A puppy is moving in and you are very happy about the new family member. For your puppy, on the other hand, the move is a big change: just a moment ago, he was lying next to his siblings and his mother under the heat lamp in the cosy litter bunk, now suddenly everything is new and unfamiliar. This process of cutting the cord is stressful for your puppy, because everything smells different since he moved into your home, and even the noises are unfamiliar. Your dog has to get used to a completely new environment with new stimuli and new “pack members” and needs your help. Give him closeness, especially during the first nights, as well as calmness, patience and lots of cuddles so that he soon feels safe and secure.
Before moving in: the first car ride with your new family member
If you are picking up your puppy from a responsible breeder or shelter, your dog may have already made the acquaintance of a car. But this is not the rule. Either way, the drive to his new home is the first exciting part of the rest of his life. He is surrounded by strange people and unfamiliar smells. In order for him to experience the car ride as something positive, you should take plenty of time and let the dog explore the new surroundings.
It is best to get a transport box in which you put a blanket from the breeder or something else with familiar smells. Don’t react to every whimper, but try to keep contact with the animal to give it reassurance. Remember to bring water in case the dog wants to drink. You should also have a roll of kitchen paper to hand in case the dog has a mishap due to excitement or vomits.
A puppy is moving in: What you should consider before moving in
Even before the puppy moves in, you should make the flat puppy-proof. Protect the curious resident from electric cables, poisonous plants or steep stairs, and take the precaution of moving expensive carpets to a safe place. Since the young dog does not yet know what it is allowed to do and what it is not allowed to do, put the objects out of the puppy’s reach that could endanger it during its exploratory tours of its new home. The lower the risk to the dog and the household contents, the more relaxed you can be with your charge.
Make sure your new family member has a fixed feeding place and plenty of water. Place dog cushions and blankets in different places so that the young dog can choose its own favourite spot. Especially during the first few nights, the puppy will miss its cuddly pack. It is good for him if his dog bed is near you, where he can feel your presence. Your stroking hand gives him security and safety. In addition, you can react quickly if the puppy’s bladder presses.
Things to consider with a puppy
– Dog collar or harness?
– What do you want to feed? Dry or wet food, BARF?
– When does the dog have to be registered for tax?
– What are the regulations of the local administration regarding dog ownership (compulsory leashing, etc.)?
– How do you take out dog owner liability insurance?
– Where do you get information about the vet in advance and how do you get your dog used to him?
A puppy moves in: the first day
When the new resident enters the house or flat, give him plenty of time to explore the new surroundings. Offer him the opportunity to withdraw. On the first day, keep other people who are not part of the family away from the dog. Also tell your children not to pester the dog and to call it all the time. This will give the little puppy a chance to have positive experiences in its new home right from the start.
Now explore the new home together with your puppy, but limit him to two or three rooms at first. For example, start in the living room. Let your puppy run around a little and look around. Did your breeder give you a feeding plan that would now include a meal for the dog? If so, you can offer him some food now. However, if your dog doesn’t even think about eating because of excitement, you don’t need to worry. A dog does not always need to be fed at exactly the same time, it is just important that a puppy gets its food spread over several meals as it cannot yet absorb a large portion of food.
Some puppies are very tired after a short time from all the excitement. Simply carry your puppy to its designated bed and cuddle with it for a while until it falls asleep. Attention is very important in the first few days, as the puppy is suddenly without mum and siblings. It’s best to take some time off to discover the world together with your little one.
Security, education and bonding
Although you should show your dog a lot of patience and understanding at first, it is important that he learns from the beginning what he is allowed to do and what is not allowed. This works best if you ignore unwanted behaviour and reward good behaviour with praise and treats – but in moderation. Show him from the beginning that it is worthwhile to be oriented towards you and to be close to you. This way he will realise that he can trust you. Get to know your new resident calmly and give him plenty of time to explore his surroundings. You will quickly build up a bond with your puppy through extensive playtime and, of course, lots of petting.
Regular walks and rest periods
The young dog needs to relieve himself about every two hours, usually after sleeping, after eating, after playing and also at night. You should anticipate his timing and take him outside regularly before it is too late. Also, keep a close eye on your young dog. You will quickly notice that when he gets restless and paces nervously, it’s that time again: the puppy’s bladder is squeezing. This will also help him to become house-trained more quickly and easily. It is important to know that a puppy can only control its sphincter muscles independently when it is about four months old. Before that, he does his business when he has to.
The baby dog needs exercise and wants to explore the environment, but also needs regular rest periods. As soon as you notice that he is getting tired, it is time to go home. In the first few weeks, this will be often.
Basically, the rule of thumb is: a dog should go for a walk for one minute per week of life. so if the puppy is ten weeks old, that’s ten minutes. In order for your puppy to grow into a healthy dog, it needs a lot of sleep – up to 22 hours a day. During this time he processes what he has experienced and recharges his batteries for new adventures. Make sure that the young dog can take its required sleep breaks of half an hour to an hour several times a day.
If a new pet has joined your family you need to be perfectly equipped from the start to ensure they can settle in to their new life easily.
Maxi Zoo are on hand with our new pet starter kits for every kind of pet. You can find out more information about them here. Our store staff are available to give customised advice so you choose the perfect product for your new arrival, and you can get 10% off* your starter kit when you visit your local Maxi Zoo store, find yours here.