Pet experts on 11 biggest mistakes to avoid when bringing home a new puppy- including to not expect too much
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Getting a new puppy is an exciting experience for everyone involved. It can, however, be a daunting one too.
Knowing what to do and what not to do can be a minefield, especially if you’ve never had a dog before. If this is something you’re about to experience, pet experts are here to help.
From not giving them free rein of the home and garden, to not introducing them to too many people too soon, and from keeping them away from other pets to leaving training too late – there are some really good tips that you wouldn’t think of. All of which are provided by experts at PetSafe.
PetSafe says that it is important not to overwhelm your new pet, especially not in the early days of them moving in. With this in mind, here are 11 tips to avoid to make sure your new dog has a smooth moving-in period.
Don’t give them free roam of your home and garden
Introducing your new pooch to too many new places, smells, and people, too quickly, will be confusing. Instead, let them explore one small space at a time, in his own stride, with you by his side.
Help them to get used to his new surroundings as quickly as possible by showing them where the important things are – like his bed and bowls - straight away.
Don’t introduce them to the family all at once
Everyone will be desperate to meet their new four-legged family member but try to do this one person at a time - calmly and quietly. Keep a close eye on any little ones and discourage them from picking them up – place them in their lap instead to cuddle.
Don’t move them when he’s sleeping
Puppies have lots of energy to burn – and tire quickly too. If yours drops off to sleep in a strange place, leave them there. Over time he’ll learn where his bed is and start napping there more often.
Don’t confuse the crate
Crates are a popular means for dog owners to provide their pup with a comforting, cosy spot to relax and sleep – so make sure that’s the only way you use it. By sending them to his safe place for no reason – or when he’s being naughty – he’ll associate it with punishment, rather than his little comfy, quiet space he calls his own.
Don’t invite friends and neighbours over to meet them straight away
Minimise his stress - and unnecessary excitement - by asking visitors to let them settle, in peace, for the first few days. It’s very important that your puppy is socialised and gets used to house guests, but not straight away. Let them get used to his new family’s faces before adding more to the mix. Ask them to wait off for a week or two.
Don’t keep them away from other family pets
Bringing home a new puppy is a lovely moment for the whole family -- including current family dogs – and it’s important to introduce them quickly, so that they can bond and learn to live together.
But watch that the adult dog’s behaviour is appropriate towards the puppy. He may growl a little – which is fine - but if he becomes agitated, move the puppy away and try again another time. Also make sure his vaccinations are up to date before they meet so as not to pass on infections to the pup.
Don’t expect too much
Dogs don’t inherently know what to do and how to behave – they don’t know not to pull on a lead or bark when someone knocks on the door. Like people, they need to be taught.
Don’t let them play with unknown dogs
As long as your puppy is at least ten weeks old at its second vaccination, it will be safe to take them out seven days later. By then, he’ll be immune to distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus. Now’s the time to take them for walks in public places, to introduce car journeys and to attend puppy classes. Before then, keep them away from unknown dogs – and even where they walk.
Don’t let them break the rules
Start enforcing rules straight away. Your puppy needs to learn the house rules from the very beginning and praise them for good behaviour. Set your rules ahead of time and stick to them.
Don’t leave training until later
It’s easy to get caught up in puppy excitement and let all routines go out of the window. But it’s important to start training very early on. The sooner you start – even just for a couple of minutes at a time – the easier it is for them to learn basic commands. From eight weeks, he can start to be taught simple skills such as sit, stay, and come
Don’t forget to book a vet’s appointment
It’s important to book an appointment for your new puppy to see a vet shortly after they’re brought home. Choose one in advance based on research and recommendations and prepare for your first visit by noting down details such as his food, vaccination records and any documentation you have.