Bringing home a puppy for the first time can be a special but daunting experience for both you and your new furry friend.
Your puppy will most likely be nervous and excited. You’ll want to make sure your puppy is as comfortable and safe as possible.
Similar to preparing your home for a new baby, you’ll need to puppy-proof your home to ensure that your fur baby doesn’t accidentally hurt himself.
It’s important for your puppy to have his own “space” within the home, ideally a room. He’ll need his own crate, so if you can’t put his crate in a room where there’s low-to-no household activity, then at the very least make sure his crate is spacious for him and private by draping a blanket over the top.
Providing your puppy with a safe, private, quiet crate in this manner for the first few weeks will help him adjust to his new surroundings and feel safe and comfortable.
It’s also very important to be aware of potential hazards around the home since puppies are known for getting into very small spaces! Some quick tips to avoid potential hazards include:
- Block up gaps behind kitchen appliances and under fitted cupboards
- Screen off open fireplaces
- Close all external windows and doors
- Place cleaning fluids, disinfectants and medicines in cupboards
- Place electric cables out of reach so your pet can’t get tangled up in them
- Close toilet lids
Read on to learn about how to puppy-proof your home and fully prepare for your new furry friend!
PUPPY-PROOFING YOUR HOME
For the first 8 months, you’re going to have to really watch your new puppy to make sure he doesn’t chew on, or try to “eat,” things that he shouldn’t, like furniture, decorative items, and stray socks. Once you’ve fully trained your puppy and he’s grown to develop self-control, you won’t have to be so watchful. But for now, keeping an eye on your puppy at all times will go hand-in-hand with puppy-proofing your home.
Perhaps most important to the puppy-proofing process is that you’re going to have to make sure there aren’t any choking hazards in plain sight at home. This cannot be overstated enough. You may even have to reconsider the bins and containers in your home, and if they have tops that are easy for a puppy to pry open, we recommend you invest in bins that close securely with a snap lock or twist-on cap.
The most common around-the-house choking hazards include coins, marbles, paper clips, rubber bands, string, yarn, ribbon, pantyhose, jewelry, hair elastics, scrunchies, hair accessories, screws, nails, nuts, bolts, toolkit items, and the list goes on. Simply go around your home and make sure there are no choking hazards out. If you live with other people and / or children, you’ll want to explain to them the importance of stowing away any choking hazards to ensure that the new puppy won’t accidentally put himself in harm’s way.
While we’re on the subject of choking hazards, it’s important to note that some dog treats can pose a danger, such as rawhide chew treats and other “chewy” foods. It’s fine to let your puppy have a chewy treat, but always monitor him while he’s chewing until the food treat is gone. Don’t leave the room or else you’ll run the risk of him choking when you’re gone.
If your puppy does begin coughing, scratching at his mouth and neck, choking, gagging, or struggling with a chewy treat that gets caught in his throat, don’t panic or hesitate to act.
First, try to remove the object by hand by opening your puppy’s mouth and looking down the entire esophagus cavity. The object could be visually present, and if so, use your fingers to remove it.
If you’re unable to remove the object using your fingers, you can try using gravity by holding your puppy upside down, so that their head is facing down, and pat their back. You can also go a step further and perform the Heimlich Maneuver by kneeling behind your puppy, wrapping your arms around them and placing your fingers against the soft area just beneath their lower ribs. Then apply pressure in an “inwards and upwards” motion to that area of their stomach. This will cause your puppy to cough and retch and possibly vomit, all of which should dislodge the object.
If you cannot remove the object by using these methods, or if you cannot see anything in your puppy’s throat, then take your puppy to the vet right away. Never try to use a tool like pinchers, thongs, or pliers to remove a difficult object. You will risk injuring your puppy!
Important Warning Signs that Your Puppy Is Choking:
- Gagging sounds
- Excessive drooling
- Repeated swallowing
- Vomiting or regurgitation
- Pawing at the mouth or throat
- Hacking cough
- Apathy or listlessness
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble breathing
Pay particular attention to the less obvious warning signs. If your puppy seems apathetic or loses his appetite, take him to the vet straight away. He could have a small object caught in his esophagus.
That brings us to the next important step in the puppy-proofing process—using trash receptacles that close and stay closed. Puppies really can’t resist the smells of a typical garbage can, because to them trash smells like food.
Common household trash poses many dangers to puppies. There are many human foods that are poisonous to dogs, which could be lurking in the trash. And also, you and your family may be in the habit of disposing of cleaning products in the trash and other harsh chemicals that could harm your puppy if ingested.
So, again, make sure the trash bins that you keep in the kitchen, bathrooms, tool shed, and any other area are mechanically able to close and stay closed. If not, then investing in new receptacles that stay closed is in high order.
As you can see, it’s extremely important to thoroughly puppy-proof your home so that your puppy doesn’t end up choking or getting poisoned.
Beyond that, be sure to keep your doors and windows closed at all times, and make sure that the perimeter of your yard is fenced in so that your puppy can’t escape when he’s outside.
BUY THESE ITEMS BEFORE YOU BRING YOUR PUPPY HOME
Before You Bring Your Puppy Home, You Need These Items:
- Adjustable collar
- Comfortable leash
- Dog tags with your puppy’s name and current contact information
- An understanding of how to register and activate your dog’s microchip, and if your puppy won’t come microchipped, then you’ll need to buy this item
- Food and water bowls
- Healthy puppy food
- Wee wee pads
- Poop bags and holder
Additional Items to Have on Hand:
- Puzzle toys
- Puppy-proof chew toys
- Pooper scooper
- Dog bed
- Grooming wipes
- Dog treats
- Dog toothpaste and toothbrush
- Dog shampoo
- Enzyme spray for housebreaking accidents
- Carpet cleaner, also for housebreaking accidents
Important Contacts to Have On Hand:
- Dog trainer
- Dog walker
- Pet sitter
- Pet insurance information
- Dog groomer
- Emergency contact friends and family members
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR NEW PUPPY!
That about wraps it up for how Petland Kansas City recommends that you prepare your home for your new puppy. Once your puppy is safe and secure at your home, that’s when the real fun begins. Yes, there will be challenges ahead in terms of successfully potty training and housebreaking your puppy. Our best advice is that you remain firm and consistent in your efforts.