personalities. That’s why the ideal strategy for ensuring a smooth transition when you introduce a new dog should begin before you even choose the dog you’re bringing home. By finding the right breed and age for your household, you’ll be avoid to any potential incompatibility issues. When many people are initially making this choice, they default to wanting a puppy.
While a puppy may ultimately be the best choice for your household, you should at least consider the benefits of selecting an older dog. In our post on why adopting an older dog is great for kids, we explained that adult dogs require less work, tend to know basic commands, have stable temperaments, are more patient and full of love.
Getting Your House Ready
With a dog of any age, taking an early trip to the vet is a smart idea. Establishing a relationship with a vet you feel good about will help you provide the best quality of life to your dog. You’ll also want to prep your home by looking at potential dangers for a young dog or areas that you want to keep an older dog off of. These can include specific pieces of furniture, slippery floors or stairs. Also be sure that you have a comfy spot for your new dog to sleep. Depending on the dog’s age and your plans for it, this may be a crate, dog bed or other option. And finally, you’ll want to have one bowl for fresh water and another for dog food.
Making the Introduction
Once you’ve gone through the steps we outlined above, you’ll be ready to actually introduce your dog to its new family. If you only remember one word for describing the best way to introduce your new dog, it should be slowly. By making individual introductions and accepting that certain members of your household may require multiple interactions before they really click with the new dog, you won’t ever feel pressured to rush or force an interaction, which can actually end up backfiring.
In terms of specific tips for making your other pets feel good, the best thing you can do is continue to give them plenty of attention and positive reinforcement. When any other pets in your home see that the new dog isn’t taking you away from them, they’ll be much more confident about bonding with it.
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