How Long does it take for a Puppy to Adjust to New Home?
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Bringing home a new dog is an exciting experience for all family members. This involves not only the fun and joy of sharing your life with a pet, but also a lot of responsibility and effort in implementing rules and helping the new member to integrate harmoniously. Caring for a puppy is one of the best times for any dog owner.
When the pup arrives, they may cry or feel uncomfortable and suspicious, because they will be in a strange place surrounded by strange people. Therefore, AnimalWised want to bring you this article on how long it takes for a puppy to adjust to their new home, we have plenty of advice for you - so let's start!
How to help a dog adjust to a new home...
Adopting a dog is a decision that all members of the family have to agree on. The arrival of the puppy not only represents a great change in the lives of people, but for the dog themself, which in most cases means they have to be separated from their mother. Even moreso, they have many new smells, places and people to adapt to.
To make things easier, it is best to wait until the puppy is at least 2 months old before weaning them and separating them from their mother. Before this, it will be much more difficult for the little one to adapt and fend for them-self. Similarly, do not try to start puppy training until the dog feels 100% safe and comfortable in their new home and with their new family.
You can also use crate training to help the new arrival feel safe. A good way to housebreak a pup is by creating a "safe haven" for them (the crate) in times when they are anxious or scared. Crate training can be a good starting point before a dog moves onto their dog bed.
The puppy's adjustment time will depend on how you and your family collaborate with them in the process, it can be from a couple of days to several weeks, so here are several recommendations to show you how to get a puppy to your new home. Discover when to start training a puppy on AnimalWised.
Puppy proof your home
It is vital to ensure your house is a safe area before you bring home your puppy and commence the puppy adjustment process. Start by creating a puppyproof area where they can spend most of their time and make sure you provide them with chew toys so they don't destroy your family belongings!
Here are some common but dangerous household items that your puppy should not have easy access to:
- Electrical cords
- Valuable vases, glass ornaments, etc.
- Poisonous plants
- Household cleaning products
- Food containers (for overeating)
- Forbidden foods for dogs (some human foods can be toxic to dogs)
- Kids toys
They need to explore their new environment
The first thing you do when the puppy comes home is to let them explore their new environment and their own dog friendly area. They may adopt one of these three attitudes: they want to follow you everywhere, they prefer to sit still in one place, or hide under the furniture. If faced with any of them you must have patience, let them feel comfortable enough to pry all corners of the house on their own. Never pressure them to go out or take an interest in things in a hurry.
It is likely that after a while they will be carried away by the new odors and begin to recognize the place, sniffing and putting their head in everything, but hopefully with caution. Do not leave them alone during this process, as they could hurt themself or leave through some door that has been left open, for example.
From the beginning, show them their resting area and the bowls where they will drink and eat. Try not to change these places so that they can remember them easily; before the arrival of the dog these sites should be agreed upon with all members of the family.
What do you do when your new puppy cries at night?
At night, and especially at the beginning of your life together, it is normal for the pup to cry, because the puppy is still getting used to their new home. By crying we refer to a kind of whine, similar to human crying, that the dog emits. Most puppies will do this the first few days, but if you do not know how to handle it it may become a problem that lasts for weeks.
Puppy crying is normal, because you must remember that they have been separated from their mother and siblings, from whom they received warmth and affection at bedtime. So, at night, when their human companions go to sleep and they are in their crate or bed, they will feel very alone. Your first impulse will be to run to the puppy's bed to comfort them, but the truth is that this is counterproductive. If you constantly go to pet the puppy, they will interpret this as a reward for their crying and never stop. Actually, how to get your new puppy to stop crying is by ignoring them. This, is the most feasible option, as well as making their stay as pleasant as possible so that they do not feel alone.
How to get your new puppy to stop crying during the day, is by leaving them alone in their bed and leaving the area for several minutes, approaching only when they have stopped. Try with 5 minutes and increase until you reach 20 minutes, so they can get used to your absence more easily. At night, put a fluffy teddy on their bed so they can lie back against it. Also make sure the bed is warm and fluffy, so they are comfortable and not at risk of feeling cold.
Soft words and caresses are your main allies to accustom the puppy to their new home and make them feel safe quickly. Spending time with them, scratching their head, giving them toys to have fun with and always using a quiet and calm tone of voice are keys to achieving this.
The rest of your family should also be involved in the task of creating a pleasant environment for the puppy, getting to know each other better. Of course, do not force the pup to approach other people, when they feel sure they will do it on their own. Create exercise and playing routines, which are necessary to get to know each other and interact, and your puppy can drain all their accumulated energy.
Bringing a puppy home for the first time
From the beginning it should be clear in what area the puppy will use to do their needs, whether at home, in the garden or on their walks on the street, and where their bowls of food and water will be.
Regarding the best diet for puppies, choose a feed according to the age of the puppy, and vary it with raw and fresh food. Do not introduce abrupt changes to their diet, but small variations gradually. Water should always be fresh and clean. Change it at least 2 times a day and never leave it in the sun.
Instructions on how they should do their needs will depend on the place you have chosen for your pet, but in general you must have patience for the dog to learn where this will be. In addition, it can take about 20 minutes to decide whether to do their needs or not, so do not try to rush them with anxious words. Also, since the ideal is to start going on walks once vaccinated, we recommend you consult the following article to discover how to teach your puppy to do their needs on a newspaper (paper training).
Never berate the pup or yell at them when they urinate in the wrong place, let alone hit them: these attitudes will only make them afraid of you, and it will be more difficult for them to get used to their new home.
How to introduce your dog to a toddler or other pets
For children, a new pet can the best of fun. However, it is best to monitor the interaction between them and the puppy, both to prevent the dog from being frightened and biting them, and also so that the children do not harm the animal. From the earliest childhood we must educate our children on how to treat animals, with love and respect, and teach them that they are not toys, but beings that experience affection, pain and fear just like people. Establishing these values from the beginning will make the puppy get used to their new home quickly as the children will treat them properly.
Introducing a puppy to other pets in your home can be a delicate process, in which you must prevent your pets from unleashing feelings of jealousy or dangerous behaviors of dominance that could trigger violent behavior. During the first few weeks, your current pet or pets will observe the new arrival and you must immediately correct any hostile attitude they have towards the little one. Assure them they are not being replaced by the new puppy. Also, if you have the opportunity, the ideal situation would be to introduce the animals before the puppy has moved in. Do so in a neutral space, so that they begin to recognize their scent.
With these recommendations we are sure that in a few days, maybe two weeks, your puppy will be completely accustomed to living with their new family. Best of luck!
Please remember the importance of using positive reinforcement and socializing a puppy before three months of age. If you have any doubts about the puppy socialization process, don't hesitate and read all on AnimalWised.
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