Introduce a new puppy to your home
Last updated 9/27/2019 at 7:24pm
Rick Williams - Special to Village News
When thinking about safely introducing a new puppy into a home there are a few things to consider. Before bringing the new dog home, begin by gathering the necessary supplies and puppy-proofing. Make sure the home is as secure as possible as when preparing for a visit from a toddler. Remember, puppies are naturally curious and can get into trouble quickly.
First, think safety; electrical cords, fragile vases, decorative pillows, open toilets, trash cans, hanging drapes and poisonous house plants should all be secured. Watch for items that have potential choking hazard. Think about medications and cleaning supplies in the bathroom or kitchen that need to be raised to a higher shelf. Keep bathroom and bedroom doors and cabinets closed and where possible, restrict access by using baby gates. Protect personal items that could become inappropriate chew toys such as laundry, glasses, cell phones, remote controls, purses, shoes and slippers. These things should never be left within puppy reach.
Take into account items in the garage that may be at puppy level and could be hazardous such as antifreeze, paint, solvents and sharp items. Look around outside for any dangerous plants or situations that could prove harmful to the pup. Check fences and gates to be sure they are puppy-proof to prevent escape.
After making the house safe, consider my cardinal rules of "Contain or Supervise" and "Never Trust Your Puppy." In my house that means if one or more family members is not actively engaged with the puppy as in playing, training, feeding or snuggling, the puppy should be contained with a pen, a crate or on a leash. Remember, never leave a puppy outside unattended or off-leash in an area without a fence.
Begin establishing household rules, boundaries and acceptable behaviors immediately. By being proactive and prepared, pet owners can save themselves the expense and frustration caused by the loss of property and the heartbreak of possible injuries to a four-legged friend.
Keep the veterinarian's name, address and phone number handy at all times. Post it on the fridge or another conspicuous area where family members will have access to it. Keep the Poison Control Center phone number close by as well. Stock a backpack with food, water, dishes and medical supplies for the dog and take it along in case of evacuation or any time the new pet parent and the dog leave the home.
The more prepared a puppy parent, the more they will enjoy their new puppy's company.
Rick Williams offers personal dog training. For more information, call (760) 728-1292.