If you’re thinking about adding a new four-legged friend to your family, you’ll need to do some prep work. But preparing to bring home a new puppy or rescue dog is only half the equation – the real work begins the moment you bring your new dog home. To ease the transition, some people take paid (or unpaid) leave, resulting in a new term: “paternity leave.”
Are you planning to expand your fur family? Parenting time is the best way to ease the transition for you and your new puppy friend or rescue dog.
What happens during adoption
Before you bring your new puppy home, there are a few things you should know about the dog adoption process. Finding the right rescue and perfect puppy for your situation can take time.
Contact a rescue organization in your area or one that specializes in breeds that fit your lifestyle. Be prepared to provide them with some basic information about your family, your home and yard, and your pet-owning background. Many organizations will schedule a home visit today, which is a great time to protect your house and talk more about what you’re looking for in your new furry family member.
By the time adoption day approaches, you should have everything you need to make your new dog feel at home—a safe place to sleep, food and water bowls, a leash, a collar with identification tags, and plenty of toys.
Why taking ‘maternity’ leave is good for your new dog
Once you bring your dog home, the real work begins – and that’s when the idea of personal leave becomes so important. Paternity leave is paid or unpaid leave when you bring a new dog home. The concept has caught on as employers realize the important role four-legged family members play in our lives.
Bringing home a new puppy or dog is a major life change that only makes sense if you need time to make the transition. Whether or not your employer offers paternity leave, consider taking time off or putting your life on hold for a few days in order to provide your new furry friend with a quality welcome.
Think about it: Your new dog has just left a familiar environment with little explanation of what happened other than your comforting words as you loaded it into the car. Now he was in a completely different place, with new sights, smells and sounds. Dogs are pack animals too, and your new puppy being adopted into a new “pack” can be stressful.
Almost everyone who brings a puppy home has experienced a sleepless night or two (or more) because of a crying puppy. All the excitement of a new pet combined with a lack of sleep equals total exhaustion. That might be enough to take a few days off when you adopt a new dog!
Building Trust: How To Build A Good Relationship With Your New Dog
So how will you make the most of your paternity leave? Take the time to develop a strong relationship with your new puppy or rescue dog. Start with the right foot – er, the paw – using these great tips.
1. Start slow
No doubt you’ll be excited to go anywhere and do anything with your new pal, but for the first few days, your pup is going to be relaxing.
Plan to spend the first 24 to 48 hours around or near the house so your dog will begin to feel settled. It’s best not to let a crowd of tourists overwhelm your dog. Instead, start slowly and gradually expand your dog’s world with new people and places.
2. Enter the routine
Use your time at home to help your puppy or dog learn about everyday life around your home. Even if you may be on paternity leave, wake up at your usual time and set a regular feeding time. Dogs benefit from everyday life, and there’s no better time to start than the first day you bring your new pet home.
Try hand feeding to encourage your dog to eat at the same time and bond. Hand feeding helps build trust between the two of you, and also shows your dog that you can serve delicious treats!
Take your dog outside regularly to show him when and where the bathroom can be used. However, accidents do happen from time to time, so don’t get frustrated if you sometimes have to clean up the mess. It’s easy to remember if you’re home training a puppy who doesn’t know more but may be more frustrating when adopting an adult dog from a shelter or rescue. Remember that stress can affect your dog’s toilet habits. Be consistent and positive, and your dog will soon learn what to expect from him.
3. Have fun
Spend some time with your new dog or puppy playing with age-appropriate toys and playtime. It can be exciting to see which games your new dog enjoys the most — like hide and seek or hide and seek — and which toys are quickly becoming favorites.
Balance game time with some quality rest and relaxation. Playing with your dog is a great way to help him release stress and anxiety, while inviting him to relax with you on the couch will make him feel safe and loved.
Two paws ready for maternity leave
Is pawn leave a good idea for you? This special time to bond with your furry friend will only happen once. Make the most of it and build a lifelong relationship of trust and love with your new furry companion.
If you’re lucky enough to work for a pet-friendly company that offers paternity leave, take advantage of it! Otherwise, consider using a PTO or scheduling a long weekend or other holiday to adopt your new dog.