Photos by Erika Hodges
Every other month, our pet expert and Canine Coaches dog trainer, Jill Bailey, will answer your pet questions. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Canine Coaches visit caninecoaches.com.
With the arrival of a couple new additions to the M3 Group family, the parent company of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine, a Yorkie puppy and a Miniature Dachshund puppy, it’s a perfect time to talk about getting your house and family ready for that new puppy!
There are many things to do to prepare for a new pup, assuming that the puppy has been introduced to all human and animal family members, the first step is to puppy-proof! Remember the importance of managing the environment; if you don’t want your puppy to have something, don’t leave it where they can get to it.
A few things to keep in mind:
Keep trash cans out of reach or bags tied so the puppy can’t get into them.
All cleaning supplies, medications and chewing hazards must be out of the reach of your puppy. Their natural curiosity will keep them investigating everything, so keep all potentially toxic items out of reach and closed up in cupboards. This can include certain plants and flowers as well.
You might not think twice about that paperclip on the floor, but if there is a puppy in the house you should! All small items like office supplies, hair ties, earrings or any jewelry, etc. should be put in a place out of your puppy’s reach.
Be sure to have a safe, fenced in area for your puppy to go to the bathroom. If you don’t have a fenced in area, be sure you have them on a leash (preferably with a harness.) Either way, don’t leave your puppy unsupervised. Remember to praise highly after they do their business outside.
When puppies are first learning to handle stairs, it can be very scary for them. I personally used a baby gate to block off stairs. You can also use baby gates to block off one room of the house, clear of all hazards, to give your puppy a safe play area. Again, your puppy should be supervised during play time.
Please enroll your puppy in a training class. This is so important not only for training purposes, but for the socialization aspect with other puppies, humans and experiences, such as different sounds or surfaces.
Keep in mind that puppy proofing your home is very similar to baby proofing. Anything your puppy shouldn’t have should be out of their reach. Get your puppy on a schedule as soon as possible. Dogs like routine, they should have certain feeding times and bathroom breaks, and be sure to schedule time for exercise and playing too.
Getting a new puppy is such a fun and exciting experience for the whole family, be sure to make it a great one for your new puppy too!