Gaining a new family member in the form of a puppy is an exciting time for everyone involved. There’s a lot to consider – the breed, the gender, the name, whether you’re going to adopt from a shelter or a registered breeder …
Not only this, you have to make sure your home is ready for the new arrival. This takes much more than simply tidying away shoes or buying a pet bed! Here’s some helpful tips and things to remember when preparing your home for your new puppy, to make the transition easier for both of you!
BEFORE THEY ARRIVE…
Secure your home
Like you would for small children, make sure you make a conscious effort to secure your home before your puppy arrives. Simply things like keeping doors and windows locked can save your puppy going walkabout, or getting out of the house before they’re ready.
If you live in an apartment, or plan on keeping your puppy upstairs while they adjust to their new surroundings, this is especially important. Beware of any heights, like balconies or stairs, as puppies will not be aware of the dangers involved. Stair gates are perfect for controlling the spaces your puppy has access to, and helps to set boundaries from a young age.
Another key thing to consider is that any hanging objects, such as curtains or tablecloths will look like a toy to your puppy. These will be a temptation for your puppy, and if they pull a curtain down and the rail comes loose, they could end up seriously injured! It’s best to remove the temptation before they arrive!
Remove poisonous houseplants
Ensure that you don’t have any houseplants that could be a health hazard to your puppy. While these are nice to have on show, if your puppy decides to have a snack they could end up with serious stomach problems or even life-threatening conditions.
Another problem you may encounter is that puppies will like to dig, and the soil provides the perfect spot for them to do this! Save your carpets as well as your pet’s health by keeping plants in different rooms to where your puppy is going to be.
Remove dangerous objects
Preparing your home for a new puppy is a bit like preparing your home for a new baby, and a lot of the same rules apply when it comes to removing any potentially dangerous objects.
Things like cleaning solutions, electric cables, plastic bags and small or sharp items are some of the obvious objects that should be kept well out of reach of your puppy.
Remember, that many human food items can be poisonous for your puppy, so it’s important to keep all food items clearly out of reach as well as the obvious dangers. You can learn more about what you should and shouldn’t feed your dog here.
Buy the right accessories for your dog
Make sure you have all the right accessories for your dog before you bring them home for the first time. Depending on breed, there can be very different requirements for your new puppy – you wouldn’t want to buy a bed designed for a Great Dane when you’re bringing home a Chihuahua! Make sure you’re buying an appropriately sized dog bed, or if you’re opting to cage train your puppy make sure they’ll be able to stand and lie down comfortably in the cage.
It is recommended that food and water bowls are heavy bottomed ceramic or stainless steel to begin with, as these are difficult for your puppy to knock over or chew. This stops them from getting into bad habits from a young age.
It’s important to buy them plenty of toys and things to chew on, to keep them occupied and distracted while they adjust to their new surroundings. This also stops them from chewing on the furniture or your shoes!
The last key accessory you need for your dog is equipment for potty training. Even if you plan on taking your puppy outdoors to a toilet spot, it’s a great idea to provide them with somewhere to go inside just in case there is an emergency. Our Pura Dog is a litter tray designed specifically for dogs, which is easy to use and easy to clean, providing a designated place for them to use the bathroom and developing good habits from a young age!
Invest in a Grooming Kit
Getting your puppy used to being groomed from day one is key to making sure that bath times are an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!
Purchase a soft brush to give your puppy’s coat a nice shine and a wire or pin brush to remove any tangles.
Other great grooming products include grooming scissors, nail trimmers, cleaning products and pet shampoo. This way you’re prepared for when the first bath time comes around.
ONCE THEY’RE HOME…
Make Them Feel at Home
It’s important to create an area of your home that is just for your puppy as they adjust to being in a new environment. Remember, this is a stressful situation for your puppy as they are being taken away from something familiar and placed in a strange new place!
Keeping them in the confines or just one or two rooms initially is a good way for them to get used to the sights, sounds and smells of your home. Restricting their rooms also makes it easier for them to explore while keeping them safe.
Gradually introduce them to family members and other pets
Family members should be educated properly about how to approach your new puppy before you bring them home, particularly young children!
Children should be made aware that puppies are not toys, and should be gradually introduced to the puppy over a period of time. Set some ground rules with your family members in regards to playing with the new puppy, and avoid boisterous play as it can cause young puppies to bite or scratch which isn’t a pleasant experience for anyone!
Try to avoid fussing and overcrowding your puppy, and where possible leave them to explore on their own terms. This will allow them to get used to the space and avoid causing them unnecessary stress.
It’s best that when introducing your puppy to new people, or new pets, you should supervise them at all times. This way, should your puppy experience any accidents or begin acting out, you can resolve the situation as quickly as possible and discipline where needed.