You've made the decision to buy a puppy & have chosen your new family member. Great! Now it's time to take a few hours to prepare your house and family before you bring your puppy home! Here are a few tips to help you along your way:
Puppy Proof Your Home
Plants or foods that can be poisonous or harmful to dogs, including common ones like mistletoe or cacti, as well as foods that are commonly overlooked (gum or foods that include xylitol)
Electric cords or extension cords that can be easily accessed by puppies. Remember, even something seemingly innocent, like a vacuum left out, can be dangerous to puppies if they chew on the cord.
Plants or knick knacks that can be easily knocked over - remember, puppies are curious and can get into a lot of trouble quickly if you're not careful!
Children's toys that can be hazardous to puppies or chewed on and accidentally destroyed. Legos and small toys like Barbie accessories can be easily chewed and choked on by pups. Also, teach your children to keep their toys in their playroom away from the puppy and make sure you have a rule to clean up before bringing pup into their room - we have had many sad times here where a puppy accidentally chewed up an arm of a doll or stuffed animal our kids love. Protect the puppy from harm & your children from tears - make a plan for the toys before they come home.
Gates up around places you don't want the puppy to enter, such as around the pool or in front of rooms you don't want the puppy to enter or run out of (such as the front door)
Check your backyard for dangerous plants or hazards (openings under the fence, gates that don't stay shut, broken toys). Don't forget - fertilizer and insect spray is extremely toxic to animals. Now is a good time to research healthier ways to keep your yard looking great!
Make a schedule for your new puppy
Before you bring your puppy home is when you need to plan out a schedule for your puppy. Just like scheduling your family's life, you want to make a schedule that will work for your new puppy. You should think about what time you get up, when you'll be able to let the puppy out and when you will want the puppy to go to sleep. Make your schedule according to your life, as you will want to fit in your puppy as seamlessly as possible.
Remember, when making a schedule, you have to allow for your puppy to go out in the morning and potty, then feed him/her, then allow him time to potty again before you get ready for your day. Many people miss the second potty trick, so make sure you build that into your schedule.