Bringing a puppy home can be a lot like having a new baby in the house. The main difference between having a puppy and an older dog is that typically, an older dog will be trained and housebroken, whereas with a new puppy, you need to teach it everything it needs to know to protect you, your new pet, and your home too.
Putting boundaries in place from the day you bring your new canine friend home can help you to implement behaviors and actions that can house train your dog and ensure the whole family is safe and happy at all times. Much like with a new baby, many different dangers around the home can harm your new dog or make them seriously ill. That is the last thing anyone wants.
Puppy proofing your home before you bring your new family home can help ensure everyone is safe through all of the new changes you will face on this journey together.
Make sure your trash is safe and secure and away from where your puppy can reach it. Use a receptacle that your puppy can’t access, or for a temporary solution, keep your trash on a counter or closed in the cupboard so they can’t accidentally access it.
Remove all wires that aren’t being used and tie them up and out of reach, so your pup doesn’t chew through them. Be mindful about what is plugged in and where and look to create no-go zones using physical barriers. Use deterrent sprays to put your new dog off for extra protection, wanting to chew through wires and cause damage.
Above Floor Level
Move everything above floor level. Puppies like to chew, and as such, anything in the line of fire, so to speak, is at risk of being chewed. This is especially important as many foods for human consumption are unsafe for dogs especially chewing gum ingredients and chocolate. So make sure you put your bags or anything else above floor level and somewhere your dog cannot reach them.
Your dog will need a safe space where they can go that is their own. While you want them to feel comfortable around everyone in the house, humans also need a space to call their own and retreat when necessary. So, whether this is a small space, you carve out a room with a dog bed, a dog crate, or even a kennel. The benefits of this mean when you are out, they will have a safe place they can use until you come home, or you have them crate trained they will feel comfortable being taken outside of the house to the vets, for example, in the crate.
Having physical limits and boundaries is good for your puppies to get familiar with places they can and cannot go. A Hidden Dog Fence can help you create external boundaries, while closed doors, safety gates, or pens can help you to create indoor boundaries, so you know what is off-limits to them. Ideal places include the bottom of stairs to block access to higher floors, kitchens or sitting rooms, or a pen for when everyone is eating dinner.
Close Windows and Doors
Before bringing your new family member home, get into the habit of making sure all windows and doors are closed. Puppies can be naturally inquisitive, and they may not be aware of the danger of an open window. Plus, they can be quick, and if doors are left open, they could be gone and outside in the blink of an eye.
Did you remember that puppies like to chew? Much like some human foods can be poisonous to dogs, so can houseplants. If you have many plants, make sure they are moved out of harm’s way for when you bring your four-legged friend home. The less there is for them to get up close and personal with, the better it will be for everyone.
Stock up on training pads while you are house training your new pet. It can take a little while for your new puppy to get used to their surroundings, and at first, they will need support and guidance on where to relieve themselves. Plus, you might be around to let them out or clean up after them instantly, especially in the middle of the night, and as their bodies are small, they may need to do so more frequently.
Bringing a new puppy home can be a great bonding experience for the whole family. Knowing what is involved and how best to puppy-proof your home can make the transition easier for everyone involved.