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Preparing for a new puppy

Preparing for a new puppy

It seems many puppies are arriving in new homes on the Coast. Preparation will make a smooth transition for the new arrival. Some local pet stores have free gift bags with toys and other items for new puppies to help with the process.

Before bringing the canine companion home, decide where he will sleep. I recommend he sleeps in a crate (if crate trained) or dog bed in your bedroom. For puppies just leaving their litter, the sound of their new humans breathing and sleeping nearby can be comforting.

When you are unable to actively supervise the puppy and when he needs a nap, contain him somewhere safe. I recommend gating off an area for the pup or using an indoor pen. By “house-training” I mean training a puppy to live in a house without soiling in inappropriate places and without chewing inappropriate and potentially hazardous items.

“Swipe”, an Aussie/Border Collie mix, is dealing with four hungry puppies, only four days old. Jane Bowers photo

Set the pen up in a part of the house where the puppy will be able to be with the family and be easily observed. Put a crate or bed in the pen and a litter box (just in case he needs it; the ultimate goal is for the dog to do his business outside). Add some non-consumable play toys and a water bowl. As well, have a leash nearby. Take the puppy outside to do his business before leaving him in the pen and be prepared to take him outside if you notice signs that he needs to pay a visit outside.

Put away anything that could be hazardous, or that you don’t want turned into a chew toy, as the puppy will not be able to tell the difference between your shoes and his chew toys at this point. Invest in child safety locks for lower cabinets.

Garages and sheds can be dangerous places for dogs. Dogs should not be left in garages or sheds. Block access to hazardous items that you cannot move or remove.

Examine your fencing and look for spots where the puppy could get through. The best type of fencing has several inches of wire buried under the ground (so they can’t dig under) and a fence made of material like solid wood or page wire which prevents a dog from getting through. Puppies should always be accompanied in the yard and never left alone there.

Make sure your puppy is wearing identification.

A few precautions can help ensure that the puppy safely transitions into their new home and prevents the development of unwanted behaviors.

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