Whether you have acquired a New Dog over the summer or during some other more relaxed period of the year, it’s a good idea to get your new companion accustomed to the normal household routine. Don’t expect your dog to automatically fit into your daily rhythms. Here are a few proactive steps you can take to help your dog adjust to your normal pattern of living.
Understand Your New Dog’s Needs
A healthy dog needs to go outside to go to the bathroom about 5 times each day. You may have to determine the best way to space these outings in your individual schedule. You can take the dog out on waking, before you leave the house, when you get home, after eating and then once before bedtime. Dogs need to be fed once or twice each day. Generally, a meal in the evening, at the humans’ dinner time will help prevent ‘accidents’ while you’re away during the day. Puppies need more frequent feedings. Fresh water should be available throughout the day. Wash and fill the water bowl before you leave in the morning. In addition, dogs enjoy a bit of daily grooming or playtime with their owners and other family members.
Dogs Like Predictability
A regular schedule makes a dog feel secure. They know what to expect, and won’t become anxious about changes. If you have a new dog, try to keep your daily schedule as regular as possible. Your family’s daily comings and going trigger a state of alertness and can cause anxiety. Make sure the dog’s care and, a bit of attention, are a part of every day Your dog will know his care is a part of your daily life and he, or she, can count on you.
Avoiding Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a common problem experienced by shelter dogs that may have been separated from a previous owner. However, this problem can also occur in puppies that have been separated from their litters too soon. The animal may express their anxiety at being left alone by whining, barking constantly, having ‘accidents’ in the house, drooling, pacing, chewing on furniture and trying to escape. Changes in schedule or in members in the household can also trigger this response. You can change your morning routines to lower the animal’s anxiety about being left alone. Getting the animal accustomed to being left for shorter periods of time can help them adjust. In some cases, medication may be necessary to relieve anxiety.
Keeping Your Dog Busy During the Day
Dogs will sleep a large portion of the day while you are away from home. However, some dogs may become bored and may develop destructive patterns. You can help them keep busy during the day by leaving out chew toys, Kong toys filled with peanut butter or a puzzle toy. Some dogs seem to be comforted by having a radio or TV playing while left on their own. If your dog seems to have a problem being left alone all day, consider a dog walking service to come in while you are at work.
Include Your Dog in Days-End Activities
Just going for an evening walk with the family, a ride in the car to pick up the kids or cuddling on the sofa watching Netflix is a good end to each day for your dog. Being a part of the “pack” is important to canines psychologically. When you include your dog in the day’s activities, you satisfy their deep need to belong and be accepted by his or her group.
Canines are good at adjusting to the needs of their human companions. If you give them a little guidance, you will find that they will adopt the subtle patterns in your family’s daily life. Take these steps and you will soon find your new dog has become a true member of the family.