Settling in a new dog or puppy

It is always an important family occasion when bringing home a new puppy or even an older dog. With the new addition of the family member, everyone would be eager to hold, stroke and touch the dog or puppy. This is especially when there are children around. But however, do take things slowly as not to startle the dog or puppy.


For a young puppy, the experience will be a little unsettling and frightening because it will be the first time being away from the only environment it has known. Moreover, it does not have the comfort of his mother and litter mates. Even for an older dog, it will still required some time for him to settle and adjust in.


Ideally, the best time to bring him home is when there are minimal people at home and with a relaxed manner, introduce him to his new environment. Allow him to sniff and move around and have a run in the garden. Then bring one or two family members or friends to meet the dog and allow him time to make friends before introducing anyone else.


Once the dog or puppy has started to settle in, try not to interrupt the dog's established routine. For puppy, feed according to the breeder's feeding regime like the same number of feeds each day and at the same time. Start by giving the same food as the breeder's which the dog has already gotten used to, even if you have decided eventually to change to a different type of food. Always adopt a gradual dietary changes.


Remember to provide clean water and show the dog when it is. Make sure that the water bowl is cleaned regularly and always full. Water bowls tend to get dirty easily as dogs are messy drinkers especially some breeds that are very splashy, spilling more water than they actually swallow. So choose a proper place carefully for the water bowl.


Water bowl should preferably be heavy so that it is not easily picked up and carry around by the dog. The ideal material for the water bowl should be ceramic or non-rust metal. Feed bowls are very much the same as the water bowls so that the dog will also not regard it as a toy to play with.


During the first few nights, the puppy will miss his litter mates as well as his mother. And if the puppy does not settle in but cried pitifully, the traditional way which often work well is to provide him a hot-water bottle and a ticking alarm clock.

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