Introducing a New Puppy

When they first arrive home your puppy will probably feel a little apprehensive and will be missing the companionship of his/her mother and litter mates. To make this transition stress-free, allow him/her to explore their new surroundings without too much interference or noise. Children should be reminded that the new puppy needs lots of love and also rest therefore should not be over handled. Any other family pets should be introduced to the new arrival slowly and under close supervision.

1. Identify what the puppy will need and who will provide these needs. Puppies require a lot of care, love, and patience. If you are bringing a new puppy into your home, you should take some time to identify what its needs will be and decide who will be responsible for each of these needs. Caring for a dog is a great way to teach children responsibility and compassion for animals. Try to get the whole family involved in caring for your new puppy. When planning out your puppy’s care, make sure to consider:

  • Walks. Who will walk the puppy and when?
  • Play time. Who will play with the puppy and how often?
  • Feeding. Who will feed the puppy? What will they feed the puppy? How much? How often?
  • Housebreaking. Who will clean up when the puppy has an accident? Who will take the puppy out to use the bathroom and when?
  • Grooming. Who will bathe the puppy? How often? Who will brush the puppy? Clip its toenails?
  • Veterinary Care. Who will be the puppy’s veterinarian? When will the puppy have his first vet visit?

2. Get supplies. Before you introduce a new puppy to your home, you should get everything that the puppy will need. Make sure that you have all of the following items for your puppy before you bring him home:

  • puppy food
  • food and water dishes
  • collar with identification tags
  • leash
  • bed
  • toys
  • brush
3. Decide on puppy training words. Your new puppy is likely to be confused if he has different people using different training words with him throughout the day. Make sure that everyone in your household can agree on certain training words and the behaviors that should go along with them. For example, you might agree that “sit” should be used when you want the puppy to sit down.
4. Establish rules for children. In order to make sure you’re your puppy and children get along well, you should establish some rules for your children to follow. For example, make sure that your kids know that the puppy may be scared and confused by his new home, so they should be gentle with him and try to help him to feel relaxed. You can model this behavior for your kids when you hold the puppy and talk calmly to him.
5. Prepare the puppy’s environment. Make sure that the puppy’s bed, food and water dishes, and toys are all out when he arrives. You should also make sure that there is nothing within the puppy’s reach that he might chew and destroy, such as a favorite pair of shoes, your daughter’s favorite doll, or exposed wires