Tips to Keep in Mind When Introducing a New Dog to Your Home!

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In our last article, we talked about the best practices for dealing with an apartment dwelling dog. Now generally having a dog in a house is a much easier process. You can simply open a door to let them into the backyard and they have a bit more room to roam around in the house. But there are still a few things to keep in mind when you introduce a new dog to your house.

First, take time to introduce them to the house. They will be curious and this gives you a chance to find out what areas you may need to “dog proof”, which applies to apartment dwellers as well. Trash cans are a big target for dogs and need to be secured as quickly as possible. Your old food smells irresistible to them and while chowing down on three day old hamburgers seems like a great idea, other things you throw away can make them sick and even poison them. Make sure your trash is secured behind a door or a very sturdy trashcan and depending on the dog, a heavy one at that. Cat litter boxes are also alluring to a lot of dogs, so keeping them as clean as possible is in your best interest.

Second, double check your backyard for any possible escape points. Whether it is a small opening near the fence or an easy way to jump over the gate, you need to make sure that your yard is secure. Nothing is worse than letting your dog out for a bit, only to come back and find them missing. We have covered this before, but make sure you get your new dog microchipped just in case this happens. You also want to keep a collar with updated tags and information on them at all times.

Depending on your climate and how long you plan on leaving your dog outside, always make sure you have fresh water and a place to escape the heat/cold, although it is generally not recommended to keep them outside for too long in extreme temperatures.

It also helps to introduce your dog to your neighbors. A lot of dogs can become territorial and you want to make sure they are on good terms with people they might be seeing a lot of. This will also help in the event your dog does escape, since your neighbors might recognize him and even help get him home. On the same note, be mindful of how much of a barker they will turn out to be. There is always one person in the neighborhood whose dog barks all day and night. Don’t be that person.

Finally, set clear boundaries with your pooch on day one. If you don’t want them on the couch, you need to start working with them right away so they learn early. Same with where they are allowed to go. Your dog may decide they enjoy rolling around in your closet, playing with your expensive shoes. Deciding to work with them months later will make it that much more difficult, plus confuse them if they have been used to doing something.

Overall, it will be a learning experience for the both of you, but with some careful planning, patience and a lot of love, your new friend will love living in their new house. We will continue these series of articles by discussing what dogs work best with your family and depending on your age, what works best for you.

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