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6 Step Puppy Care Guide for New Dog Parents

white shih-tzu puppy on fabric sofa chair

Welcoming a new furry family member is a fascinating period for all. You can expect a lot of happy noises, sites, and cuddles when your new pup arrives. However, this period is only happy if you prepare your home for the new arrival. Young dogs have very poor control of their urges and needs, and they will completely destroy your house and maybe even injure themselves in the process unless you puppy-proof your home. Here’s how to prepare your house for a new puppy and have a smooth and fun adjustment period: 

Puppy-proof your home

Before your new member of the family arrives, it’s necessary to tidy up your space and secure all potentially hazardous things. Firstly, remove all prized possessions from the main room by putting them in closed cabinets or somewhere high on shelves. Some pet owners swear in anti-chew sprays (you can spray areas where you don’t want your puppy to try out their teeth), but these non-toxic bitter sprays don’t always work. If you have a rug you especially like, put it somewhere safe until your puppy is 100% house-trained.  

Secure the doors and windows

Young dogs don’t understand the concept of heights or dangers that lurk in the street, so they might try to engage in some pretty extreme sports. Well, make sure your front door is always closed to prevent your pup from wandering off. If you have a gate in your yard, light it up and secure it with a latch. Next, you can install window guards to prevent your pup from jumping out in pursuit of a teasing squirrel. And finally, if you have some areas where you don’t want your puppy to go, like in the kitchen, basement, laundry room, etc., purchase inexpensive puppy gates and block their way. For the first few weeks, using a puppy pen is also a great idea because your dog can play freely without getting hurt. 

Stock up on necessities

No matter how small, your puppy has extensive needs, so make sure to have all doggy necessities at hand. Create storage space in your house for dog things (most people choose the hallway, laundry room or mud room) and store things like collars, leads, bowls, treats, brushes, and bathing necessities. It’s also essential to get a pet ID tag for your new pup to ensure their safe return even if they manage to wander off. These are easy to scan by anyone who comes across your lost dog and your puppy will be returned to you in no time. Finally, your dog should have a kennel—their private safe space where they go to sleep and rest. Kennel training is crucial for the safety and health of your dog so start it as soon as your new dog arrives. 

Prepare food 

No matter if you’re adopting or getting a dog from a responsible breeder, ask the previous caretakers about your puppy’s diet habits. You want to stock up on the food that’s familiar to your dog because a sudden change of food can cause a lot of tummy issues and stress. Inquire about feeding times as well so you can recreate their daily routine as best as you can, so later you can start making specific changes slowly but surely. 

Clean out your yard

If you have some outdoor space on your property, that’s excellent news for the puppy because they will always have a lot of room to run around and do some sniffing. However, make sure that that space is clean and free of any hazards. Start by Googling your plants to check whether they are dangerous for dogs. Next, make sure that all gardening tools are safely in the shed, paying special attention to things like pesticides and fertilizers, which can be greatly toxic to your pet. If you need to treat your lawn and plants against pests, make sure to choose organic products that are much less harmful to your pet, kids, and environment. 

Educate your family members

Your house is not prepared for the new arrival until all House members are on the same page regarding training, habits, and chores. First of all, it’s crucial to explain to your kids that a puppy is not a toy and should be treated and handled with respect. Next, create a list of all puppy chores from feeding and walking to bathing and training. Try to establish a routine that will work for you and the new dog. 

Once you do all the things listed above, your pup will arrive in a safe, happy, and organized home, ready to fill it with happiness and warm cuddles. This is how to become a responsible dog owner! 


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