Bringing a new dog home can be challenging, especially for first time dog parents. But whatever problems you’re facing, know that you’re not alone.
If you hop onto our DogTime Facebook page you’ll meet lots of other dog parents with tons of advice and support for you.
If that’s not enough, here are suggestions for coping with a few of the challenges most common to new dog adopters. And remember, you’re going to do great!
Dog Barks & Cries When Left Alone
What’s probably the real issue? Insecurity. Dogs are pack animals, and a new dog in a new place is going to feel alone, afraid, and sad sometimes.
Solution: Consider taking a few days off from work to spend with your new pup, or work from home if you can for the first week. Your pup will adjust to living in your home, but give them some time.
Try giving your pup smart toys that engage their mind when you’re away, and start by taking short trips outside. Just a few minutes and coming back with lots of love and treats.
Increase the time to ten minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, always returning with love and reassurance that you missed your pup as much as they missed you.
Some dogs have a bigger problem with separation anxiety and you may want to talk to your vet or consult with a trainer.
Dog Throws Up & Has Diarrhea
What’s probably the real issue? Dogs can vomit or have diarrhea for many reasons, but it’s likely anxiety and/or a change in diet.
Solution: First you’ll want to rule out exposure to any toxins. Make sure you’re aware of the human foods that are toxic to dogs and that your home is dog or puppy proofed so that your pup can’t reach any cleaners, chemicals or plants that might be toxic to a dog.
Keep the first few days at home low-key but structured, following a reliable walk-eat-play routine.
Find out what what your dog is used to eating, try to feed your dog the same food, and gradually switch over to the dog food of your choice.
If the vomiting or diarrhea is severe or doesn’t go away quickly, see a vet.
Dog Whines & Cries In Their Crate All Night
What’s probably the real issue? Your dog is understandably scared and alone in a strange place. Face it — your pup is a bit freaked out.
Solution: First of all make your new pup feel at home by letting them sleep in your bedroom with you. If your dog sleeps in a crate, bring the crate next to your bed so you can lay side by side and your pup can hear you breathing and moving around.
Make sure your pup isn’t trying to tell you that they need a potty break, and make sure they have a comfortable bed or blanket to sleep on.
It’s also important to make sure that your new pup gets enough exercise every day so they’re tuckered out at the end of the day and ready for bed.
The crying and whining won’t last forever; it just takes a little time for your pup to adjust to their new home.
Dog Chews The Remote, The Couch Cushions, Your Shoes, & Everything Else
What’s probably the real issue? You’ve adopted a chewing fiend who might be nervous or have new teeth coming in
Solution: Make sure your pup has plenty of dog toys and appropriate things to chew on.
Keep things like remote controls and cellphones up high where your new pup can’t reach them. You may need to make a special puppy play area in your home so your dog doesn’t have access to the whole house, or close bedroom doors to keep your pup from finding shoes and other things to chew on.
If the behavior is extreme, you’ll definitely want to work with a trainer. But I promise, you can stop your dog from chewing. You just need to give it time and work on it.
Dog Disappears When You Take Them Off-Leash
What’s probably the real issue? Your house isn’t “home” yet to your dog
Solution: First of all you should always keep your dog on a leash when you go outside. Off-leash dog parks are not the place for you and your new dog. You need to give your new pup time to adjust before you start going places like that.
Make sure that your yard is secure so your dog cannot escape, and don’t leave a new dog outside alone for hours on end. It’s just not safe.
Obviously you need to make sure your new dog is microchipped and fitted with the proper tags — it’s nearly impossible to have him memorize your phone number!
Never take the ID tags off of your dog. Tags are not just for when you go on a walk. Dogs can escape houses and yards so your dog should wear tags 24/7/365.
You Wonder If You Did The Right Thing Getting This Dog
What’s probably the real issue? You’re adjusting to a new responsibility and lifestyle. It will all work out fine.
Solution: Don’t stress. It’s quite common to have some doubts in the beginning, especially if your pup howls when left alone or is frightened by common household sounds. Just hang in there.
Chances are, you’ll soon wonder how you ever survived your boring, dog-deprived former life. Everything takes time.
Talk to other people with pets, join online communities and follow Facebook pages that will help you adjust to your new life. You have a lot to learn but it’s so worth it!
What other problems do people have when they adopt a new dog? Do you have any advice for new pet parents? Let us know in the comments below!