A surprising trend is emerging as a result of the global pandemic. People all over the world are adopting puppies and dogs at record-breaking rates. Even Queen Elizabeth II is not immune to the new trend. As of early this month, Queen Elizabeth welcomed two new puppies into Windsor Castle. The corgi puppies are raising the queen’s spirits while her husband Prince Philip receives treatment in the hospital. Prince Philip underwent surgery for an existing heart problem and will remain hospitalized until he makes a full recovery. According to Page Six, Queen Elizabeth is delighted by the company of her new pups. What do you need to prepare for a new puppy? Continue reading to find out.
Of course, you do not have to be royalty to enjoy the companionship of a new puppy. In fact, many shelters, like the Anderson County P.A.W.S in Anderson, South Carolina, host events from time to time making it even more affordable for the average person to welcome a new dog or puppy into their home.
“On Mar. 8, Mar. 10, and Mar. 12, from noon until 5 p.m., adoption fees for cats and large dogs are waived and fees for small dogs and puppies are $20,” Fox Carolina writes. While this particular event is exclusive to the Anderson shelter, institutions nationwide offer similar, time-sensitive discounts for would-be pet owners. Check local shelters’ websites for more information.
Before you adopt, it is important to adequately prepare your home. What do you need to prepare for a new puppy? Follow the guidelines below to get your house or apartment ready for your new furry addition.
Puppy-Proof Your Home
WebMD sums it up nicely, “Anything you don’t want to be licked, chewed, or eaten needs to be put away before your new dog arrives.” To puppy-proof your home, do the following:
Invest in cord concealers
Exposed cords are hazardous to your new pup. He or she may burn themselves or suffer from an electric shock. Keep them healthy and injury-free by properly stowing and concealing cords. Whenever possible, keep cords out of sight. You can do this by purchasing cord cover raceways. Cord cover raceways are cable channels made out of sturdy materials, typically PVC.
These channels run along baseboards, trim, or behind desks and furniture. You can anchor them to the wall, securely lock cords inside, and sometimes even paint or cut them if need be. Cable management boxes are available for power cords or near outlets where multiple items will be plugged in.
A troubling number of houseplants are poisonous to pets. Protect your pup by keeping tulips, aloe, Sago palm plants, and Boston ferns out of your home. There is a comprehensive list of all plants toxic to dogs on the official website for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
Don’t forget about the trash
If you leave it out, a new puppy will inevitably get into the trash. Keep trash inside cabinets with child locks, inside a pantry with the door closed, or purchase a puppy-proof trash bin with a lid that reliably locks into place. Without puppy-proofing your trash, your new furry friend may choke on items in the trash, suffocate, or eat discarded food items that are toxic.
Address key safety concerns
Keep doors and windows closed to prevent falling or escape, stow knives, razors, and sharp tools up high and out of sight, and close the lids of your toilets to keep puppies from falling in.
Find a trusted dog daycare center
In spite of your best intentions, you may not be able to be around for your new puppy all the time. Things come up, and you may not anticipate having to leave your puppy home alone without you. Prepare ahead. Find a trusted dog daycare center before adopting a new puppy so you will know where to take them if the need arises.
Clean, Reorganize, and Keep Dangerous Items Out Of Reach
What do you need to prepare for a new puppy? One important thing that you must do is take another look at the objects in your home. If they are dangerous, get rid of them or go to lengths to make sure they are 100% inaccessible to your pup.
Start by determining if objects are dangerous. Don’t overthink it. Sometimes, it is perfectly acceptable to leave things be. Your new puppy isn’t going to be able to reach your staircase railing, for example. Buy a gate to block off the stairs, but you can leave the railing itself alone. It should be fine.
What will not be fine, on the other hand, are small, loose objects (these objects pose choking hazards), medications, and chemicals. If you recently made a trip to your local dental clinic and walked away with toothpaste, rinse, and/or medications, put them away immediately when you get home.
Keep medications out of reach, preferably in a cabinet with a latch or child safety lock. Avoid keeping items out or close to the floor, even if they are in seemingly secure pill bottles. Spoiler: your dog will likely be able to chew through hard plastic! Pick small objects up off the floor, and, once again, make certain to store them out of reach. If you drop a small object that may constitute a choking hazard or if you drop a pill, pick it up immediately. Your dog may be faster than you think.
Cleaning supplies, detergent, chemicals, and automobile fluids need to be out of reach as well. Store cleaning supplies on the top shelf of a closet, and keep the door closed. Do not rely on a safety cap or safety seal to prevent your pup from getting into them. If at all possible, keep yard care chemicals and automobile fluids locked up in the garage or padlocked inside a storage shed.
Wondering what do you need to prepare for a new puppy? When it comes to hazards and safety, prevention goes a long way. Keep toxic items out of your home or safely secured to keep your new puppy happy and healthy.
