Welcoming a four-legged friend into the family is exciting, but it can also be tricky to navigate. Whether you’re an experienced pet owner or a giddy first-timer, you should know how to prepare and what to expect when you bring Fido into your home. It’s only natural to experience an adjustment phase and growing pains. However, there are plenty of ways to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here’s what you should consider when bringing a dog into a new place.
Tuck Away Valuables and Potentially Dangerous Items
Set your new pet up for success by preparing your home for a dog. When your pet arrives, they will be overstimulated and overwhelmed. Entering an unfamiliar space can often result in negative behaviors, like chewing and accidents.
Start by storing valuable items out of your pup’s reach, and consider partitioning off an area where they can’t get into any trouble. Keep trashcans out of their reach, close your toilet lids, tuck away wires and cords, lock up household cleaners, never leave food unattended. Your best course of action is to assume that everything is at risk of being chewed on during this “adjustment phase.”
Prep Your Carpets and Furniture
Along with tidying up your belongings, you’ll want to “dog-proof” your furniture and floors, too. You can help prevent any future stains on carpets and rugs by pre-treating them with water repellant sprays. Slipping covers over couches and chairs can help keep them clean and pet-hair-free. If you don’t like the look of covers, buying your sofa or sectional secondhand is an excellent idea. You can get a gently used couch that looks beautiful in your home — at a much more dog-friendly price.
Anticipate an Adjustment Phase
If you’re bringing a dog home for the first time, know that they’ll need time to get comfortable. It’s not always smooth sailing. You need time to learn about each other, build trust, develop a new routine, and adjust to a new dynamic.
If things aren’t going as anticipated, be patient. Keep in mind that your dog left a place they knew to come somewhere totally unfamiliar to them. Before you second guess your adoption decision because of an accident on your rug or a chewed-up pair of sneakers, remember that your dog has limited ways of working through their stress, excitement, and confusion. With patience and firm boundaries, they’ll soon become comfortable in your home and stop any destructive behavior.
Set and Stick to Your House Rules from Day One
In all of the excitement, it might be tempting to let your dog run wild and do whatever they want on that first day. However, this sets the tone that there are no rules and that your new dog is in charge. For example, If they aren’t allowed on your bed, that should be established from the get-go.
Give your dog a leashed tour of your home, keeping them calm and demonstrating that you are in charge. From the moment they enter your home, they should be aware that there are boundaries — this is not a place to run wild. It may feel cold, but your assertive, calming energy will help combat their anxiety.
For tips on enforcing a “no pets on the furniture” rule, check out our blog post “How to Keep Pets Off the Couch When You’re Not Home.”
Give Your Dog Space
Just like most of us, your dog will occasionally need time and space to unwind. If you intend on crate training, leave the door to your dog’s crate open and allow your pet to go in and out as they please. A comfortable dog bed might become their safe “home base” and can have the added benefit of keeping them off your furniture. No matter how much you want sweet puppy cuddles, you must let them decompress and rest on their own from time to time.
Offer Frequent Walks and Potty Breaks
Even if you’re bringing home an older dog that is fully potty-trained, entering a new home disrupts their routine and can cause a regression. To decrease the chances of accidents, make sure you take them out often, regardless of their potty training track record. Establishing a daily routine of walks and potty breaks can help your dog learn what to expect and when.
There is nothing more exciting than finally bringing home your new best friend, but your dog is already overstimulated just by coming into a new place. Don’t jump up and down screaming with happiness. Don’t invite 10 of your friends over to act as a welcoming committee. Don’t let your children bombard them with kisses and hugs. There will be so much time for cuddles, introductions, and outings. But for now, keep the adjustment phase as relaxed, quiet, and peaceful as possible.
Do your best to calmly and safely acclimate your pet to your children, friends, and any other furry friends. Exert patience and control, and keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort. Even the sweetest dog can become aggressive when stressed and overwhelmed.
Keep a Low-Key Schedule for a Bit
While your dog is adjusting to its new life, channel your inner homebody. Now isn’t the time to take long weekend trips, bar hop all night, or host dinner parties. Use this time to earn your dog’s trust, create a bond, and get them comfortable in your home. By sticking close to home for a few weeks – when possible – and showing your dog a steady and predictable routine, you’ll get them through this adjustment period even faster.
Find Furniture that Fits Your Lifestyle — and Budget — at CORT Furniture Outlet
Adding a furry member to the family is exciting — but it can also take a toll on your furniture! If you find that Fido’s shredded your old couch’s cushions or had an accident on your area rug, head into your local CORT Furniture Outlet showroom to find stylish, quality replacement pieces at prices you’ll adore. From a new sofa to durable, gorgeous rugs, we have plenty of new and gently-used inventory that’ll suit your space.
And, when you shop with CORT Furniture Outlet, you don’t have to spend weeks — or even days — waiting for your new goods to arrive. You can pick up your new furniture or decor the same day you buy it when you shop online or in-store today!