Just like bringing home a new baby, introducing a puppy is an important event for all household residents, the puppy included. There are a few things that will help the pet adjust to its new home, and if you start a few days before the puppy comes home it will reduce the stress of leaving its mother.
Make baby comfortable
If the breeder agrees, about three or four days before the puppy is due to arrive it helps to place an old towel or blanket from home in the bed where the puppy is sleeping, then bring it back when collecting the pup for the new bed, so that it will recognize a familiar scent. This is very comforting in a strange, new environment full of alien smells, sights and sounds.
Conduct a risk assessment
Checking around for hazards and risks before the dog arrives is a bit like toddler-proofing a house. Puppies are instinctively curious and (just like toddlers) will get into everything and anything unless deterred. New owners should think like a health and safety assessor and do what it takes to avoid disaster, remembering that puppies will chew anything. It is important to identify poisonous substances and make sure they stay out of sight in cupboards, preferably fitted with child locks.
Food for thought
It goes without saying that all puppies should be well looked after. Particularly, people who invest in a designer puppy, such as a labradoodle – a cross between a labrador and a poodle â€“ will want to ensure their puppy has a diet of fresh, natural food. Designer dog facts Â indicate that puppies and adult dogs thrive on a healthy diet, so it pays to make sure that toxic alternatives to food that may be lying around the house are removed. An owner should watch out for stray children’s toys and any houseplants that might adversely affect the puppy’s digestion if chewed. Other chew-able puppy favorites include slippers and shoes, underwear and socks, books and newspapers, and potentially upsetting food scraps, especially raisins, grapes and chocolate.
With so much technology in modern homes, cables for TVs and computers often snake across a part of the floor and these may as well be a piece of string put there for fun, as far as every playful puppy is concerned. A cable protector, the thicker the better, is a good investment, especially if expensive hi-fi or other equipment needs to be safeguarded. Other trailing hazards include dangling cords for drapes and blinds – these can be shortened to prevent a nasty accident – and cloths or runners swinging temptingly near the floor from fully-laid tables that can turn a puppy into a bull in a china shop.
Protection from wagging tails
With boundless energy a puppy will bounce around the home without regard to precious belongings, so valuable and fragile items should be safely locked away until the pet has developed an at-home set of behaviors and routines. Likewise, windows and doors should be kept closed, as should doors to kitchen appliances- it pays to always check a tumble-dryer before use in case a sleepy pup has decided to have a quiet snooze there.
Having successfully established a risk-free environment, taking time out to enjoy playing with the puppy is a real stress buster for everyone.