It can be a huge adjustment for a puppy or a rescue dog to live with a new family in a strange new home. In fact, it can be overwhelming for them to socialize with the family or even eat a meal. Not to worry! There are a few things you can do to get your furry friend acquainted with your family members and feel more welcomed into your home. A new toy for your pet to chew or play with is always a nice way to make them feel like they have a place in your home and that they have something that belongs to them. Encourage your dog to chew or play with the toy with you or other members of your household. Sometimes a dog may feel anxious or nervous sleeping in a new place and even more so when they are alone, or the weather is bad. Purchasing a security blanket or shirt for your dog can make them feel warm, comfortable and calm. Not only will your pet feel more at ease, but they will look absolutely adorable in a sweater or a t-shirt! Other ways to make your dog feel at home are as follows:
Include them in a family night activity, such as a game night or watching a movie. If your dog feels part of the family and feels involved with the social interaction that is happening inside the house, they will be more likely to warm up to family members and guests.
Give them their own space. Creating a spot in the home for your dog will allow them to relax and feel safe in their bed, a crate or a small room. You can fill their space with items they love, such as toys, a blanket or a soft dog bed.
Your puppy may need time! Although it is very exciting to have a new addition to the family, sometimes it may take a puppy or rescue dog time to warm up. They may need to be introduced to family members individually or spend time with them in shorter durations of time. If you are housetraining your puppy or trying to break a bad habit, be patient and understand that this may be a stressful event for them. They are unfamiliar with you and your home and even if you are being loving, welcoming and calm, the trust established between a dog and its owner does not happen overnight. Do not get discouraged with your furry friend, as they are going through this time of change with you.
Lastly, if you are struggling or feeling as if you and your puppy are unhappy, turn to others for help! You can call a friend, a veterinary clinic or even contact dog fostering home for advice. Your dog is a member of your family, and although we may not have all the answers, we want to try to do all we can to make them comfortable and happy.