Getting a new puppy is an exciting life moment, for sure! But let’s be honest. It’s not all fun and games. The care and feeding of a puppy goes way beyond just providing food and water. As parent to a new puppy, you can make the transition a little less stressful by preparing your home before you ever roll out the welcome mat!
Our friends at Carolinas Veterinary Medical Hospital offer this advice for puppy parents-to-be!
Get down on your pet’s level and take a good look at your home. You will probably spot a few potential hazards that you might never have noticed from your vantage point. Before you open that carrier or take off that leash, make sure you:
Move cleaning supplies and medications out of your pet’s reach. If you cannot move them, invest in child-safe latches for your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
Find a safe place for thread, yarn and other craft supplies that curious pets may mistake for a snack.
Block small spaces to avoid a middle-of-the-night rescue for your new puppy or kitten. That space between the oven and kitchen cabinet may seem like the perfect hiding spot for a new pet. Unfortunately, your furry friend may discover that it’s easier to get into these spots than out of them.
Remove shoes, clothing and other items that can become chew toys. Put electrical and phone cords out of your pet’s reach or place them in a cord protector.
Shorten cords from mini blinds, as dangling cords can become a choking hazard.
Keep houseplants out of the reach of pets. Not only will pets make a mess if they knock over a plant, but they may become sick if they eat a poisonous plant.
Essentials Shopping List:
Here’s what you’ll need to stock up on before you welcome your new dog:
- Leash or harness
- Crate (If you’ll crate train)
- Nail clippers
- Treats (We have a few suggestions!)
- Food and water bowls
- Pet shampoo
Dogs, even previously house-trained dogs, can have accidents when adjusting to a new home. In addition to taking your pet outdoors regularly, prepare for the possibility of an accident by placing a wee-wee pad next to the door, just in case you don’t wake up as early as your dog would like. Keep enzymatic cleaner on hand to clean up any messes that do occur. Enzymatic cleaner breaks down stains and neutralizes the smell of urine. If you don’t remove the odor from the area, your pet may be drawn to that spot in the future and decide it’s a perfectly fine place to urinate.
If this is your very first puppy, now’s the time to start a relationship with a veterinarian, too. Ask your friends about the experiences they’ve had with their vet, too. Consider office hours, location, and make sure to schedule an appointment to meet the doctors and staff before you make your first well visit.