Thursday, December 26, 2013

Helping Your New Dog Feel at Home

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, everyone wants a place to relax and feel at home. For those of us with a new dog during this time of year, we can’t forget our pets in preparing for a comfortable holiday! If you recently added four legs to your family, make sure that through all of the holiday festivities, you do your best to get your dog acclimated. Here are five holiday helpers in order to make the transition a little bit easier.

Management Always stay one step ahead of your dog. Whether you brought home a puppy or an adult dog, many objects in their new environment will be tempting. Think about the possible scenarios your dog could get into and manage them accordingly. For example, remember that keeping the Christmas ham out on the counter could entice your dog to jump up and take a lick. If you are unable to watch your dog every second, you’ll want to keep them out of the kitchen or keep the food in a safe spot.

Dog Proofing For the holidays, don’t give your new dog free reign of the house. This leaves the possibility open for your pooch to get into mischief, such as eating the holiday dinner, using the Christmas tree as a spot to relieve themselves or unwrapping presents from under the tree. Holiday decorations are a common pet hazard and should be kept out of reach of your dog. Also be careful with household cleaning products, wires, children’s toys or anything else that could be potentially hazardous to your pet.

Teachable Moments Always be on the lookout for teachable moments, or any moment when your dog does something for which they should be rewarded. A good way to do this is to have small treat containers randomly dispersed throughout the house. This allows you to take advantage of any teachable moment with treats readily available. A good example would be a dog that jumps. If your dog likes to jump on strangers but sits nicely instead, grab a treat and reward! It would be great to keep a treat box by the door for such an occasion.

Routine Just like humans, dogs thrive on routine. In order to get your dog adjusted to your new home, you will want to keep a regular schedule. The more you stray from your routine, the longer it will take for your dog to get comfortable. The holidays are always busy, so make sure to remember your dogs feeding and potty times. Your dog has come to rely on the schedule you have started and altering that schedule can confuse them.

Affection Your dog is so happy to have a new home and family this holiday season. However, as you can imagine, this is also stressful for your new pooch. It is important to shower your dog with affection so they begin to bond with you. A belly rub is a great way to show your dog some love and affection. Just remember that your dog still getting to know his new family. Therefore, you will want to stay away from too many hugs and coddles, as this can make your dog a little stressed. Learn to recognize the signs of a stressed dog so you know what to watch out for.

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Keep in mind it can take up to 12 weeks for your new family member to become completely adjusted to their new life. For help training your new pet into the perfect dog for your family, you can find socialization, training tips and more at Morris K9 Campus. As you get to know your new dog, remember to have fun and enjoy the journey!

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