Bringing a new dog home can be challenging, especially for first-time dog parents. But whatever new dog challenges you’re facing, know that you’re not alone. Here are some suggestions for coping with a few of the new dog challenges pet parents face. And remember, you’re going to get through this!
Dog barks and cries when left alone
What’s 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 will do wonders.
Increase the time to 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and 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 and has diarrhea
What’s the real issue? Dogs can vomit or have diarrhea for many reasons, but it’s likely anxiety and/or a change in diet.
Solution: Of all the new dog challenges, this is among the messiest. 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 your dog is used to eating. Then, try to feed your dog the same food. 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 and cries in their crate all night
What’s 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 dog can hear you breathing and moving around.
Make sure your dog 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 dog to adjust to their new home.
Dog chews everything
What’s 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 them from finding shoes and other things to chew on.
If the behavior is extreme, you’ll definitely want to work with a trainer. But you can stop your dog from chewing. You just need to give it time and work on it.
Dog disappears when off-leash
What’s 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 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 ID tags — it’s nearly impossible to have them 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.
You wonder if you’re a dog person
What’s 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, these new dog challenges will soon be a thing of the past. In no time, you’ll wonder how you ever survived your boring, dog-deprived former life.
Talk to other people with pets, join online communities, and follow social media accounts that will help you adjust to your new life. You have a lot to learn but it’s so worth it!