Congratulations on your new addition. You've picked out the perfect furry companion for your family, and it is time for the little guy (or girl) to finally come home. Your hands are going to be full as soon as they trot through the front door, so preparation is key. First thing’s first, make sure your puppy has a collar and tag, check out these Barker & Bone personalised dog tags or imagine how cute he or she will look with a dog bow tie! It’s really important for your puppy to always wear their collar and tag, you never know when they might escape! To ensure the arrival of your puppy is easy, safe and enjoyable for the whole family – pooch included, it’s important to puppy proof your home with these easy steps.
Crate training is really important for a puppy as it teaches them rules boundaries and limitations. It also keeps them safe when they’re home alone. A crate shouldn’t be thought of as a ‘cage’ for a puppy, but rather like their den, cave or bedroom. To make things extra cozy for your pup, cover the crate with a blanket or sheet so it feels safe for him/her. Encourage your puppy to go inside and hang out by throwing a little treat inside and praising them when they sits in there. We do understand though that not every dog owner likes the idea of a crate.
If crate training isn’t your cup of tea, or you need to leave your pup for a bit longer than a few hours, another alternative is to use baby gates. Section off a small area of your home (ideally a small room or section of a room) You'd be surprised what those little teeth can chew through, so make sure you measure the gaps between the bars to make sure your friend can’t escape and cause trouble. You would be surprised how small puppies are underneath all that fluff!
This is a crucial tip, as your new puppy should never be left alone at any time until he or she is fully trained and trusted. Every accident your puppy has in the wrong spot is a toilet training opportunity lost. If you can't keep an eye on your new puppy, consider keeping them on a dog leash and collar during the training process. This tip will help avoid the puppy piddle dance inside, and it will also keep your dog in a safe place while also preventing them from running around the entire house like a wild animal. No pun intended.
PUPPY SEE, PUPPY EAT!
It is imperative to keep all areas that your puppy has access to clean and safe of hazards. Just like a toddler, puppies explore their world through their mouth. Unfortunately, puppies have razor like teeth that will chew through just about anything. So, a good clean prior to the arrival of your new family member is crucial. Just a warning to clear your socks from your bathroom each evening or they might go… missing!
EXPLORE FROM THEIR LEVEL
To get you started, it’s a good idea to explore ‘puppy’s new room’ on your hands and knees – see what they see! Focus on cleaning up all wires, remotes, toys, electronics, etc. Your puppy will likely try and ‘explore’ anything you leave for them. Shoes, socks, the strap of your handbag…
DON’T MAKE THIS MISTAKE!
A disorganised home can be a costly and potentially dangerous mistake. Accidentally leave the laundry door open and your puppy could eat the metal clasp of your bra strap (oops!) .. accidentally left a curly plastic hair tie on the coffee table? Oops! An emergency visit to the vet is nobody’s idea of a good time.
SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE!
Supervise your new puppy the same way you would supervise a 3-year-old at a public pool. Puppies have a unique ability to get into all kinds of mischief. While videos of dogs with a garbage lids stuck on their heads are cute, they're actually dangerous. What about those toilet bowl drinkers? Gross!! So, get in the habit of securing everything that your new puppy can get into – and trust that he or she will definitely try.
OUT OF THEIR REACH
For the things you can’t close or secure, store them on high shelves that are out of reach or in a room with the door closed. If you will be leaving your puppy alone in the kitchen area, make sure you empty the rubbish bin before you leave the house – you don’t want your pup to turn the garbage can over and eat the contents of the garbage (puppies are surprisingly strong, trust me!) If you have a persistent puppy or you are just cautious, you could purchase some child-proof locks.
OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER
Did you know that some plants are toxic to dogs? Check what plants you have in your home to make sure these aren’t going to hurt your puppy. Also think about plug in air fresheners, power boards laying on the floor, electric throw rug on the lounge, hairclips or earrings on the coffee table. All tasty morsels for little puppies to chew!
Having a puppy is one of the best decisions you will ever make, enjoy this special time as they also teach you a thing or two (they will have you wrapped around their little paws by the second week!).