How to Prepare for Your New Puppy

Today is one of our favorite days, National Puppy Day, the day we shower the young dogs in our lives with extra hugs and kisses, and treats and toys. 

By Malcolm Mayhew
Virbac Copywriter

Animal enthusiast Colleen Paige established this day of recognition in 2006 to not only give us another excuse to love on our dogs, but to bring to light the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year. 

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.1 million are dogs. 

Adopting pets is a great thing, and we feel that warmer months are the best time to adopt, since animal shelters typically see an uptick in intakes during spring and summer, says Alex Muñoz, Director of Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department. Adopting at this time of year helps shelters combat overcrowding. 

But before you bring home your new bundle of fun and fur, you’ll need to make sure your home has been puppy-proofed. Puppies, as all newbies soon find out, can be a handful. 

Below are some tips on how to prepare yourself and your home for a new puppy.

  • Place electrical cords out of reach. Hide, move or conceal these chewing hazards, which, if nibbled upon, can cause burns to the mouth or electrical shock.
  • Create a “safe space” for them where they can retreat to when you’re not home, whether it’s a pen or a crate or a comfy spot in a bedroom. Getting your puppy accustomed to a crate will have many benefits down the road. It prepares them for travel or when they have to be boarded for an extended period. 
  • Keep toilet lids closed. You don’t want your curious pup drinking out of a toilet and/or falling in. 
  • Secure cleaning supplies and medications. Puppies are curious about everything they can get their paws on, so be sure to store these harmful and potentially toxic items in high-reaching and/or locking cabinets. 
  • Avoid feeding them food from the table. We are sure that you know better, but instruct others in your household not to feed human foods to your new pup. Many human food products are harmful, including chocolate, grapes/raisins and gum with sugarless substitutes, to name a few. 
  • Keep windows and doors to the outside closed, so your puppy can’t run off or fall out. Secure the cords that raise blinds; they can easily get wrapped around your dog’s neck.
  • Use trash cans with secured lids. Dogs love to dig through garbage, especially if they can smell some tasty leftovers, which can possibly be harmful to their health. Scented trash bags are a good idea, too, to throw off the fragrance of garbage. 
  • Secure small objects. Jewelry, batteries, key FOBs - they’re all theirs for the munching. To make sure they don’t eat something that can harm them, place all small objects in a secure environment. 
  • Move potentially poisonous houseplants to out-of-reach areas. A full list of harmful plants and flowers can be found here