Welcoming a new dog into your home is a big event. It’s not just exciting for you and your family, but your new puppy too. But as fun and exciting as it may sound, you need to be prepared to put time and thought into preparing your home for your new family member.
Before making the house better suited your new dog, it might be best to make sure you picked the right one. Every person has a specific type of breed that they love, but first, take in mind your living situation. For example, if you live in Arizona, a Husky may not be the right breed for you since this breed is bred for colder climates. Consider the size of your house, if it’s an apartment or condo, how how large is your yard and even what activities you enjoy.
Get a Collar And Tags for Your Dog
The first thing three things you should purchase before you begin welcoming a new dog into your home are, in this order, are identification tags, a collar and a leash. Be prepared for your new puppy’s natural curiosity to get them into all sorts of trouble — including wandering off. A puppy is like a toddler and you’ll need to keep track of them at all times. They should never be without a collar and tag. If your puppy is high energy, avoid tags and collars that can get caught on things and cause injury.
It’s essential to make sure whatever collar you choose appropriately fits your dog. In stores, you can do this by putting the collar on your dog and making sure two of your fingers easily between your canine’s neck and the band. Otherwise, be sure to use a tape measure if you’re looking to buy a collar online.
In addition, you may also wish to consider microchipping your dog. If your dog should lose it’s collar or tags, a small microchip embedded in it’s skin will help a veterinarian or other animal control officer scan it to find your contact information.
Crate training is crucial for all puppies. In the wild, a dog’s den is their home — a safe place to sleep, hide from danger and raise a family. Crates function as your dog’s den, where they can find comfort and solitude while you know they’re safe and secure — and not shredding your couch while you’re out getting milk. However, it’s important to use a crate correctly.
- Choose a crate that is only large enough for your dog to turn around. If the dog has too much space they will choose a corner to go potty — and the main purpose of a crate is to teach them how to hold themselves. You can choose a larger crate if you block off the rear area with a sturdy cardboard box as long as they won’t shred it… which brings us to our second point:
- Never use soft toys, towels or any bedding inside a crate. It may seem mean, but young puppies will chew anything and everything. If your dog shreds fabric, they could swallow the threads causing them to become knotted in their intestines.
- Never use the crate as a punishment. Your dog will come to fear it and refuse to enter.
- Puppies under six months of age shouldn’t stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can’t control their bladders and bowels for that long. The same goes for adult dogs being housetrained. Physically, an older dog can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to.
- As tempting as it may be, when you first come home do not rush to open the crate. Your puppy will likely be overexcited to see you — as you are to see them! Instead, ignore them for a few minutes until they settle down. Once they settle, then greet them quietly and open the crate. This will teach them two things: that they get more attention when they’re calm and that their being left alone for a little bit (and you coming home) is not a big deal.
- Crate your dog only until you can trust them not to destroy the house. After that, leave the door open and they will enter to sleep on their own. At this point you can introduce a dog bed to the crate if you wish.
- Once your dog is capable of behaving themselves and not destroying the house, you can consider buying a dog bed. Even if your dog is potty trained, it’s not uncommon for dogs to lick, slobber or bring wet toys into their bed. You may wish to consider waterproofing your new dog bed. This article gives some great tips to waterproof a dog bed.
Toys for Your Dog
Just like humans, dogs have a need for relaxation and leisure time. Without time to play, they can experience mood shifts and changes in productivity. Thankfully, there are many different types of toys, games, and educational items your dog can enjoy while off the clock!
Gnawing on particular objects is part of a dog’s nature. That is why you need to get several toys for your dog before it starts to chew on your possessions. You can either get a bunch of soft toys that are easy to chew on, and are gum-friendly, or take your dog along to a pet store and let it decide. If you have a puppy, look specifically in the pup section of the store. They will have special toys that can help puppies are teething.
Hygiene for Your Home and Dog
Welcoming a new dog into your home means you need to be prepared for messes. If you’ve never had a dog in your home before, be prepared for muddy floors, hair everywhere and the occasional potty accident at first. You’ll have to sweep, vacuum and mop more often but it’s a small price to pay for your new family member.
Make Time for Play Time
Dogs are very physical animals, and they need plenty of daily activity to stay healthy and happy. Be prepared to take your dog on regular walks and play a game of fetch with a ball every now and then. You should also back your home more dog-friendly by ensuring nothing comes in its way when it is in a playful mood. Welcoming a new dog into your home is a fun, exciting and rewarding experience — especially when you’re prepared.