Set Up Your New Pup’s Designated Area — Both Inside and Outside!
What do you need to prepare for a new puppy? Set up designated areas for your brand-new puppy to relax.
Start inside. Purchase a quality crate or kennel for house training, baby gates, and a cozy pet bed. Often, puppies are both curious and hesitant when they first arrive home. You can help ease them into the transition by keeping them in a large room or a few large rooms during their first week.
Block off any rooms where you do not want them to go or any household features that pose hazards, like staircases, using baby gates. Many owners employ crate training to keep puppies safe — and the house intact — while they are out.
Start crate training in small increments of time, reward dogs for going into their crates with a favorite treat, and make sure that dogs are not wearing their collars while inside their crate or kennel. A collar with tags can easily get stuck, and being stuck can pose a choking or strangulation hazard to your pup.
Similarly, set aside space for your dog in your backyard. A dog house and a yard confined by backyard fences will do just fine. More on that later.
Get Ready For Messes and Accidents
What do you need to prepare for a new puppy? Perhaps the most important thing you will need is patience. Puppies are fresh-faced and oh-so-adorable, but they need thorough training and there is a considerable learning curve. No matter what you do — no matter how well you train your pup — there will be accidents from time to time.
If it helps, think of your puppy as a cherished vehicle. Even if you routinely change the oil and address any problems right away, small things — or not so small things — are likely to crop up over time. Expect to take your car to an auto body shop. Budget for it. It is an inevitable part of car ownership. Likewise, messes and accidents are inevitable when you adopt a new puppy.
When puppies are especially young, they may have to go to the bathroom a lot, or upwards of six or more times per day. At that age, puppies’ bladders are small, and they have not mastered control over them. This will mean taking your pup out at least hourly or every other hour. As they age, they will be able to go long stretches of time in between peeing.
If you cannot keep up with this schedule when they are small or if you live in an area with limited outdoor space, consider paper training or using puppy pee pads to train them at first. As the frequency of their urination goes down, it may be more realistic to venture outdoors every time to meet their needs.
Whether your pup starts by going outdoors every time or going outside sometimes and using puppy pee pads at other times, keep their schedule consistent. This consistency will train them that it is time to relieve themselves. Reinforce good habits with treats and plenty of praise.
Puppies can take weeks or several months to catch on. What do you need to prepare for a puppy? When it comes to housetraining, the answers are patience and consistency. Expect accidents, thoroughly clean them up, and stick to your daily routine.
Prepare Your Backyard and Landscaping
There are obvious ways to prepare your backyard for your new puppy and not-so-obvious ways. So what do you need to prepare for a puppy, particularly when it comes to your landscaping and backyard?
Start with the obvious. You need a fence, and one that is sturdy and reliable — without any weak points that may allow your puppy to dig it up or burrow into the ground. If you own a pool, purchase a safety barrier or pool fence. While it is possible that you may ultimately teach your dog how to swim, few puppies master these skills right away.
Then move on to the not-so-obvious. Pests, like rodents, bees, mosquitos, and flies, pose a hazard to your dog, too. Contact a trusted professional about rodent removal. Remember, rodents leave nests and droppings behind, and mice have the potential to carry and spread more than 35 different diseases, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Non-toxic yard treatment options, like shrub spraying, can also help adequately prepare your home for your pup. Doing so may help eliminate pests like mosquitos, which can leave your puppy with debilitating or even life-threatening anemia.
Ensure Your Pup’s Comfortable and Safe When No One Else Is Home
What do you need to prepare for a puppy? Don’t forget about your dog’s comfort. It can be especially challenging to ascertain that your puppy is comfortable when you are not at home. To ensure your pup’s comfort and safety:
- Crate train. Think of crate training like homeowners insurance. Crate training will proactively ensure that your puppy does not do major damage to your home while you are away. Even better, crate training keeps puppies contained and safe while you are out of the house as well.
- Contact HVAC services. Pets can be sensitive to temperature. One of the most important answers to the question “What do you need to prepare for a puppy?” is a safe and temperate home. Contact HVAC services about installing programmable thermostats to manipulate indoor temperature when you are not home. That way, you can ensure that your puppy is always safe — and not at risk for overheating.
Go Over Safety Rules With Your Family
As with house training, it is absolutely critical to be consistent when it comes to safety and training your puppy. Sit down and have a family meeting to ensure that you are all on the same page. Decide where your puppy will and will not be allowed to go, and set limits on appropriate horseplay. While some owners encourage play fighting, tread carefully. Letting some behaviors go may result in consulting with a dog bite attorney. Teach puppies to be gentle, to play only, and never to play-bite other dogs’ necks.
There are a lot of things to consider when adopting a pet. Ask yourself, “What do you need to prepare for a new puppy?” Make sure your house is clean, hazardous items are put away, safety rules are established, and you are stocked up on the necessities, like food and puppy pads.