Have you noticed that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that there have been an increased number of pet adoptions, especially dogs?

As the world shuts down people find themselves with more time to welcome a new dog into the home. They don’t have the pressures of time, deadlines and places to be. The love of a new furry companion has even caused people to reflect on what’s most important to them. They realize that they need to slow down, cut back on the long work hours and focus on family, loved ones and the unconditional love of a dog who will always be happy to see you. However, a new dog may come with some challenges.

When bringing home a new dog, whether it be an adult dog or a puppy please keep in mind that everything is brand new to him so be Patient and don’t have unrealistic expectations. To teach your dog how to be a great pet it takes a lot of dedication and love on your part.

If you are new to dog ownership or have a new dog, congratulations! Here are some useful tips to help the newest member of your family feel right at home.

Create a Safe Space- Give your dog a confinement area when you first bring her home. This will help her to ease in to the new environment while having a place to feel safe. It will also help to reduce anxiety. Too often, people want to give their new dog the run of the house right away. Then, one day they come home to find that she has chewed the baseboards, their favourite pair of shoes or the leather couch. Then that is when they decide that they have to confine the dog. The problem with this is that now she will see the confinement as a punishment rather than her area where she can go to relax.  The confined area is supposed to be a place where she feels safe, or just a place to have some alone time. Confining your dog after she has already caused some destruction, will send a negative message as opposed to a positive one.

For puppies, be sure to leave toys and some pee pads in the confined area for the puppy to use so that you don’t come back to an unwanted surprise. It is also best to puppy-proof your house, which means removing anything that can be destroyed by chewing.  Consider installing baby gates to keep puppy safe.

Try the Replacement Theory- Puppies love to chew.  To help teach your puppy what is acceptable to chew and what is not acceptable to chew, try using the Replacement Theory.  For normal chewing behaviour, replacing the object that your puppy is not allowed to chew with something that she is allowed to chew is a great technique that will help her to understand the difference between what an acceptable chewing object is and what is not. For example, if you find your puppy chewing on your shoe tell her NO, take the shoe away from her, and replace it with either a toy or a treat, then be sure to give her plenty of praise.

Create a routine. The more you can stick to your established routine, the more secure and confident your dog will feel. One good way to ensure that your dog’s routine is maintained is to hire a dog walker or pet sitter to walk or visit your puppy on those days that you are away from home for long hours. If you are working from home it’s a good idea to have a dog walker walk your dog so that your dog can maintain his routine and you can stay focused on your work.

A picture says a thousand words. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures! Your dog will grow and change faster than you think and you will want to look back and remember all your favourite moments!

Getting a new dog is really exciting, especially when you know you’re going to be home for a while and have all the time in the world to spoil him.  As difficult as it is to resist that adorable face, be careful not to smother your dog with non-stop affection. Allow your dog to have some down time. This way, when life goes back to normal and you have to go back to work your dog won’t develop separation anxiety.

If you get a new dog, please share in the comments below! We would love to hear about it.

Move Your Doggie offers both dog walking and pet sitting services in Oshawa, Whitby and Ajax. To book your complimentary meet-and-greet leave us a message on our Contact Us page.

Please feel free to post any questions or comments below.