So you’ve decided you want to get a dog for your family. You think about how cute and cuddly the puppy will be, how sweet the puppy will look curled up in your lap sleeping as you relax in bed, how much fun it will be playing with the puppy. Fast forward, a few weeks after you bring that bundle of fur home and you’ve realized that puppies have an exuberant amount of energy, have milk teeth that are like daggers in their mouths (don’t worry, those fall out at about 4 months), and are adorable mostly when they’re sleeping and not chewing on your hands.
That may be a bit dramatized but having a new dog is very much like having a new born at home. You have to baby proof the house to make sure they don’t get into stuff and you have to stop them from hurting themselves. Here are a few tips to help you set up your home and maybe think of.
1. Have a place for your dog to feel safe and secure like a kennel. This is otherwise known as kennel training. A kennel should be a place where your dogs feels safe, where they can go to rest, relax, or maybe get away from a stressful situation, or maybe to stay where they won’t go potty. (Yes, I know some dogs will go to the bathroom in their kennel but that’s a post for another day) A kennel makes it easier to potty train and to put them in a place that’s quiet if they get too riled up and won’t settle down.
2. Dog-Proof your house. This is more of an on-going process as your dog matures. It involves picking things up off the floor that you don’t want your dog to get a hold of. Closing doors to rooms that you don’t want your dog going in where they could make a mess. Also, it means protecting wires from lamps and electronics that your dog could take an interest in chewing. Basically, if you don’t want teeth marks on it, put it up.
3. Have designated areas in your backyard for your dog to do dog things in. Unless you want bombs all over your yard, it might be in your best interest to designate an area for him or her to relieve themselves. You could have a fenced in area or another type of barrier that allows your dog to see where they need to go. If you’re leaving your pup outside during the day and you find that they start to dig, you may want to designate an area for your dog to dig in. You can bury objects in the ground that your dog might like such as a dehydrated animal part, or a nylabone that’s flavored, or, if the weather is cold enough, a large frozen chicken broth cube with treats inside of it. The options are endless
4. Have the appropriate things for your dog to wear to do what you want to do with them. The basics would include a leash and a collar or harness, a tag for their collar with their name, contact number, and address. (I’m sure your dog won’t mind you giving out their cell number just once:) )Simple stuff. Beyond that, they might need things if you plan on taking them out on a more consistent basis like a coat or booties. You might also want to invest in a longline which is just a really long leash. It allows your dog to go be a dog but allows you to still have control on not letting them get loose.
5. Get your dog set up on schedules. There are a few schedules to think about. Schedules for going potty either outside or on a pad. Schedules for their vet visits and making sure that they get all the appropriate vaccinations. Also, schedules to get them in a routine of day to day activities such a going on a walk, playing ball outside, training sessions. Just like we are creatures of habit, dogs are the same.
Having a brand new dog, or a brand new puppy, in your home is such an amazing thing. You’re welcoming into your home an animal that will bring you so much joy and so many smiles. Now just think if you took the extra time to make sure that you plan to have everything run as smoothly as possible. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail……..well not really. You just got lazy:)
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If you haven’t seen part one of the series where I talk about some things you should consider when getting a new furry family member, g over and check that out here.
Get closer to the relationship you want with your dog and learn how to take your dog from Mundane to Righteous and Awesome ;)