Today’s fitness tip covers a more general aspect of K9 health and is puppy specific! By preventing certain situations from happening in the first place, your puppy will start her life with you on the right paw!
That being said, I’m still a sucker for implementing preventative measures, even now that the pups are 4.5 years young 🙂
Having a new furry family member come live with you is exciting all around: From choosing the right breed for your lifestyle, to selecting the right kind of pup from a shelter, rescue organization, or a reputable breeder, to finally walking your pup over your threshold into her new abode!
There are several steps you can take to ease her transition into her new life, and to make the experience a positive and relaxed one for both species. Let’s take a closer look!
Puppy house-proofing checklist:
Step 1: Check your home for dangerous plants, foods, and medication within puppy reach, and move them out of reach.
Step 2: Don’t leave any small, easily ingestible items laying around on the floor, such as jewelry, kids toys, and arts & crafts supplies.
Step 3: Remove expensive rugs until your pup has been housebroken. The same goes for other valuables such as vases or artwork until your pup has learned to respect its human environment.
Step 4: The same goes for (expensive) shoe wear ~ puppies love chewing on leather items, as it soothes their teething pain. Always keep shoes out of reach, and provide safe chew toys, which will eliminate the pup’s need of chewing on anything inappropriate.
Step 5: Limit the pup’s access to only a few rooms in your home during the first weeks. Less stimuli will keep the initial transitioning stress lower, & provide less opportunity for accidents. Remember, your pup will likely only have experienced the comfort of his mom & siblings, or the stressful environment of a shelter. He’ll need some time to get used to his new place.
Step 6: Don’t leave any loose cables within reach of your pup ~ they are too much of an “invitation” to chew on!
Step 7: Use thrash cans with lids, in order to lower his potential interest in them and to avoid ingesting anything harmful.
Step 8: If you have a yard, check it for potential escape routes (holes in the fence) or death traps (unfenced pool or spa area) prior to your pup’s arrival. The same goes for dangerous plants & weeds, herbs & vegetables (should you grow any). Familiarize yourself with the plants & human foods dogs need to avoid, and get rid of them (weeds) or make access to them impossible (garden).
Step 9: If you have a garage, be sure to thoroughly check for dangerous items and move them out of reach for your pup (toxic automotive liquids such as antifreeze, pesticides, chemicals, and any cleaning supplies).
Step 10: Here’s something I suggest doing after having completed steps 1-9: Kneel down, or better yet: lie down on your belly, and look at your surroundings from this “puppy” perspective. You will likely have overlooked a few items, which may have rolled underneath the couch or the bed, and which a pup would be able to easily get to.
I clearly remember crawling around our apartment to do one last puppy check before Missy & Buzz would officially move in with us. It’s a good thing I did because I discovered a few things that needed to be removed – hairbands, rubber bands, a nail (!!! don’t ask me how that ended up on the floor..), a DVD, a few books…so go ahead, get down on all 4, but don’t forget to stretch beforehand 😉
Now that you’ve prepared your home for the arrival of the little bundle of cuteness, make sure that your entire family is on the same page regarding those precautions.
They will have to be kept up for the first few weeks or even months of puppyhood. The less stuff you leave out and about, the less trouble your pup will be able to get into!
Do you have any additional puppy house-proofing tips? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!