Preparing Your Home for a New Puppy
A new puppy! Get ready for a rollercoaster ride of fun as your exuberant pup turns your home and yard into an exciting adventure playground seeking out fun stuff to explore — and chew.
Puppy Proof Your Home
Just like small children and crawling babies, puppies are driven by curiosity.
Before you bring your new friend home, it’s a good idea to scan your house and garden from their view point by getting down on your hands and knees. Everything looks very different from a puppy’s ground-level perspective.
This will highlight hidden dangers within a small dog’s reach such as gaps behind furniture and appliances where an exploring puppy can easily get stuck and hurt.
- Consider a laundry basket and trash cans with lids so that the respective contents don’t get chewed, as this can be very dangerous. Now you have a real excuse to put your shoes away and not leave them lying around, especially ones with laces.
- Remove items of jewelry along with hair accessories, medication and creams and any other small objects from nightstands, as they are all potential hazards. Never empty pockets of coins and leave them lying around anywhere because the metals can be toxic if ingested. Instead load up a decorative piggy bank with small change and, when its full, spend the cash on a fun new doggie accessory or toy.
- Make sure no shopping bags are left lying around especially plastic ones.
And, on the subjecting of shopping bags, a new puppy calls for a shopping spree in advance to ensure that you have all the right accessories, toys and food before you bring him home.
Basic Shopping List
By nature, all dogs have a denning instinct and a crate simulates this basic need and allows your puppy to have its own personal space.
There is a large selection of crates made from wire or plastic compositions in all colors. Select a size with your full-grown dog in mind and ensure it has a divider so you can initially create a puppy space and enlarge it as he grows. Also consider a two-door design to give you better access according to where its positioned in the home. To create a proper doggie den, kit it out with accessories including comfy mattresses, and foam bumpers similar to what you’d put in a baby’s cot.
Food and Water Bowls
There is no shortage of stylish food and water bowls that will slot in beautifully with your home décor. Stainless steel, glass or ceramic bowls are hygienic because they as dishwasher safe and thus easy to keep clean. Look for styles that have a rubber ring on the bottom so that your puppy can’t move it around the house.
Many veterinarians consider raised food bowls a good idea because the standing position for eating aids digestion. There are numerous models on the market with telescopic legs so that you can increase the height as your puppy grows.
A drinking fountain is an excellent idea to ensure that your puppy as a constant supply of fresh running water. This will replicate running water that dogs would drink in the wild and will ensure he stays properly hydrated.
Food and Treats
If you adopted your puppy from a shelter, the chances are you have been given a bag of the food he has been fed to date. A healthy grain-free diet will help keep your growing dog healthy and glossy. There are special puppy diets to help with growth. And, if you are planning to transition over to a new recipe, do it over a period of a week to 10 days. This way you will avoid any dietary issues such as a runny tummy that can occur if you switch over too quickly.
Look for low calorie treats and experiment with different flavors and textures to see what your pooch enjoys. Treats are a great training tool when you get ready to work on his social skills.
Stocking a toy box is something that you can do over time as all dogs need action, distraction and comfort toys. But initially, get your puppy something plush that he can sleep. Go for something cuddly but chew-resistant with lots of squeakers to ramp up the fun with and also purchase some fun non-toxic throw toys.
Joining a family can be very overwhelming for a puppy. So, it’s a really good idea to create a space for him in one room of the home with all his new accessories. And make it somewhere quiet too. Another good excuse to tell teenagers to turn that music down! Make sure the crate is not near a draughty door or window.
It takes time for a puppy to get acclimatized so take it slow with family introductions. Initially, do it one person at a time and supervise the meet-and-greets if small children are involved. This way everyone in the household can begin forming great friendships from the start.