Bringing home your new puppy
Bringing home a new puppy is an exciting event for anyone, young and old. Unfortunately, many people who bring home new puppies are not actually prepared for the new arrival, which can make this event much more difficult than it needs to be right off the bat. There are many steps that you can take to make sure that the first few hours in your home are enjoyable and comfortable for your new puppy. These steps are easy and require very little time. Plan ahead to make sure you are prepared for the new arrival, and save yourself a lot of stress in the long run.
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1. Make sure you have all of the right supplies! There are a lot of supplies that you need to have on hand when bringing home a new pet. All of the following supplies are absolutely necessary before you bring your new puppy home:
* Food and water bowls which are rigid and cannot be tipped.
* A crate that is proper size.
* Bedding to go inside the crate that is soft and washable.
* Chew toys and play toys and other things to keep your puppy entertained.
* An appropriately sized collar and a lead or leash.
* Food that matches what the puppy was eating in his or her previous environment.
* Baby gates or other puppy-proofing materials such as locks for cabinets.
2. Safety Considerations: Puppies are no different from small children. They are curious creatures that absolutely demand to investigate everything. Puppies do a great deal of their learning by chewing and mouthing on things, so it is imperative that you spend some time puppy-proofing to make sure that your puppy remains safe during his or her curious phase.
* Reroute the path of any electrical cords, which are within the puppy's reach.
* Remove or move any items, which are hanging, such as hanging plants, floor length curtains, tablecloths, blind pulls or other dangling items that may tempt the puppy. Blind pulls are an especially dangerous temptation, because they can easily wrap around the puppy's neck.
* Remove any houseplants, which may be poisonous to dogs. Many common houseplants are poisonous, so unless you know for sure that it is safe for your puppy, remove it from the space where your puppy plays. Puppies naturally tend to chew on plants, so removing any plants that you want to keep in one piece may also be a good idea.
* Remove any items that you do not want your puppy to chew. This includes shoes, leather items, television remote controls, cordless or cellular phones, stuffed animals and throw pillows, backpacks, children's toys, and any other items that your puppy may enjoy playing with. It is important to teach your dog early which toys are his or hers, and which are off limits.
If you keep your puppy penned up in a certain room or a certain portion of the house, you only really need to puppy-proof that portion of the house. A great way to minimize the amount of necessary puppy proofing is to crate train your dog early, so that your puppy can be crated when he or she is unsupervised in order to prevent household destruction.