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Pet proofing your home, having the right puppy supplies, and taking introductions slowly can help prepare your house for your new puppy.
How to puppy-proof your home?
Before bringing your new puppy home you may wonder how to prepare for a puppy, you’ll want to puppy-proof your house and have a new puppy checklist.
This includes having the right supplies to limit access to the house, creating some house rules and ensuring you have the proper items your new puppy will need for your new dog.
Crates, Baby Gates, and X-Pens
New puppies can get into a lot of trouble very quickly making it essential to puppy proof your home. Your new puppy may not be potty trained yet, which can lead to accidents.
Curious mouths can easily chew on cords and chemicals. X-pens, baby gates, and crate training are all great ways to keep your new puppy safe and protect your home.
You can set your new puppy up in a kitchen or laundry room that is easy to clean in the event of an accident while you house train. X-pens also make great smaller barriers during puppy training if you need to supervise your new puppy but can’t be directly next to your new puppy.
Crates are beneficial when you need to leave the home and also give your new puppy a place to relax or sleep at night, like a special dog bed.
As your new puppy grows, you can remove barriers over time, allowing them more freedom in the house with less need to puppy proof your home.
Other Puppy Supplies
Other supplies to have on hand include cleaning supplies, feeding and care supplies, and toys and treats including training treats.
Cleaning supplies such as puppy pads, enzymatic cleaners, and scrub brushes can help quickly clean up accidents and direct your new puppy where it is appropriate to go potty.
Enzymatic cleaners work to break up urine and stool particles and reduce odor and staining while you work on early training.
Feeding and care supplies include food appropriate for your puppy’s age and size, access to fresh, clean water, and additional items such as collars, tags, leashes, and grooming supplies like nail clippers and dog shampoo.
As a pet parent, make sure the food and water bowls aren’t so large that your new puppy can make a mess, but not too small that the food and water bowls do not tip over or don’t hold enough food or water.
Having a short 6-foot leash and a longer 20-foot leash is great for walking and recall training your new puppy.
Oatmeal and puppy shampoos are created to be easier on a puppy’s sensitive skin and are different from shampoo you would use on an adult dog.
Toys and puppy treats are also important.
Have several types of treats on hand for your new pup including ones that can be stuffed into toys, regular everyday healthy treats, and soft, chew treats used in training.
As a dog owner, you will also want a variety of toys on your new puppy checklist including safe chew toys, soft plush toys to snuggle, and balls and interactive items for your new puppy to play with and can help with house training.
Your Puppy’s First Night
The first night home is often the most difficult for your new puppy.
This may be their first time away from their mom or their littermates, and the sudden change in environment can be distressing for your new puppy.
Expect your new puppy to whine or bark more than usual or attempt to hide. Provide them with a place they can go and relax away from you and your family to avoid overstimulation, like a dog bed or dog crate.
In addition, young puppies can’t hold their potty for more than an hour or two and will need lots of potty breaks while house training.
Like a newborn infant, expect to be up every few hours in the first few weeks as your new puppy settles into a new routine in your home.
Introducing a Puppy to the Family
Introducing your new puppy to the family is exciting, but can be overwhelming for a pet parent.
Here are some tips to help make the transition go smoothly:
Meeting New Pets
Before meeting other dogs, make sure they are up to date on their vaccines. Veterinary supervision isn’t required, but it’s a good idea to know the vaccine history of other pets in the house. You will also want to take any meeting with a new dog slowly.
When meeting other dogs, keep the other animal and your new pup leashed and start with slow, 5-10 second introductions.
If meeting a cat, give the cat a place to perch or run away that your new puppy can’t access.
If at any time one or both pets become stressed, separate them and try again later.
Meeting New People
As with meeting new pets, take it slow when introducing your new pup to new people, including family members.
If your new puppy isn’t fully vaccinated, set up a station where visitors can wipe their feet and wash their hands before handling your new puppy.
Another good way to meet and greet is to have your puppy approach the new person first.
From there, they can offer a training treat, gently pet your new puppy, or even play a game with chew toys or balls.
Positive experiences and positive reinforcement will help your puppy associate new people with good things!
If at any time your new puppy becomes too overwhelmed, let them take a break.
Place them in a quiet room or your puppy’s crate away from everyone including family members, and then try again once they’ve settled down.
This depends on the puppy. However, most new puppies tend to take around three weeks before they feel completely comfortable in their new environment.
Prepare for a puppy by setting up crates, fun toys, chew toys, food bowls, and areas for your new puppy to relax in before they come home. This can make the transition go more smoothly.
There are a few things you can do for your fur baby to limit anxiety during a stressful time.
First, give your new puppy a place to relax. This could be the puppy’s crate, a quiet room, or a nice bed in a calm area of the home away from other pets.
Second, items that mimic littermates such as a water bottle or ticking clock wrapped in a towel can increase comfort.
You can pet your new puppy or give them attention, however, do so in a calm manner to help reduce their anxiety instead of increasing it.
The moment your puppy arrives can be an exciting experience.
By having the right tools on hand, prepping your home, and creating a calm environment, you can ensure your new puppy settles in smoothly and grows into a well behaved dog.
When you bring home a new puppy, be sure to bring lots of love, positive reinforcement, and healthy treats!