While buying a puppy, you should research on the breeds and consult a trainer or take him along to choose your pooch for you. Before bringing home a new puppy, you need to make sure to complete the set-up in your home like buying a crate, puppy supplies and manuals.
How to prepare yourself
Since a new puppy will become a part of your family, you need to take care of the fact that he requires a considerable investment of love, attention, patience, time and money. When bringing home a new puppy by car, you need to keep an old towel or wet wipes and a bottle of water because some puppies can get ‘car-sick.’ The safest way for bringing them home is by putting them in a crate and if it’s small enough, the crate can be placed on your lap so that he feels comforted. The puppy can also be wrapped in towels and kept on your lap to distract him from the journey.
Before a new puppy enters your home, he should be taken to his outdoor ‘potty spot’ and made to relieve himself so that he immediately gets started on his housebreaking. When the puppy comes to a new place, he experiences new sights and smells and needs to make adjustments.
Bring the new puppy into a quiet house and familiarize it with the rooms where you want to keep him. For the initial 2 to 3 hours, only adults should be around him and the kids can enter the scene later on.
Things you need at home before bringing your puppy
Before bringing him into your house, certain things are required for your puppy such as:
- Crate: This is required for housebreaking purposes and for sleeping at night. By placing towels or blankets, you can make it cozy so that it is comfortable enough for your puppy to take rest during the day and to sleep at night.
- Puppy Pen: Your puppy can use it for lying in the shade or on grass.
- Leash and Collar: This will enable you to keep your pup under control.
- Baby Gate: With this you can section off your house and limit your puppy to your rooms.
- Chew toys: Safe dog toys are actually considered good for the health of your puppy as it would not only keep his teeth clean but relieve him of his feel on teething.
- Stainless Steel Water and Food Bowls: Only food bowls should be used to provide him food. Scraps with bone attached should never be given to him as the bones can splinter and hurt him. Also, common foods containing garlic, onion, chocolate or fruit must not be given to him as it can be nauseating for your puppy in the initial days.
Few precautions you must take
A number of steps should be taken in order to ‘puppy-proof’ your home when he arrives:
- The electrical cords should be protected by covers and kept out of reach of your puppy. This is necessary so that he cannot chew the power cords and get seriously hurt. An alternative to electrical cord cover is the application of pet repellant sprays.
- The garbage in the bathroom and kitchen area must be covered to keep your pup out of garbage. You can either keep your garbage in closed cabinets or in trash containers with covered lids. The toilet lids must also be kept down so that he can drink water only from his clean bowl.
- Before bringing a new puppy in your home, all kinds of common plants must be removed that are hazardous for your pup’s health. The list of such plants is usually found in various websites and books.
- You also need to keep various chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides out of the reach of your puppy as these are hazardous for their health, especially with repeated exposure. For this purpose, the bathroom and garage doors must be closed at all times in order to secure medications and cleaners.
- Several items must be kept out of his reach like plastic bags and wrappers, needles, hair clips, coins, gems clips and very small toys so that he do not accidentally swallow and choke himself.
How to make your puppy cope with his early experiences
After settling in his new home, he should be allowed to explore the surroundings at his own pace. He should be given enough space so that he can sense and see things in his new surroundings. He should mainly be kept in the yard and should not be allowed in the garden area, if you have electrical fence. The solution to this is baby gates that prevent from wandering into areas that are off-limits.
At all times, supervision is required and as the leader of the pack, you need to initiate interactions between the puppy and the family members. You need to also ensure that the kids are at their best behavior.
You should make him experience people of different sizes and shapes, people wearing hats, guests, other animals, various situations and things like vacuum cleaner and broom so that he does not face any sort of problem, later on in his life. ‘Critical Socialization Period’ takes place between 4 and 10 weeks of age. During this period, he learns to handle almost anything at a young age. If he is kept isolated during this time, it becomes very difficult for him to learn anything else later on, at around 6 to 8 months of age. Then, he does not even learn to go to his kennel or play with other dogs.
The puppy should be given designated area to play and kids should only play ‘fetch’ with him in the initial days. Playing games like ‘chasing’ can make him frightened to come near you and socialize with you and ‘tug of war’ can trigger a kind of aggressiveness in them. The playing session must be limited to 15 to 20 minutes, after which his brain starts to get tired and he becomes obnoxious like children.
Exposure to other dogs is required so that he knows to behave socially. While exposing a new puppy to other dogs, you should be aware of the health and vaccination history of other dogs.
The puppy should be provided a peaceful environment. In the first few days, he is likely to sleep a lot and he should not be disturbed during that time. Being separated from his pack might cause loss of appetite and a behavioral change in him but it is likely to stay only for a few days. It is also important for you to take your puppy to a veterinarian for a health check-up.
These steps will ensure that your family and house is ready for a new puppy in all ways and will help the puppy in adjusting with the new environment. So, go ahead and welcome the new member of the house in the right manner.