Tips to help your new dog or puppy adjust to their new home

by | Dog Care |

You’ve just adopted a dog or puppy from your local Ontario SPCA animal centre, and now it’s time to bring them home for the first time. The whole family is excited and can’t wait to meet them!

Changes in environment can be stressful for your new furry friend, but we have some simple tips to help the integration be as smooth, and stress free as possible for everyone.

Outdoor introductions

When you first get home, let the dog walk around the yard to get used to all the new smells. This will also give them an opportunity to relieve themselves before they head inside. Introducing family members at this time (on leash), in an open, outdoor area will allow the dog space to go up to people to say hello, or hang back if they need a bit more time.  Be sure to have lots of treats available to reward good interactions, and gentle words of reassurance if they get overwhelmed!  We want to make sure that the meet and greet with the other family members is as positive as possible for the dog. 

Coming inside for the first time

When entering your home, bring your new furry family member in on leash and let them slowly sniff the areas they want to visit. We don’t recommend letting them have free run of the house immediately. Let them get used to the main living space, and any area that will be “theirs” first, so that they don’t get inundated with too much, too soon. Once again, use lots of treats for positive reinforcement.  Never try to force anything  your puppy or dog doesn’t seem comfortable with. They’ll come around in their own time.

The first few days

For the first little while, your canine companion will be getting to know his or her new environment, and your family members. They’ll be adjusting to your routines and their new normal, so try to keep your schedule as stable as possible. Remember to take them for lots of walks to alleviate any stress and help them to feel relaxed and safe. Never try to force interactions or activities.  Your new family member will be with you forever, so you have lots of time to get used to each other!

With these tips and lots of love, you’re set up for a wonderful start to your new relationship with your dog!