Preparing For A Puppy
If you have talked to the family or the person you are considering giving a puppy, and there is agreement that he, she or they want a puppy, knowing what to do to be ready is important. Giving a puppy as a “surprise” gift is not a good idea as many people are not in a position to care for a dog or provide the food, care and companionship to keep the puppy and the dog in a positive, loving and healthy environment. I have some tips below on how to prepare for a puppy.
For the family that is getting ready to receive a puppy as a gift, there are some important pre-puppy tasks to undertake.
Puppy Proof the Home
Puppy proofing your home is essential to protect your possessions and also to protect the puppy. Remember, puppies are naturally curious, and they seem to have a knack for finding their way into areas of the home where you never thought they would go.
Start by creating the puppy room or space. A young puppy will not be house-trained, so having a puppy pen or a small area of a room that is designed to contain the puppy will protect your floors and carpeting. A baby gate can be used to keep the puppy in a room while still allowing everyone to visit and spend time.
Puppies are also going to chew and pull on items in their reach. Get down low to the ground and look for extension cords, cables, drapery pulls or other dangling or hanging items that may catch the attention of the dog. Remove them or use clips or holders to move the cords and cables out of reach.
Plants and Other Cool Things
Plants, remote controls, cell phones, pillows, magazines, area rugs, tassels on furniture or drapes, shoes, slippers, clothes, sofa or chair covers, books and just about anything else can seem like a great chew toy for a puppy.
You don’t have to remove these items from all rooms, but make sure you are supervising the puppy when he or she is in rooms with these items. The puppy’s room or space should not have these things present to prevent issues and potential risk of destruction.
Setting Up the Puppy Space
The puppy will need his or her own space, which may be a penned area or a crate. In this area, there should be fresh, comfortable bedding that is designed to help the puppy to feel comfortable and warm.
Add some chew toys that are size and breed appropriate. A lab puppy will need far different play and chew toys from a Chihuahua or a Yorkshire Terrier. Also, make sure you have food bowls and water bowls it the puppy area. Potty pads are also helpful and allow the puppy to learn where to “go” in his or her space.
Finally, make sure you know the food the puppy is currently eating. While you don’t have to continue on with this food for a long period of time, keeping it consistent during the move to a new home will help decrease tummy troubles and the risk of accidents.