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The Ins and Outs of Bringing a Puppy Into Your Home
Written by Indiana Lee
Adopting a puppy is one of the most exciting things to do, whether you want a family dog to grow with your kids, or a canine companion if you live alone. Puppies are instant serotonin, providing happiness, unconditional love, and pure energy wrapped in a fluffy, furry frame.
There are plenty of joys that come with bringing a puppy home. Their cuteness alone is worth it!
However, there can also be a lot of stress. Puppies are just babies, and it takes some time, effort, and energy to get them trained while keeping them safe. While about 2 million dogs are adopted each year, it’s not a choice to take lightly.
Whether you’ve already decided to adopt a little four-legged friend or you’re still considering it, let’s cover some of the ins and outs of bringing a puppy home. You need to know what to expect, how to handle the extra stress, and how to ensure your pup’s safety as they get acclimated to their forever home.
Preparing Your Home
Before you bring your new puppy home, one of the most important things to do is make sure your home is canine-ready. Puppies are cute, but they’re often chewers. They’re also innately curious and won’t hesitate to get into things they shouldn’t. On top of that, they’re not going to be potty trained right away.
While cleaning up after some of these messes will be the norm for a while, there are things you can do to take some of the stress away, including puppy-proofing your space. Some of the best tips to keep in mind include:
- Covering exposed electrical outlets and hiding cords
- Moving valuables to higher locations
- Putting lids on trash cans
- Securing cleaning supplies
- Moving any houseplants that could be toxic
A good rule of thumb is to go to each room in your home and try to look at it from a puppy’s perspective. What could they get into that could be dangerous? For example, in the bathroom, are there medications out that they could open? Can they get into the detergent in the laundry room? Is there a charger cable sitting on your bedroom floor they could chew through?
Going through each room will keep your puppy safer and will also make it less likely for your home and/or belongings to get destroyed. It might seem like a lot of work now, but it will be a less stressful experience later!
Keeping Your Puppy Healthy
Puppies require a lot of attention. In addition to being curious about things they probably shouldn’t get into, they are also more susceptible to certain diseases, including :
- Kennel Cough
You can make sure your puppy stays happy and healthy through its first year by making sure they regularly see a veterinarian, exercising them every day, and monitoring their nutrition. Your pup’s vet will be able to give you more insight into their individual needs for growth. However, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to go with commercial dog food or make your own.
It’s also important to make sure your little furry friend develops good sleep habits from a young age. Like human babies, puppies require a lot of sleep. However, they also have a lot of energy! If your puppy isn’t worn out by the end of the day, they might not want to sleep at night, which can throw off everyone’s sleep cycles and create more stress.
To instill better sleep habits in your pup, make sure they’re tired by the end of the day! Give them a lot of exercise, especially at night. Limit water intake before bed, too, so they won’t have to get up and “go” so often during the night. As the old saying goes, “a tired dog is a good dog.”
Making It Work for Everyone
If you live alone, bringing a puppy into your home is a fantastic way to keep from feeling so isolated. However, if you live with roommates, family members, or even have other pets at home, it’s essential to make sure your new puppy’s presence works for everyone.
Start by making sure you have the right supplies on hand, so you don’t end up putting that responsibility on others. Some of the most basic supplies needed for a puppy include:
- Food and water dishes
- A collar
- A leash
- Outdoor “poop” bags
You might also want to consider having your puppy set up in a designated space in the home. Dogs are den animals and don’t usually mind spending time in a crate or kennel. As they get used to your home, keeping them crated or confined to one room will give everyone time to adapt to the new situation.
Because it’s not uncommon for puppies to have accidents, you might have to deal with some unpleasant smells for a while. No amount of cuteness is going to cover that up. You can ensure you and your roommates or family members continue to breathe easily by knowing how to safely remove pet odor from your home. Take care of surface odors as quickly as possible, and wash things like blankets, bedding, and anything else your puppy comes in contact with regularly.
Having a puppy is so much fun, but it’s also an incredible responsibility. Keep these tips in mind to create a more positive experience as you bring a puppy home, and you’ll be able to start your life together on the right foot/paw.
About the writer: Indiana Lee is a freelance writer and journalist with a wealth of experience in blogging, content marketing, and journalism.