Getting a new dog is emotional! From the moment you lock eyes for the first time to the excitement of buying a customized collar, leash, and food bowl is a time of anticipation, happiness, and if we are being honest anxiety.
Bringing a new dog home is not all playing fetch and puppy cuddles and it seems as if the anxiety of having a new dog is rarely talked about.
What do you do when you get your dog and think, “Are you sure this is the same one I saw?”
The dog you met was seemingly the perfect mix of energetic and sweet with a distinct four footed prance when she came to greet you, but this foreign dog is lethargic and growls every time you go near her.
You feel a drop in your stomach and a burning in your chest with the panic you have just made a giant mistake even though you know it is the same dog, they just seem different.
First, it is important to realize your dog has had a major life change. Whether you brought your new dog home from a pet store, breeder, or the pound, the dog was used to living in that space.
Your new dog has involuntarily moved homes and been taken away from the people and other animals they know within the manner of a few days.
If your dog is acting differently after you bring them home, give them a few weeks to adjust to their new surroundings by giving them space to explore their new living arrangements on their own.
Secondly, set your dog on a routine. Though you do want to ensure you are giving your new dog their space, it is important to set a routine for meals, walks and bathroom breaks. Your dog has had a lot of change in his or her life all of a sudden, so putting them on a routine will ease their anxiety and adjust to new people and a new living space.
Lastly, remember you and your dog have a lot of bonding to do.
Since you and your dog just met, you do not really know each other. Your dog sees you as a stranger and is unsure if they can trust you.
Similar to any new relationship, you have to get to know each other. You can bond with your dog by taking them on a walk, to the dog park, or by playing fetch. By spending time together, you will learn your new pal’s likes and dislikes. By doing this, your dog will get to know you and will learn they can trust you.
Bringing a new dog home is fun. But the anxiety sometimes outweighs the excitement.
Dogs and people are similar in that they both need companionship and time to adjust to new places and situations. It is easy to think when your new dog starts acting differently, you made a mistake in bringing them home.
When this happens, remember you are not alone.
Your new pooch will adjust.