While March 23 is National Puppy Day, any day you find yourself looking into a pair of adoring brown eyes and see a wagging tail has the potential for being a day to celebrate puppies. It's just as likely to also be the day you open your home to a new family member. Though your heart may be ready for a new pet, is your house? Here’s a guide for making sure both you and your new puppy quickly feel at home with each other.
See It through Their Eyes
Look around your house with an eye for what might attract a curious puppy's attention. Electrical cords and cables that run across the floor, for instance, make inviting chew toys. Cord covers will help get those temptations out of the way. Stove knob covers will keep jumping puppies (and larger dogs) from attempting to make their own dinner. It's also advisable to remove breakable objects from areas the puppy may play to keep your belongings, and new pet, safe.
One of the cutest things about puppies is their natural curiosity. While checking out every aspect of their new home is all part of getting acclimated, it’s best not to let them have free range. Baby gates keep them at a safe distance and from being underfoot, especially when you are preparing food, and allow you to section off areas of your home so you can keep an eye on them. Closing doors to rooms that you’re not using, especially when you’re away from home, curbs their ability to explore and sample furniture legs, shoes, and your children's toys.
Lock It Up
Puppies are master escape artists and have a knack for opening things you’d rather they didn’t. Make sure all ways in and out of your home can be shut securely, including any screen doors and those to any balconies you may have.
When you have a fenced-in yard, you'll want to walk the perimeter to make sure there are no gaps a small, little body can squeeze through or under. Where no fencing exists, you may want to consider your options for creating a safe place for your puppy to run free.
Inside your home, safety latches can help prevent little paws and noses from opening cabinets. Meanwhile, step-lid or pull-out trashcans keep garbage in its place. For particularly adventurous pups, consider a toilet seat lock to prevent them from drinking from the wrong bowl.
They Are What They (Don’t) Eat
When you have children, you mostly likely already put medication and cleaning supplies in out-of-reach areas or behind a latched door. The same approach applies to puppies. Similarly, you'll also want to take a look at the plants you have in your home and in your outdoor landscaping. Puppies tend to sample the greenery.
Climbing and Trailing Begonia
A Space of Their Own
Creating a space just for your puppy can make them feel comfortable and safe and provide you with a little piece of mind. Choose a quiet, out-of-the-way area, if possible, where they can lie down and rest when home life becomes too exhausting for them. Adding a soft dog bed and blankets, as well as a crate if you’re using one, can allow your pup a place to indulge their natural nesting and burrowing instincts. Also, providing plenty of chew toys and balls can help them stay engaged and chew away any anxiety they have as they adapt to a new home.
As most pet owners will tell you, welcoming a dog into your home is one of the most rewarding things a family can do. By taking the time to make your space as comfortable as possible for everyone, the experience can be even more rewarding.