Five Ways to Make Your New Dog Feel at Home

Just like any other family member, dogs have special needs to make them feel comfortable and very much part of the family. Here are five ways to make a new puppy or adopted canine feel at home.

  1. By nature, all dogs have a “denning” instinct and a crate simulates this basic trait and allows your dog to have its own personal space. These days there are all kinds of crates available and chances are you will be able to find one that fits into the color scheme and design of your home! For a young puppy, it’s a good idea to buy a matching cushion as well as foam bumpers for the side, just like you would put in a baby’s crib. Rather buy bigger and block off part of the space for a puppy. At any point in time, your dog must be able to stand up with his head forward and be able to turn around comfortably. It should also be long enough for the dog to be able to stretch out on its side to sleep.
  2. Every dog needs a well-stocked toy box that should contain three different types of toys. Action toys such as balls, flying discs and fun-shaped rubber toys, tires, rope ties and other hard items that light up when thrown will delight your dog endlessly in retrieving games. Distraction toys such as those made of hard rubber shapes that can be stuffed with treats or tidbits will keep your dog busy for hours when its home alone. Soothing toys are soft cuddly animals with squeakers that come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Dogs treat them as “prey” toys for shaking around and also for sleeping with.
  3. Dogs are very sociable creatures and like to be with their favorite people. So consider buying your pooch a comfy bed and placing it in the living room where he can hang with you when you are watching TV and generally spending time together.
  4. Similarly, dogs love to go places. Invest in a really soft, well-designed harness that can be properly attached in a vehicle to act as a restraint. Regular trips to the dog park are a great way to allow your pooch to socialize with other dogs and keep him happy and ready to snooze when he gets back home.
  5. Finally, even if you have a large garden where your dog can happily bounce around, it’s no substitute for daily walks. Dogs need lots of exercise to keep them not only physically fit and mentally, too, just like people. So scheduling regular walks and varying the routes is good for both of you!

What did you do to help your new dog feel at home right away?

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