Getting a puppy is by far one of the most challenging experiences in the world. If you are not prepared for the upcoming months of raising your puppy, it will learn how to run you, your house, and your life. That is why we are starting a new blog section titled, “ HOW TO PUPPY” for all the owners that are brining in their newly puppy into their homes during their first few weeks and months of puppyhood. Below is a Puppy Homecoming Checklist that will make your puppy’s experiences as comfortable, safe, and fun as possible as ever.
If you want your puppy to be living in a safe and comfortable place there are a few things we have to insure to avoid injury or reinforcing bad behaviors.
1. No Sharp Object
Remove any sharp edge furniture, obstructions, and anything your puppy can chew on. An easy way your puppy can injure itself is by running into sharp objects. Sometimes they will run into a wall or two before they realize not to run too fast the next time around. Also when they are bored they can put things into their mouths including your favorite shoes, baseboards, and even the corner of a door to pass by the time! All objects in your puppies’ realm is fair game so be sure to keep them in an environment free of potential chewable items.
2. Secure your Trash Can:
What is trash to humans can easily represent food and a great time for our puppies. After 8 weeks Puppies have learned to use their basic sense to direct them towards the next reinforcing activity. If we leave our trash cans easily accessible to our dogs, they will surely figure out how to knock it down and get to the forbidden goods. Trash cans can hold an array of content that is not meant for your puppy including dangerous foods such as onions, chocolate, pitted fruits, and other foreign objects. We recommend trash cans that have sealed lids to prevent our four legged friends from having enough leverage to access the inappropriate thresholds.
3. Make Proper Use of Baby Gates:
Baby gates provide a natural way to keep your pup from getting to off limits areas that may include human furniture and dangerous objects.
Crates & Bedding:
Crates serve as a quiet place for your dog to rest and feel comfortable. The puppy’s crate is its place to rest and escape from hyperactivity. To further make your puppy feel that much more at home add soft towels, interactive toys, and treats to stimulate them while they figure out the rewards that come from going inside the crate. The size of your crate should be just big enough for your puppy to turn around in, stretch out while fully lying down, and standing up without bumping its head on the top the crate.
PRO-TIP: Some people run the mistake of buying a large crate so their new puppy can grow into the crate. As cost effective this may be, dogs are den animals that enjoy resting in closely filled spaces. Your dog should have just enough space just to where the dog can only lay and rest. IF the create is too big you will notice your dog moving in the crate more often. If a puppy is too small for a crate, there will be higher chances of potty accidents.
Toys, toys, and more toys:
The best part of puppyhood is giving your dog plenty of toys to stay happy and active. Puppies have endless energy during playtime (which can be ALL the time). By providing them a variety of toys, they will be able to pick and choose toys that they personally favorite. As a open minded pet parent, I always recommend trying all sorts of textures of toys including non toxic rubber toys, rope toys, and soft plush animal toys to figure out what jugs your dog’s toy fix!
Bringing a puppy into your home can been very challenging, but as long as we see understand the different needs of our fur babies, we can create a checklist of challenges and complete them as we learn to grow with our puppies.