A new dog can bring plenty of joy into your home but introducing a puppy into your household isn't without its own brand of logistics. You'll need to make sure your home is ready for its newest member. Here are some tips to ensure Fido or Fifi will be safe, happy and healthy in their new environment.
Secure Your Yard
Your newest addition will need plenty of room to run and explore, but they'll need boundaries too. Before bringing your puppy home, be sure your yard is adequately fenced.
Wood fencing is your best bet. It creates a secure environment that will be difficult to dig under or jump over. As an added bonus, it hides the outside world from view, keeping your dog from barking at every stray cat or capering canine who passes by.
Ask a fencing contractor like Buyrningwood Farm Inc to set the slats as deep into the ground as possible to prevent your dog from trying to tunnel out. Watch for signs of excessive scratching or chewing at the fence which, in addition to deteriorating your investment, can also cause health issues for your dog.
Potty Training Matters
A puppy can quickly cause serious damage to your carpets. If your new addition isn't yet potty trained, you'll need to confine Fido or Fifi to an area that's easier to clean up. Consider making the kitchen, laundry room or bathroom your dog's home until good elimination habits can be established; the tile or linoleum floors in these rooms will make it easier to clean up any unfortunate accidents.
While puppy training pads may seem like the obvious solution, they don't always work. Dogs are creatures of habit; if you teach them to "do their business" on a pad in the living room, they may develop an aversion to eliminating outside.
Instead, take your dog outside for regular potty breaks. The general rule of thumb is to use their age (in months) as a guide to how long they can control their bladder and bowels – e.g., a two month old puppy should be taken out every two hours.
Dog-Proof Your Home
You wouldn't bring home a new baby without making adjustments to your house, and you should take the same care when bringing home a new dog. After all, they're both members of the family!
Take some time to thoroughly dog-proof your home. Cesar Millan, the "Dog Whisperer", suggests you approach this on a room-by-room basis.
Be sure that all medications, dangerous foods and power cords are out of your new puppy's reach. Don't leave small choking hazards lying around, and secure your trash cans. Remove all poisonous plants from your home and yard – don't assume your dog will have the good sense not to chew on the buds of a daffodil or the tasty-looking leaves of a Lily-of-the-Valley.
Introducing a new dog into your household can benefit your entire family. Dogs are good for the mind, heart, body and soul. When you've made the proper provisions for your new four-legged friend, both of you can look forward to a long, happy life together.