Preparing For A New Puppy

Preparing for a new puppy can be easy with just a little bit of planning.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you go about creating a safe and happy home for him. At the very minimum make sure you have a short list of things for him when you bring him home.

When Preparing For A New Puppy You Will Need

  • a crate and crate pad suitable for your dog
  • food and water bowls
  • high quality food
  • safe toys
  • collar with ID tag

Later you will add a leash, a permanent name tag, additional toys and whatever safety items seem appropriate.  Now that you know what to go get, here are some other important items to address.

1. Clean up the clutter.

Preparing for a new puppy should include removing items you don’t want destroyed.  Pick up anything that could pose a choking or intestinal blockage hazard.  Remember, just about anything can get chewed and swallowed.  Puppies’ mouths are well adapted for chewing on just about anything. Preparing for a new puppy means get down on your hands and knees to get a puppy’s eye view of the lay of the land.  Socks are one of the prime problems.  Make sure they don’t get eaten.

2. Household hazards.  Preparing for a new puppy  always means looking for hazards to avoid heartache.  Electrical cords seem to have some kind of magnetic energy that puppies can’t ignore.  Make them inaccessible.  These are deadly.  Put away rocking chairs and block off stairs when preparing for a new puppy.. Many bones have been broken and crushed when curious puppies explore things at the wrong time.

3. Have a crate. When preparing for a new puppy, make a special place that is theirs.   Puppy should have a crate that is her bed.  It should be a safe quiet place that she can go when everyone needs a break, or when you can’t watch her closely.  Dog crates serve many purposes including house training.  A crate is the perfect place to put a puppy to bed at night.  A crate serves as a safe place she can be when you can’t be right with her.  No one can hurt her, and she can’t get into trouble.  It may take a few days, but not more than three or four if you are consistent. The crate will quickly become her safe place and you will find her there on her own accord once she understands it is her special place. A crate should never be used as a place she goes to be punished.  No matter what, it should always be a ‘happy place’.  Never scold her or swat her as you put her in her crate.  Her toys and blanket or bedding will make it feel more homey for her.

4. Prepare your yard.  When preparing for a new puppy , your yard should be ‘puppy safe’.  Make sure there are no places she can escape.  Look under or behind bushes, check wooden slats, and loose boards.  If she is particularly small, you might need to make additional reinforcements to fences and gates.  Follow her around closely.  While she explores, let her show you areas that may pose a threat. Make sure you don’t have any toxic plants in the yard.  Puppies chew everything, including plants.  Make sure you don’t have any snail, rat, or weed poison around, either on the ground or in bags and boxes. Make sure there is no anti-freeze or coolant from cars, or air conditioners around. If you have a pool that she can get to, make sure she knows where the steps are.  Puppies can swim but get exhausted very quickly and can drown if they don’t know how to get out.  The best way is to get in with her and have her swim to the steps, if she does it a time or two, she will have a better chance at remembering where they are if she falls in by accident.

5. Lots of toys.  There will be thousands of things that your puppy should not get into so make sure there are lots of things that are just for her.  If you need to redirect her attention, make sure you have a variety of soft squeaky toys, nylon chews, and tug toys.  Puppies get bored and you don’t provide plenty of variety, they will find their own entertainment.

6. Appropriate food.  There are many different brands of food available when preparing for a new puppy. Often it is better than what she has been eating since feeding a litter can be expensive. If you and your vet have chosen a proper food be sure to change her slowly.  Mix about 2/3 what she has been getting with about 1/3 of what you want her to have for a day or two and then slowly change the ratio over the course of a week or more until she is just getting what is recommended by your vet.  This will reduce upset tummy problems.  Whatever food you use should be high quality and made just for puppies.

About The Author

This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice.

Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

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