Many families can’t wait to bring home a new puppy. But bringing a puppy home can be full of surprises – and not just pleasant ones! From chewing on cushions to soiling car-pets, housetraining a dog takes oodles of patience and planning. If you’re thinking of bringing a puppy home for the first time, here’s what you need to know.
Bringing a puppy home: Checklist
Bringing your puppy home calls for advanced preparation. Familiarize yourself with this handy ‘bringing a puppy home’ checklist so that both you and your new furry friend have a positive experience:
1. Crate training
Settling a puppy into a new home requires a designated space for your dog to sleep and relax. If your puppy is going to be left alone for a few hours a day, you may want to learn how to crate-train it. Puppies less than six months old shouldn’t be in a crate for more than three to four hours at a time. Start with periods of five to 10 minutes several times a day until they can spend 30 minutes in their crate without whining.
This might take days, or even weeks, but when they’re happy – you’ll be happy too!
When bringing home a new puppy, expect it to want to paw and howl its way into your bed. Crate training is the best way of deterring this.
2. Food and water
After bringing your puppy home, give it food that it’s used to. Anything new may upset its stomach and lead to more accidents around the house. Find a suitable raised surface to put your puppy’s food and water bowl and place some extra absorbent paper towel underneath, like Plenty, to catch splashes from excitable dinner times. When bringing home a new puppy, make sure that your dog has fresh water throughout the entire day.
When they’re awake, puppies are hyperactive balls of energy and need to keep busy. To protect your belongings from being chewed to bits, get plenty of toys before bringing a puppy home. Chewy rubber bones are ideal because they’ll keep your puppy enter-tained and help it’s teeth.
4. Playpens and barriers
Bringing a new dog home means sharing your space – but not all of it. Let your puppy know which parts of the house it can explore and which parts are off-limits. Barriers may be the best way of enforcing this from the start. When you bring a new dog home, put-ting it in a playpen can help draw the line between rest time and play time.
5. Toilet training
Bringing a puppy home for the first time means you can expect many little accidents on your carpet. The sooner you train your puppy to go to the toilet outside, the safer your carpets will be from little messes. Have plenty of extra-absorbent household towels, such as Plenty, on hand to soak up the mess, and make sure you’re up to speed on carpet cleaning techniques.
Bringing a new dog home is an exciting time in which you can expect a bit more chaos than normal – especially in the beginning. Share the responsibility with the entire fami-ly by involving everyone in the clean-up process. This will help your puppy to become familiar with everyone, as well.
Settling a puppy into a new home is a group effort. Ensure everyone in your household takes turns at feeding, walking and cleaning up after the puppy so that it gets used to everyone in the family.