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5 Tips for Settling a New Dog into Your Home

5 Tips for Settling a New Dog into Your Home

Congratulations on your new dog! As a serious dog owner, you have probably prepared in advance and purchased food, some toys, a sleeping place, and looked into a good veterinarian.

But while a dog may become your best friend, you cannot forget that a dog is a dog, and not a human. This means that your dog does not think like a human, and you cannot expect the things from a dog moving in that you would for a human. The adjustment period when the dog comes home is a challenge, as any owner who has watched their dog run amok the minute they got inside for can attest. Here are a few smart tips can make the adjustment period much easier.

1. Take Charge

At the end of the day, you are that dog’s master. This means that when you take it home for the first time, you have to make it clear that this is your home and not the dog’s.

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So while it is tempting to just hug your new pet and give it treats and play with it, you have to be firm at the start. When you take it home, enter the house first. Have the dog accompany you while you enter every room first. Do not let it wander around and do not hesitate to be stern (not angry) if it starts trying to sniff or move away from you.

With pets and children, it is better to be stern first and ease up later than the other way around. Show your dog that you are in charge, and that will go a long ways towards ensuring good behavior in the long run.

2. Give it Space

One mantra you will hear from dog experts is “three days, three weeks, and three months.” This mantra refers to the amount of time it takes a dog to get acclimated to its new home. It takes three days for a dog to get over the shock of moving, three weeks to get settled into a routine, and three months to feel “home.”

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This mantra matters because you cannot expect a dog to feel right at home when it moves in. Your dog may spend the next three days just sleeping, and he will make mistakes as he will not be sure of his boundaries. Correct him the instant he makes a mistake, but understand that your dog views his new spot as a foreign spot and that he will mess up. Patience is necessary.

3. Be careful with dog food

If you picked up your dog from a shelter, check to see what kind of food they have been feeding it. If your dog is eating one kind of food at the shelter and then immediately switches to another kind at your home, the result can be digestive problems and diarrhea.

This does not mean you are stuck feeding your dog the shelter food. As pet nutrition company Hill’s observes, you should switch over a period lasting from five to seven days. Mix the old and new food together. Each day, decrease the portion of the old food and increase the portion of the new food.

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And do not try to save money by skimping on dog food costs. The additional expense of higher quality food in the short will be made up by your dog’s superior nutritional health. This means fewer visits to the vet.

4. Don’t forget to dog proof

Before the dog enters your home, you need to proof the home and prevent him from getting into and destroying your valuables. The American Humane Society has a fantastic list of actions you should take in advance. Note that proofing is a constant process that does not end when the dog is brought in the home for the first time. When you make changes to your home, consider how it can impact your dog’s safety.

But while you may have tried to proof your home, the odds are that you have missed something that your dog could get into or destroy, including its own bed. You can easily find indestructible dog beds, but even then, you need to monitor your dog for the first few days or weeks to make it clear where he is allowed and what he can do. As noted above, be stern at the start.

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5. Be careful with dogs and children

If you have children, their excitement towards having a new dog will far exceed your own. But young children often lack the self-awareness and discipline needed to treat a dog properly, which can end tragically if you do not supervise both of them.

One of the biggest tips when watching children and dogs interact is to ask yourself how you would feel if that dog was a human. You would not let your child poke through someone else’s food or stare in their face, so do not let them do that to your dog.

You should also construct a safe space where a dog can go away and be alone. Make sure your children understand that when a dog goes to that spot, it is not to be disturbed.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Aiko via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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