The first day at home with your new puppy is a landmark event, the start of a lifetime for your dog! If you’re a first-time dog owner, it can be difficult to know exactly what to expect from life with a young pup. But don’t let inexperience stop you, follow our advice and you’ll be prepared for anything!
Remember, coming home is a huge transition for your puppy. Your space is unfamiliar, they’re teething, and every human and pet in the home is new! Set yourself up for a successful introduction by reducing your curious pup’s access to dangerous or important items.
Prepare Your Home As A Safe Environment
Both your home and yard need to be properly prepared to keep your pup from getting into trouble.
Mental preparedness is also extremely important for new pet owners. Always remind yourself that your puppy is just curious and teething, and they will not damage anything maliciously. It’s your job to remain patient, prevent them from accessing hazardous or valuable items, and consistently monitor them. Here are our top tips for providing a safe environment for your new puppy.
Puppy-Proofing Your Home
- Avoid “people food”. Protect your pup by not allowing access to foods that can be dangerous to them. Chocolate, products containing xylitol, avocado, grapes and raisins, garlic, macadamia nuts, and other common foods contain chemicals or substances that are toxic to dogs.
- Keep electrical cords out of reach. Use cord concealers, or unplug your devices and put the cords away. Live wires present the danger of electrical shock, but even an unplugged wire can lead to your pup ingesting dangerous bits of wire or plastic.
- Remove choking hazards. Small items such as coins, Lego, rubber bands, hair accessories, jewelry, and beads can pose a serious threat to your nosy pup.
- Put medication completely out of reach. Even a properly closed medicine bottle is no match for a puppy’s sharp little teeth! Keep your medications up out of reach in a cabinet or high drawer.
- Close doors and windows. Keep your windows closed so your puppy can’t climb up and fall out, and keep doors closed to prevent your inquisitive pup from exploring the neighborhood on their own! In addition, remember to secure any strings from your blinds to remove the possibility of your puppy chewing them or getting dangerously tangled in them.
- Consider your houseplants. Whether you’re a plant aficionado or have a single neglected houseplant, take the time to research your collection and the risk some plants pose to your pup. If you do have any plants that pose a risk to your dog, either keep them well out of reach or consider getting rid of them entirely.
Puppy-Proofing Your Yard
- Prevent escapes. If possible, fence in your yard so your pup can roam free in a safe area. If you already have a fence, ensure that it’s tall enough that your pup cannot jump over it, and check the entire fence for any holes before your little escape artist finds them!
- Keep your yard well-maintained. Ticks are much more likely to thrive in tall grass or overgrown brush, so keep the area mowed and tidy. However, if you use a pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer, or insecticide, keep your pup away from the area. These substances can be extremely toxic to your pup.
- Install safety fencing around your pool. Inground pools are a wonderful addition to any property, but they can be extremely dangerous to a puppy. If you don’t already have the pool area fenced off, build one promptly. If you have a pool, consider speaking to dog trainers in your area about a water safety course.
- Remove toxic plants. Houseplants aren’t the only possible hazard! If you have outdoor gardens, it’s best to remove or fence off any plants that are poisonous to your dog.
- Remove choking hazards. Any small items like water balloon fragments, bits of litter, or fallen fruit can cause a problem for a young pup.
- Watch your pup when outside. Even if you’re careful, puppies are remarkably skilled at stumbling into trouble! Playing with your puppy will build your bond, help them expend their energy, keep them from finding trouble, and protect them from opportunistic predators.
Welcome Your New Puppy Home
With proper care and preparation, you can make your home a comforting and safe place for your puppy. The first few days can be stressful for a young puppy, but your welcoming home and comforting presence will soon have your pup feeling right at home!