Puppy Proofing your Home
Puppies love to chew cables which is obviously not a very good idea. Tape cables up where you can, and make sure no electric wires are left lying around in a room where she'll be left unsupervised.
They love to chew - anything. You can get a bitter apple spray which you can use on furniture or door frames which you would prefer not to have teeth marks in. You should also remove anything small which they could swallow.
If you have stairs consider getting a stair gate. Puppies should not climb stairs until they are fully grown as it puts too much strain on their muscles. That doesn't prevent them trying!
Take one last look around your home and imagine you've got an active toddler coming to stay. Is everything they shouldn't get out of reach?
You are now ready to bring your puppy home!
Preparing Your Home for a Puppy
Why You Need to Prepare
You wouldn't think about bringing a new baby home unless you had prepared for it first. A puppy is exactly the same, but it's like bringing a two year old toddler home rather than a new born. Obviously one of the first things you need to do is to prepare for the puppy itself.
Looking full of innocence. She could never do anything naughty.... ?
Somewhere to sleep
A bed for the puppy and the decision of where you are going to place it should be made before you bring her home. I suggest buying a cheap bed or using a cardboard box as she'll grow out of it very quickly. A bed does make them feel more secure.
You should think carefully about where the puppy will sleep. If you are using a crate (see below) then it doesn't matter where you place it. If not, you will not want to put it in a carpeted area until you know she is at least puppy pad or trained. A kitchen or utility room is usually a good option, although if not crated, make sure there is nothing chewable which she can reach.
A crate keeps a puppy confined and out of trouble and is like a den or safe place for them. See more about crates on our First Days with a New Puppy page.
Pups need a range of toys to keep them occupied and away from chewing things they shouldn't. A range of dog toys are especially made for teething puppies, made of a variety of different materials and textures from soft plush toys to hard rubber Kongs which you can fill with food or treats to help keep her occupied.
Squeaky toys make good playthings - particularly it seems when you want to be quiet!
Balls and tug toys are favourites too.
Puppy (aged 12 weeks) cosy in her crate
Puppy (aged 8 weeks) on her bed in the lounge surround by a selection of her toys.
So now we come onto the important stuff. Having her food ready in the house. IT IS VITAL that you find out early from the breeder what food your puppy has been eating, and stock up with that exact brand. You can change this food later on, but changing it too quickly will cause her to have a stomach upset. Your breeder should already be feeding a high quality puppy food, so you should continue to feed this at least until you have had an opportunity to discuss feeding with your vet when you take her for her first vaccination.
Even if you have your own ideas on feeding, and believe that the breeder was feeding a poor food, you must take a couple of weeks to change over. Puppies are already stressed with the shock of leaving mum and moving to a new home, and a change of food at this time won't help at all.
Once she is settled you can consider changing her diet. There are different diets to choose from. There are complete dry foods, wet (tinned or trays) complete diets, or you could feed her a home cooked diet or raw food which many people think is the most natural. Many people feed a complete diet because of convenience - preparing your own foods for your puppy takes research and a basic understanding of nutrition.
If you are going to feed a commercially prepared complete food, choose one which has meat at the top of the list of ingredients, and avoid those which have a large amount of grain in them.
Make sure you've stocked up with training treats - you need to start training and rewarding as soon as you bring your puppy home!
Hygiene and House Training
Puppy training pads can be useful, particularly if you don't have access to an enclosed garden. However they can slow down house training if the puppy gets the idea that its okay to relieve itself indoors. They are better than newspaper however, as they have a plastic backing which can protect your carpet and floors.
You will need to stock up with a good disinfectant - buy one which is specially formulated for puppies and dogs as it will include a deodouriser which will mask the smell and hopefully prevent the puppy from getting into the habit of relieving themselves on the same spot.
Stock up with poo bags and get into the habit of removing poo from the garden immediately. Filled poo bags can go in with the household rubbish. When you start taking your puppy for a walk remember to take poo bags with you and ALWAYS PICK UP AFTER YOUR DOG.
She will need somewhere to sleep, toys to play with and help with teething, and good quality puppy food and feeding bowls.
But you also need to consider that an 8 week old pup is very active and inquisitive, and has a preference for chewing things it is not supposed to!
On this page will be ideas of good things to buy for your new addition to the family, and point out some potential dangers!
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