If you’re conscious about making your new pet feel at home and want to earn your new family additions trust, preparing for your new puppy in advance is essential – puppy proofing your space correctly is a must. Moving home, whether to a newly furnished apartment in the city or a converted barn in the countryside, is always a stressful experience for us as people, and so if you consider the fright your pet may be feeling of moving into a new home with a stranger, the experience becomes a lot scarier. Naturally, as their new owner, you want to swoop in to save your new pet from feeling any upset. In doing so, you want to make your pet feel at home, and hopefully trigger all the associated fuzzy feelings the home environment brings like; comfort, safety, happiness, and love. To start building the foundations for your person and puppy relationship, here are a few things you can do to help your new pet feel at home.
Hopefully, you have some time to spare before your pets’ arrival so that you can begin preparing your home. An excellent place to start is by decluttering. Try tackling the stacks of books balancing on shelves on the verge of toppling over, the bags of clothes for goodwill taking up room in your home, and any junk that’s accumulated throughout your home that your pet could mistake for toys. By decluttering, you can maximize the floor space in your home and give the all clear for your new pet to explore without worrying they’ll knock things, eat something they shouldn’t or become injured.
Pet Only Space
When the decluttering is finished, take a look around your home to see where your ‘pet only’ space will be. This should be an area where they won’t be disturbed by people, children, and other pets. When you are thinking of where they will be the happiest look for warm, cozy, clean, and quiet spots. Organizing a space just for your pet will give them a sense of privacy and safety away from the hustle and bustle of the home.
Everyone in your home should be on their best behavior, at least for a little while during the time your new pet is becoming acclimatized to their new home. For rehomed dogs, in particular, this can take up to 14 days. It’s essential when your new pet arrives there are no sudden upheavals. Moving home for your pet is a traumatic time and so refrain from any other unexpected changes that could affect your new pets settling in period, such as;
- Leaving shortly to go on holiday without your pet
- Decorating and moving furniture around
- Rehoming more pets
- Inviting your friends and family around to see your new pet
The first few weeks, if possible, should be your pups time to adapt to their new surroundings.
Dogs have a distinct sense of smell that enables them to draw conclusions about their surroundings. When you pick up your new pet, ask the owner if they have any blankets, beds, or toys that they regularly use that you are allowed to take home with you. Place the blanket or bedding in their own area. The familiar scent from the fabric will help to soothe and reassure your pet that they are in a safe place which will encourage homely feelings.
Pet dogs, for the most part, are social creatures, they like company and comfort, from you and by meeting new people and pets. Being torn away from their old relationships can be unsettling, and so as their new owner, part of making them feel at home is by petting, brushing and playing with your new companion. For the first few days to the first few weeks, depending on your dogs’ personality and whether they’ve had their vaccinations, you may want to venture outside with them to the park to see and meet other people and dogs. Better yet, you could enroll them into a puppy or behavioral class to start broadening their social circle and boosting their confidence in their new home and area.
Wherever you decide to put your pets’ food, their food and water should be refreshed regularly, it should be placed in a clean area and there should be enough space for your pet to eat undisturbed. A big part of feeling at home is the comforting feeling we get from a delicious meal, and our pets feel the same about this.
Bringing a new pet home for the first time is a daunting experience for both you and your new pet, but with the tips above the transition from their old home to their new one can be made a lot easier, and in some cases help them to become settled a lot quicker.