Are you ready for the arrival of your new puppy? This cute little creature is going to require a lot of work. The good news is, with training and the right supplies and equipment, raising your new puppy can be easy and stress-free. In the days leading up to your new puppy’s arrival, there are some things you can do to help transition your new puppy into a happy and healthy member of your family.
For your puppy’s safety and to facilitate housetraining, a crate is a must. Many people object to using a crate because they feel like it’s “doggie jail”. On the contrary, a crate is not a dog jail. It is a place that gives them security, safety and structure. Think of a baby in a crib or playpen. You are not putting them in prison, you are limiting their freedom to a space that will keep them safe and build good potty structure. The confined area of the crate capitalizes on the pup's den instinct to keep their immediate area clean and when used properly, greatly facilitates potty training.
Before you bring your puppy home, accept the fact that accidents are inevitable. It is important to know that the smell of urine/poop will elicit a dog to eliminate in the same area. Cleaning up accidents thoroughly is so important for successful housetraining and preventing repeat accidents. Invest in cleaning supplies like Urine Off or Nature’s Miracle to have on hand. If you have a favorite rug, you may want to put it into storage until you’re confident your dog is potty trained.
There’s another reason to put that favorite rug away: puppies will chew. This phase of a dog’s life is simply part of exploring and learning. You may find your favorite shoe or the leg of your coffee table falls prey to your new puppy’s teeth. Look around your house and identify those things that a small animal might see as a fun chew toy. Once you’ve removed those favorite items, you can then just keep an eye on your puppy to protect the rest.
The smaller you can make your new puppy’s living area, the better. When your dog isn’t in a crate, block off a small area using a gate. This will reduce the amount of space you’ll need to supervise the whereabouts of your pup. You could also consider something like a playpen or exercise pen, which creates a small gated area around your new puppy. If you can’t block off a room just by setting up a gate, or you just want flexibility in the area where your new puppy spends most of his time, a playpen or x-pen could be a great alternative.
If you’re bringing a new puppy home, be sure you visit a pet store and stock up on some items first. I have a handy supply checklist that will help you make sure you have everything you need. Download it for free here.