Preparing Your Home for a New Puppy
Before bringing a new puppy to your house you should always first do some preparations first and inform yourself on certain things. For example, you need to hide any shoes and objects that are either important for you or may injure the dog. Also you must have a cozy space prepared for the new member to sleep and rest.
Remember, once you adopt a puppy you are directly responsible for its future growth. Both physically and mentally. You must learn how to live in harmony with it without using violence, no dog was born with the ability to understand our language. Right training is the key to achieving this!
Now let’s see the preparations you need to make in more detail.
Transferring the puppy to your house
It is a good idea to transfer the puppy in its new home using a crate. For close distances you’d better carry it in your arms as the first time in a car is usually quite stressful for dogs. Before you put the puppy in the crate, put the collar and the leash. Walk it to the crate and put it inside gently or better by “luring” it again with a snack. Once inside, talk to it and pet it for a few minutes. If the dog reacts badly, pet it, let it calm and try again later.
Once you arrive home
Put the cage in the yard (if you have one!) and let it come out alone. Do not pull it out by force. It might immediately come out and be friendly. Or it might stay inside motionless and too afraid to come out. Each puppy reacts differently. It might be too stressed from the noise and the change of environment. Just give it some time and be patient. Then put the leash and lead the puppy at the entrance of your house. Open the door and wait. Give him time to decide just when to get into. Remember, it is a new environment for the dog, away from its mother and siblings! Give it some water to drink if it’s been a long time.
Probably the other members of the family will be filled with joy and excitement. Advise them not to start screaming and hopping around. This will probably scare and stress the dog even more! Sit quietly all together and let the puppy decide who and when it will approach.
Should I let it free during the first day?
Generally, it is not advised to let your puppy roam free in the house without attention during the first weeks, especially not before completing its "toilet training". If you decide not to follow this advice then be prepared to have multiple “accidents”. Supply your dog with toys for chewing and play with it a lot, otherwise it will cause damages all around the household!
The most important thing you have to keep in mind is that the puppy needs to feel security and “warmth” in the new environment. Feelings of fear are often what is responsible for behaviors we humans categorize as unwanted.
Some quick tips to keep in mind:
- Do not ever hit the puppy and do not shout. It’s much like a baby. Would you ever hit or shout to a baby?
- Do not ever rub the nose of your puppy to the place it peed!
The first night
The first night is usually very difficult. You should decide how and where the puppy will sleep. The generally accepted options are two:
1) To let it sleep in the cage (crate training). This is why you should never put the puppy in the crate by force, whether for punishement or other reasons. It needs to feel that "the cage is not a bad thing." The crate should only be associated with good experiences!
2)To let it sleep in a limited space inside the house, e.g. somewhere in the kitchen.
Whatever you choose, it is almost certain that it will not stop crying for hours and hours. It is very likely that it will not sleep at all. Remember, it is probably the first night it sleeps alone, away from siblings and mothers. Make sure the room is warm and provide the animal with a soft blanket. If you buy bedding for dogs make sure that it is soft and comfortable.
Here’s a tip to make your puppy relax. Fill a sock with rice, warm it up for a minute in the microwave oven, wrap it in a towel thoroughly so it can not be teared by the dog and place it next to him.. Do not go immediately. Wait until it calms down (or sleeps) and then step away.
The non stopping tears is something that nobody likes and few are those who can resist them. Be patient, everything will get better with time.
Shopping you need to do before the puppy arrives
Here are some basic things you need to get before bring the puppy to your house:
Leash and collar: Just ask the breeder or the employee over the pet shop for one. You don’t have to get anything special and expensive yet since your puppy is going to get bigger and soon these two will be obsolete.
Tags: Make sure to buy one that can be customized with the engraved message of your choice. Pet name and an address (in case you lose it or escapes) are a must to include! A phone number is also nice to include. Check out these 12 custom pet tags if you are looking for something really unique, fancy and cost effective.
Toys: Dogs of all ages love toys. Choose the ones that are suitable for your puppy. Generally, soft, squeaky toys are a great option. Take at least 4-5 or your puppy will soon get bored and start chewing on other things like your chair!
Crate: You can go cheap or expensive here. If you don’t plan to use it much then a cheap plastic will do just fine
Food: This is probably the most important thing! Ask the breeder or a veterinarian what is the appropriate food, depending always on the age and breed of your dog! Don’t go cheap. Of course this doesn’t mean you have to get the most expensive dog food. It means you need to take the one that covers all the nutrient-needs of your puppy. Go for a complete and balanced premium puppy food if you are totally clueless.
Bowls for food: It’s better to get one made of stainless steel or ceramic bowls. True, you can use a cheap plastic bowl but keep in mind that after some time they start to smell and collect bacteria.
Some other things you might want to consider buying include a brush, nail cutter, shampoo, special swabs to clean ears and a toothbrush.
Some important tips to keep the puppy out of harm's way
- Store all detergents, chemicals and other poisonous materials out of your puppy's reach
- Hide or place out of the puppy's reach any breakable items
- Cover and hide any electrical cords in your house. Puppies love to chew stuff!
- Keep small toys away from the floor as they may be swallowed, causing choking or other problems
- Some plants like azaleas, dumb cane, English ivy, Japanese yew, poinsettias, rhododendrons, oleander and other are dangerous to dogs. Restrict access to them!
- It’s especially important to know the whereabouts of nearby vets you in case of an emergency!