Preparing Your Home for a New Puppy
Your first kiss. Your first driver’s license, still warm in your pocket. Walking across the stage in cap and gown. Bringing home a new puppy. These are the moments in life that you’ll never forget, and while there’s no way to be ready for Christie Thompson’s tongue abruptly exploring the far reaches of your tonsils, preparing your home for a new puppy is simple.
Preparing for Arrival
You’ve probably put more planning into this new puppy than your first marriage, and you’re likely all ready for the big day with a comfy bed, food and water dishes, an adjustable collar and lead, and a premium quality food suited for your breed. Now is also a good time to find a veterinarian and schedule an exam and the first series of vaccinations.
Even at 8 years old, you pondered a better way as you dutifully held up your end of mom’s bargain, and cleaned up Buster’s soiled newspaper from the kitchen floor every morning. There is a better way. Because dogs are reluctant to soil their immediate area, a crate is the most effective way to potty train your new puppy. A correctly sized crate is also the perfect way to limit access to the home while you’re away, and keep that new IKEA sleeper sofa intact. Provide plenty of chew toys in the crate and throughout the house, then rejoice when he ignores the legs of your coffee table. As your new puppy grows, consider movable gates to gradually increase access to certain areas of the home. Remember, just like giving him a variety of chew toys will help keep the stuffing inside the sofa, giving your new puppy the option of a comfy bed in rooms where you’d like to reserve the furniture for two legged guests will make that goal more realistic. Even if you are okay with group hugs on the furniture, keeping nails trimmed and fur brushed will make even leather sofas last longer.
A tired dog is a happy dog, and although he’s just a puppy, giving him time to chase a tennis ball around the backyard or ignore it and chase squirrels instead will help prevent destructive behavior inside. Keeping your new puppy busy will also help keep the house intact. Surfing the web and checking fantasy football stats might help you to make it through the mid afternoon doldrums, but for your new puppy, food puzzle toys like a Kong stuffed with peanut butter will help keep things interesting while he’s home alone. Also, consider frozen peanut butter as it lasts longer and it soothes teething.
Mini blinds. They cover your windows efficiently like that 14 year old Honda civic gets you to work and back. But neither will impress anyone, and mini blinds, vertical blinds, and drapery with long cords can also pose a choking hazard for your new puppy. Consider fabric shades, drapes, or curtains instead which might impress your mother in law and will definitely keep your new friend safer. And while you’re at the windows, check to make sure sturdy metal screens are securely in place.
Stains and messes will be easier to clean up in areas with tile or linoleum flooring, and an extra coat of polyurethane on hardwood will help prevent odors from lingering like that vacuum salesman. Machine washable area rugs are great, but definitely roll up the nice oriental ones and stash them safely away until all the scooping happens outside. Wall to wall carpet is tough. A couple of accidents in there and you might as well just dedicate that room to your new chicken coop.