How to Be Prepared for the Arrival of Puppies
Whether you are caring for a litter of puppies or bringing home a new puppy, you need to create a safe and welcoming environment before the new dogs arrive. If you have not already done so, you will need to puppy proof your home as soon as possible. If you are adopting a new puppy, you will need to know what to do to make the young dog feel safe and comfortable in your home. Finally, if you have a dog that is expecting a litter, you will need to plan for the delivery and make the proper arrangements for giving away the puppies.
Making Your Home Puppy-Proof
Lock up any dangerous materials.Before your puppy or puppies arrive, go through your entire home and put away any dangerous chemicals. This includes cleaning products, solvents or automotive oils and lubricants. You should also keep any medications in a place that the puppy cannot reach.
Secure any fragile or delicate objects.Because puppies are rambunctious animals, they are likely to bump into things and cause accidents. If you have any fragile objects in the area where your puppy will be living, you should move or find a way to secure those items. You do not want those things breaking or falling on the puppy and hurting it.
- Consider putting up gates to keep your puppy or puppies in a certain part of the house and moving your delicate objects somewhere else.
Cover or hide electrical cords.Puppies love to chew on things, and one dangerous item that they sometimes chew on is electrical cords. These cords can shock, burn and even kill puppies that bite into them. Make sure that you properly hide or cover any cords in the area where your puppy will be living.
- Consider covering the cords with duct tape or covering them with commercial cord concealers.
- You may also want to cover any electrical sockets to prevent your puppy from getting electrocuted.
Put your things away.In general, try to keep things off the floor or any other surfaces the puppy can reach. Puppies will chew on nearly anything, and sometimes they can choke on or get strangled in loose items around the house. Try to clean up your home so that it is clutter free once the puppy arrives.
- Put away any trash cans and make sure that they have lids.
- Put your clothes in hampers and keep all shoes on racks or in closets.
- Get on ground level and take a closer look. Check underneath furniture to ensure that you find smaller, hidden items that you might normally overlook.
Fence your backyard.If you have a backyard, you will want to fence it off. This will keep your puppy from running away and, once your puppy gets a little older, destroying other people’s property. It will also prevent any stray or wild animals from coming into your yard and hurting your puppy. Putting up a fence will give your puppy a safe space to play outside.
Bringing Home a New Puppy
Create a living area.If you are preparing for a puppy, the first thing that you should do is make a living space for your new puppy. This is the area where you keep the puppies bedding, food, and toys. Because puppies can get overwhelmed if given too much space, you should consider limiting your puppy to just a few rooms
- Consider keeping your puppy in a room, such as a kitchen or a bathroom, where it will be easy to clean up any messes.
Buy the necessary supplies.Before your puppy comes home, you will need to make sure that you have everything that it will need. If you are unsure, check with you veterinarian or visit a pet supply store.Your puppy will likely need:
- Dog Food
- Dog grooming products like brushes and shampoos.
- Leashes and collars.
- Cleaning Supplies for your home. Puppies are messy.
Get a Crate.Crate training is a great way to use a dog’s natural instincts to create a place for your dog to sleep. If done correctly, crate training will help your dog feel more relaxed and make house training much easier. You should be able to find a create online or at your local pet store.
- You will likely want to buy two crates: one for when your dog is a puppy and another for when it is an adult.
- Do not use the crate as punishment. Your dog will end up having a negative association with the crate, which will completely undermine your efforts at crate training.
Make a game plan for dog training.Before your puppy comes home, it is a good idea to do some research on how to train your puppy. Buy a few dog-training books or read some blogs by professional dog trainers. This will help you get a better understanding of what you will need to do once your puppy arrives.
- Research specific training practices for the breed of puppy you are adopting. Various breeds have different temperaments and require differing approaches.
- At the very least you will need to know how to house train your dog. You will also need to teach it how to walk on a leash.
- Optionally, you may train your dog to sit, stay and rollover.
Let the puppy relieve itself as soon as you bring it home.Puppies have little control over their ability to relieve themselves. When you bring your puppy home, set it onto the designated potty spot immediately so that it has the opportunity to relieve itself after travel. This may also help the puppy to start learning where the potty spot is.
Give the puppy some time to adjust.Be careful not to overwhelm the puppy after you first bring it home. Do not invite friends and neighbors over right away to see the puppy, or else it may struggle to adjust and even become stressed. Instead, give your puppy some time to settle in and become familiar with its new home first.
Planning for the Birth of a Litter
Talk to your veterinarian.If your dog is pregnant and expecting a litter of puppies, the first thing you should do is visit a veterinarian. The vet will inform you about any congenital conditions that your dog may have due to its breed. They will also run through what to expect during the pregnancy and tell you how you can help. Later on the in the pregnancy, you may want to have the veterinarian do an ultrasound to check on the puppies. This will also give you an idea of how many to expect.
- Ask your veterinarian for the phone number and location of an emergency veterinary clinic that they recommend. Keep this on hand in case the mother dog has difficulties while giving birth.
- Do not vaccinate your dog during pregnancy, as this can hurt the unborn puppies.
Make a whelping box.It is important that you create a safe space for your dog to give birth. A whelping box will create a den-like atmosphere that will help your dog feel more secure and comfortable. You can construct the box out of most materials just as long as it is easy for your dog to access, big enough for your dog and in a quiet location.
- You may want to cover the box with a blanket once your dog has had her puppies. This may make the box feel more like a den.
- Because the birth can be messy, consider keeping the whelping box in a the garage or other place that is easy to clean.
Have backup milk.Typically, your dog should be able to nurse the puppies once they are born. However, she may have issues providing enough milk. This will require that you hand feed the puppies. In case this happens, you should have a syringe and some replacement formula handy. It’s best to buy a full nursing kit that includes a dog milk substitute, syringes, and other newborn feeding equipment before the mother gives birth so that you’re prepared.
Find a home for the puppies.Once you realize that your dog is having puppies and know how many to expect, arrange to give them away. Place ads online or talk to your friends and family about adopting your puppies. Be prepared to take care of the puppies until they find homes. You will likely have to live with the puppies for at least 8 weeks, which will give you some time to find adopters.
- In order to ensure that the puppies have a good home, charge a fee and have an application process. Ask prospective adopters questions about their homes, income and experience caring for dogs.
- It is illegal in certain states to adopt out dogs younger than 8 weeks old. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations before giving away your puppies.
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