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Before bringing your puppy home, you'll need to "puppyproof" your house. Puppies are like babies: they want to explore every corner of your house, and they want to put everything into their mouths.
Make sure all poisonous household items are securely stored out of the puppy's reach Did you put the household cleaners, laundry detergents, bleach, disinfectants, insecticides, cleaning fluid, fertilizers, mothballs, antifreeze, insect poisons, rat poisons and other items in cabinets or on high shelves? These items can be deadly to your puppy. As your new puppy grows, he will be able to explore higher places and be tempted to jump up on shelves.
Check your plants
Many plants in and around your house can be threatening to your pup. Did you know that the pits of apricots and peaches, as well as spinach and tomato vines, can make your puppy sick and, in large dosages, can even be fatal?
Look at your house from your puppy's point of view
Get down on all fours and look around. Are there any dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags or other tempting objects that will be in puppy's reach? If there are, be sure to put them away immediately.
SOME ADDITIONAL TIPS
Never leave your puppy unsupervised inside or outside, and keep him off balconies, upper porches and high decks Puppies, no matter what breed, are so little that they can slip through openings and fall. Puppies may also get tangled in ropes or the plastic from six-pack beverage holders. Cut these items apart to prevent problems.
Keep your toilet lid down Puppies are often tempted to play in toilet bowl water. This habit can be awful to break. Not only is it embarrassing when friends or family are visiting, but toilet cleanser may be harmful if swallowed.
Unplug, remove or cover any electrical cords in your puppy's confinement area
Chewing on these cords can cause severe mouth burns, electrocution and fires. It is also a good idea to cover electrical outlets, when they are not in use.
Keep buttons, string, sewing needles, pins and other sharp objects out of your puppy's reach
If your puppy swallows any of these objects, he can damage his mouth and internal organs.
Do not tie ribbons around your puppy's neck
Rufus may be tempted to chew the ribbon, which can cause digestive problems. He could also choke himself if he catches the ribbon on anything.
SUPPLIES TO BUY
Before bringing your puppy home, purchase the following supplies. Preparing in advance for the arrival of your new pal will allow you and your puppy to spend time getting to know each otherfor a more complete list of puppy products.
Food and Water Bowls
Select bowls that won't tip over. Make sure they're easy to clean, since they will need to be washed daily. Purchase separate bowls for food and water. You may want to buy smaller bowls at first, and upgrade to larger ones as your puppy grows. This will keep him from getting buried under a heaping pile of dog food or from falling in his water bowl every time he drinks.
There are a variety of lightweight collars available for your puppy. Some have buckles and others snap. Regardless of the collar style you choose for your puppy, remember to attach an identification tag listing your puppy's name, your address and phone number. Your puppy's first collar should be made of lightweight nylon or leather. To measure your puppy's collar size, measure his neck and add two inches. To ensure that the collar fits properly, you should be able to slide two fingers between the collar and your puppy's neck. If your fingers fit comfortably, you have the right size collar. If there is extra room, you need a smaller size. If both fingers don't fit, the collar is too small. It may take a while for your puppy to get used to wearing his collar, so don't be discouraged if he is uncomfortable and scratches his collar.
Leashes come in a variety of styles, such as leather, nylon and retractable, and a in variety of lengths. A six-foot leash is the ideal length for both training and walking. Always keep your puppy on his leash unless he is in a fenced-in area. Many states and cities have leash laws, which make it mandatory for your puppy to be on his leash at all times, even at public parks and playgrounds. Under these laws, you can be fined if caught with your puppy off his leash. Remember to clean up after your puppy if he goes to the bathroom in a public place, such as a park or a neighbor's lawn.
Make sure you have the proper grooming tools. These will differ depending on your puppy's coat. For shorthaired breeds, use a brush with natural bristles, a rubber currycomb or a hand mitt. A sturdy wide-toothed metal comb and perhaps a mat splitter are needed for longhaired breeds. Be sure to include a flea comb in your grooming supplies, and begin by establishing a weekly grooming program with your puppy as quickly as possible.
All puppies need toys to help them exercise and to provide them with a safe way to satisfy their chewing cravings. Be sure to choose toys that are made for puppies and cannot be splintered, torn apart or swallowed. Large rawhide chips, nylon chews and hard rubber balls are fun and safe. As a general rule, if the toy can fit comfortably in a puppy's mouth, it's too small.
Your puppy's Toy Chest should be free from the following items
Sponge toys or items with hard, sharp points or attachments, such as squeakers, which can break off and be dangerous if swallowed.
Shoes or other personal clothing. Giving your puppy these items will only teach him that it's okay to chew your shoes and rip holes in your shirts.
Balls of string, yarn, cellophane, twist ties, plastic baggies and other household goods that could get lodged in your puppy's throat causing him to choke or suffocate.
Children's toys made of soft rubber, fur, wool, sponge or plastic. If your puppy swallows a small particle of any of these materials, it could cause digestive problems.
Start your puppy on the right track with the essential nutrition of a balanced puppy food.
Crate or Sleeping Bed
Your puppy will need a warm, comfortable place to sleep. A crate provides a den for your puppy when you are not home. Crates usually come in one of two types: a portable, enclosed, plastic crate with handles; or a wire crate. Your puppy's crate should be large enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down and should have adequate ventilation. If you buy an adult-sized crate, purchase partitions or place a cardboard box in the back to provide a cozy space for your puppy. Even if you crate your puppy, you should have a separate sleeping bed for when you are at home. Make sure you buy a puppy-sized bed rather than an adult-sized bed, so your puppy will feel safe and snug. For more information on crating go to our housebreaking section.
Stain and scent remover
Special formulated stain and scent remover takes the odor away from a puppy's nose, as well as yours. Conventional household products not found in the pet aisle or a pet supply store mask the odor to humans, but not puppies. If you use a conventional household product to clean up after your puppy, don't be alarmed if he keeps repeating himself at the same spot. He's merely trying to mark his territory.
Book on puppy care
Place this handy reference guide on a shelf in your bedroom, den or kitchen. You never know when you'll need a quick answer.
The first couple nights will be the scariest nights of Your Puppies life. He or She will be missing its Mother and Siblings. Show a lot of Love and know that it will get much better.
Bringing Your Puppy Home Checklist
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