Bringing a Dog Home for the First Time
So you’ve made the decision to become a dog-owner: congratulations! It’s a wise move, and the rewards will be forthcoming straight away. But with the many pleasures and comforts of sharing your home with a dog, come responsibilities and challenges that the uninitiated, no matter how dog-crazy, may not have considered. Bringing a dog home for the first time is a delicate moment in this new relationship, and one which can set the pattern for your future life together, particularly if you are also sharing that home with other family members.
Image Source: Pixabay, Common License
For a start, there’s little that can disrupt a new friendship more than when one party decides to chew up, shatter or scratch the prized possessions of the other. As the responsible owner, let’s trust that it won’t be you who’s destroying pooch’s belongings, but rather that you want to look out for your own stuff. A zealous dog can playfully obliterate anything from wallpaper, to rugs, to delicately-poised vases and crockery, so give your house a once-over to make sure that anything irreplaceable is kept out of reach, and zone off any areas where the décor is particularly vulnerable.
Indeed, those early days are a lot about zoning: you should create one particular dog-friendly space to which pooch should be confined while indoors on those first few days. Likewise, you will want to prepare a special area for play in the yard, as well as a designated toilet spot that you’ll need to take them to each time they go, until they learn.
Organizing the house in this way is really just the start of your preparations. From actually transporting your dog home to introducing it to the kids and the environment, every step of the way is a fragile balance of canine psychology and practical sense.
For pointers on how to get it right, be sure to check out this infographic by Santa Fe Animal Shelter, which is packed with advice on how to handle that furriest of newcomers, and create the ideal conditions for your newly expanded family.
Source: A Guide to Bringing a Dog Home for the First Time, Santa Fe Animal Shelter
A QUESTION FOR YOU: Do you have anything you would like to add to this list? Have you had to bring a new dog home recently? How did it go?
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