How to Help a Puppy Adjust to a New Home

by Pauline Gill
It will take 24 to 48 hours for your puppy to settle into his new environment.

It will take 24 to 48 hours for your puppy to settle into his new environment.

Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You may be excited about bringing a new pup home, but your puppy may be scared and nervous. Prepare for the special day. Avoid commotion when he arrives -- he needs time to adjust to his new environment. Give your cuddly pooch structure and patience from the minute he arrives in his forever home.

Step 1

Purchase a crate and bedding for the crate. Consider a baby gate to block off an area of the house. Purchase two dog dishes for water and food, dog toys, a well-fitted collar, leash, a pet ID and a stain eliminator.

Step 2

Prepare the house. Remove items that are breakable. Put children's toys away. Hide cords or tape them so your puppy can't chew them. Keep window blind cords out of reach and set potted plants away from your pup's reach.

Step 3

Begin house-training immediately. When you take your pup out of the car, carry him to a place in the yard where you want him to potty. Give him time to explore and sniff. When he starts to eliminate, use a verbal command such as "go potty." Praise him and take him into his new home.

Step 4

Introduce him to his crate. Locate the crate in a central area where there is activity. You don't want to isolate your pup. Have him sleep in the crate the first night and thereafter. The crate will give him a feeling of security. Add a ticking clock wrapped in a towel to simulate his mother's heartbeat. Take him out every four to five hours during the night to potty.

Step 5

Set up a schedule and stick to it. Feed him three to four times a day and take him out to potty after he eats. He will also need to potty after any playtime, first thing in the morning and before bedtime. Include solitude time for your pup to rest. Puppies are active, but they need to sleep during the day.

Step 6

Set up an appointment with your veterinarian. She will examine your new pup and make sure he is up to date on all vaccinations. Your veterinarian will also suggest a quality puppy food and flea prevention. If you change puppy food, do it slowly so he doesn't have gastric upset.

Step 7

Brush him regularly. Touch his ears and paws so he becomes used to having you groom him.

Step 8

Start training immediately. The first command is his potty phrase. Don't change the phrase or you will confuse him. He can also learn "no." Once he is acclimated, begin to teach him "stay," "sit" and even "heel" when you take him out for walks.

Items You Will Need

  • Crate and bedding
  • Two dog dishes
  • Dog toys
  • Well-fitted collar and a leash
  • Pet ID
  • Stain eliminator
  • Ticking clock and towel
  • Quality puppy food
  • Flea prevention
  • Grooming supplies

Tips

  • Have patience. Your pup will have accidents. Keep him on his schedule for feeding and potty time to cut back on accidents.
  • Bring him home when you can be with him continuously for the first few days, such as on a weekend.
  • If no one is home during the day, hire someone to come in and take him out to potty.

Warnings

  • Don't let your puppy sleep in bed with you. He may whine the first few nights, but he will adjust to his crate.
  • Don't keep him in his crate for more than two hours, if he is only 8 weeks old. Once he is older, he may stay in the crate for four to five hours.

Photo Credits

  • Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.

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