Preparing for a Puppy

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Preparing for a puppy to come home
In preparing for your puppy, make sure your home is puppy proofed before puppy arrives.

There are a number of things you’ll want to do in preparing for a puppy to come home. We’ve provided a checklist of supplies you’ll need to get for puppy. As well, you’ll want to puppy-proof your home. Remember your puppy is a blank slate. He probably will have been raised in a confined area, protected from everyday household items.

It’s a good idea for your puppy to be confined to a small area while he learns the ways of the world. This will make it easier to train your puppy and keep an eye on him. The kitchen is a good place as it typically has flooring that is easy to clean. Use a puppy or baby gate to close off areas you don’t want puppy to go into. As he becomes more reliable with house training, chewing and obeying commands, you can expand the area he is allowed to be in.


Puppy Proof Your Home

One of the most important things to do in preparing for a puppy is to puppy proof your home. Look carefully around the area you have designated for him. Pay close attention to those things that are at puppy level. Puppy level includes ground level and anything he can jump on such as sofas, chairs or coffee/end tables. It’s a good idea to crawl around on all fours to see everything from your puppy’s perspective.


Things to Look Out For:

  • Electrical cords are right at puppy level and are particularly enticing for puppies to chew. Either hide or remove any electrical cords puppy has easy access to.
  • Floor length drapes are fun to chew, pull and shake, which may lead to puppy ripping them down, along with any hardware.
  • Plants are prime targets for puppy to chew on and can be dangerous as many plants are poisonous to dogs.
  • Check low tables such as coffee tables for nick knacks, remotes, books, magazines and anything else you don’t want puppy grabbing and chewing or ripping apart.
  • Don’t forget to clear out the lower levels of bookcases as well. It’s very easy for puppy to start chewing on books or anything else that is at his mouth level.


Watch Your Furniture

Keep in mind that the legs on furniture, corners and other edges are perfect places for puppy to chew. If your furniture is valuable and you can’t afford to have puppy chewing on the sofa legs, either be prepared to keep her out of the area or swap your furniture for stuff you can afford to have damaged. Or, you will have to make sure you pay close attention to puppy whenever she is around the furniture.

You can use bitter apple or bitter citrus spray on your surfaces and furniture that you absolutely can’t afford to have puppy chewing. The spray tastes terrible to dogs, so they will leave that area alone. Make sure you test it out first in an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t damage your furniture. You can also wrap furniture legs with old towels and a protective layer of duct tape. It won’t stop puppy from chewing, but it will serve as a first line of defense if puppy happens to attack while you’re distracted.

This displacement of your house is only temporary until your puppy’s adult teeth come in and she’s received some training, showing her how to behave in your home.


Create an Area for Puppy

As part of preparing for a puppy to come home, you’ll want to designate an area for him. You’ll need to have a crate for your puppy to sleep in and as a place for him to go when you can’t supervise him. Although we don’t like to be confined to small spaces ourselves, your pup will appreciate having a place of his own. A crate replicates the den for dogs, they prefer having a small, enclosed space to sleep. This is why you’ll find dogs crawling into tight spaces for naps, such as under porches, decks or even under your coffee table. You can find out about more about crate training here.

A set up that works especially well is to have your pup’s crate and use an exercise pen to create a “puppy playpen”. Set up the crate, then using the ex-pen, attach one end to the back right corner of the crate. Wrap the ex-pen into a semi-circle around the crate and attach to the front left end of the crate, leaving the door to the crate open. Place his food and water dishes in the play area and you now have a place where you can safely leave your pup. He is able to access his crate to sleep, access his water and food and has a place to stretch out and play.


Items to Get for Your Puppy:

  • □ Crate
  • □ Bedding for the crate (you can use old blankets or comforters)
  • □ Food
  • □ Container that can be sealed to keep puppy’s food fresh and protected from pests
  • □ Collar and leash – start with a 4′ leash
  • □ Food and water dishes and a mat to protect your floor
  • □ Training treats
  • □ Nature’s Miracle or another enzyme remover to clean up accidents
  • □ Bitter apple or bitter citrus spray to protect furniture and other items you don’t want puppy chewing
  • □ Old towels to wipe paws and to dry off puppy after coming in from the rain
  • □ A seat liner or old sheet to protect your car when transporting puppy
  • □ Toys – lots of different types and different textures for puppy to play with; Nylabones, Kongs, stuffed toys
  • □ Grooming Kit – Shampoo, nail clippers, de-shedding tool, brush or rake depending on the hair type of your dog
  • □ Name tags with your address and phone number to attach to puppy’s collar in case he goes missing (Still a good idea to have even if he is micro-chipped)
  • □ Containers to store puppy’s toys and grooming supplies. Plastic bins such as Rubbermaid bins work well and can be easily washed.


Puppytropolis TipYou may have noticed there isn’t a dog bed on the list other than the bedding for the crate. Your puppy will see that bed as a giant chew toy and it will probably end up being destroyed. Wait until puppy is through her teething and chewing stage before buying one for her to use.


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