A pup’s entry into your house is an occasion to celebrate and enjoy. But it might take a while for the new member to settle in. Until he feels safe and secure, give the darling all the love, time and attention he needs, before he adopts your house as his own, and you as his whole world!!!
The first time your pup enters your home, it is most natural to feel excited and be over-indulgent while showering all your love and attention. We want to do nothing but watch him jump and play, hear his squeaky woof-woof, and laugh at his antics that are sheer pleasure to the eyes!!! But what we don’t realise is that for the pup, to suddenly come into whole new environment, is an overwhelming experience, and he might feel scared and lost initially. Since he misses his familiar environment, he might whimper and whine for a few days.
In fact, the first two-three days are the most crucial since he will feel lonely and might need the extra love and care of the new family. Insecurity often weighs him down and is often reflected in his lack of bladder control. Some even lose their appetite from the nervousness they feel. After all, their whole life has changed suddenly. And the most sincere way to show your love for the pup is to give him time to adjust to his new environment.
Safe and secure
At this point, it is imperative to make the pup feel safe and secure. For this, try not to play too much with him or make him do things that he is scared of. Don’t force him to come to you either. If he does on his own, then love and cuddle him, like you would do to a child. They are after all newly born babies, who have just been weaned from their mothers and families.
Allow them to get used to your house space, so that they get familiar with the place. You can try venturing out further once they are more at ease with your company.
You also need to take care that not too many people come over to see him initially as it will unsettle him and create a sense of panic in him. Once he is comfortable with his family and knows whom to trust, he will be able to deal better with strangers in the house, instead of feeling afraid. Many pups, if they are forced to come and socialise with strangers when they are not ready, tend to develop certain traits like hiding under the bed/table or even relieving their bladder in fear. Your friends can wait till he is more at ease with you and your family. As for you, give the pup lots of love, toys, comfort, attention and a place for him to be alone if he wants it. Routine and security help them to settle in.
Helping him explore
But once he is used to the house, then be prepared for his playful antics, which he will indulge in at length. He will explore every nook and corner of the house and will want to be part of everything that you do. At this juncture, it is important to involve him in the playful activities, so that he feels part of the family. Take him for walks, for short drives and get him to play with his toys or in the park where he can jump and have his share of exercise. The more he plays, the healthier he will become.
And once you make a routine of playing with him at any given point of time in the day, believe me, he will be there all geared up, when it’s time!!! Most vets are of the opinion that the more a pup explores, the better his growth will be.
Creatures of routine
Pups are creatures of routine, and so, make sure you follow the routine as much as possible. This includes, waking up on time, taking him out for walks on time, playing with him on certain regular times (such as the evening, when you are back from work), allowing him to sleep on time and feeding him at the same time everyday. That is the easiest way to make a dog feel at home and get settled.
Pups also need care according to the changing seasons. The poor darlings cannot take care to keep themselves warm or cool, so it is the responsibility of the owners to make sure they are well cared for. Make sure they have their coats and blankets in winters so they don’t catch a cold. Also give him ample toys to take care of his teething problems, so as to make sure he does not chew anything valuable or dangerous. Be gentle but firm while scolding him for pulling at things which are not good for him, such as shoes, bags etc.
One area that needs to be looked into is his first few nights at home. He might not feel comfortable initially, so he will not be able to sleep at all. Many owners tend to get upset with the whimpering of the pups at night, but they need to realise that he is only scared and is missing his familiar surroundings. So try and bear with him and soothe his frayed nerves by making him feel safe. In a few days, he will get used to the house and the people and will learn to sleep well.
Also, if you have earmarked certain place for him to sleep in, make sure it stays that way. Once he gets used to that place, they will not be able to sleep anywhere else. He should never be held back from his nap, as they tend to get cranky for lack of sleep, just like babies. Never disturb a puppy while he is sleeping.
In the end, remember that it is actually babies you are dealing with, and just as you put with late nights wailing, the nappies, the lack of sleep when you get a new born baby, so is the treatment you need to accord to these four-legged babies. And believe me, with every passing day, the amount of pleasure they will give you by their very presence will make you pat your back for the beautiful decision you have taken, and for the bundle of joy you got home.
– by Amrita Sharma