Preparing For a Puppy – A Mini Guide on Green Puppy Care Part 2
Preparing For a Puppy – A Mini Guide on Green Puppy Care Part 2.
If you missed last week’s part one of the A Mini Guide on Green Puppy Care be sure to check it out here. This week we will be featuring Part 2 of Green Puppy Care and Preparing for the Big Day, the arrival of a new puppy.
Preparing for the Big Day
Now that you’ve chosen the right puppy for your home, the next step is to prepare your home for the new member of the family. Start by making a list of supplies you will need. This will include things like:
- Organic food
- Eco-friendly toys and bedding (made from organic hemp, cotton, or recycled parts)
- A collar and leash (some of these are also made from recycled items)
- Food and water bowls
- Organic shampoo/cleanser and flea treatment
- Biodegradable bags for their waste (which can be flushed down the toilet)
- Grooming supplies (comb, brush, etc.)
- A crate and a carrier (for house-training and travel purposes)
…you get the idea. You can also cut back on costs and be even more green by using some items around the home. For example, if you have some bowls in the cupboard that you don’t use very often, you can let the puppy use them for food and water, instead of buying new ones. Make sure they are glass or metal; plastic is typically not safe because it will seep into the food and water over time. You can also use old blankets or pillows as part of their bedding; just make sure to wash them first.
When it comes to buying new items, however, look for ones with the least amount of packaging (preferably packaging that can also be recycled). Also, keep an eye out for products made of natural or recycled materials. Plastic should generally be avoided (especially toys and food bowls), since they may contain dangerous things like lead or BPA, but some manufacturers use safer, recycled plastic, so you will need to check the labels. As your puppy gets older, she may out-grow some of the things you buy for her now (such as toys, collars, and food bowls). If they are still in good condition, you can always donate them to a local shelter—they always need supplies and every little bit helps.
Once you have all the items you need, the next step is to set up a schedule. The schedule should include things like feeding times, play and exercise time, and bathroom times. The idea behind the schedule is to get your puppy used to a routine and everyone who lives in your home (and can help with puppy) must stick to the schedule for it to work. You will also need to designate who will be in charge of scheduling veterinary appointments for vaccinations and the like.
A list of voice commands to use for training purposes (“sit”, “lie down”, “stay”, etc.) should also be written up, so everyone will know what command to use at the right time. This is mainly so the puppy does not get confused if people use the same word for different things. For example, if one person tells her “down” to get off the furniture and another person tells her “down” to get her to lie down, she may end up confused. In this case, “down” can be used when you want her to get off of something, and “lie down” should be used if you want her to lie down.
Both the schedule and the word list should be posted where everyone can see them, such as on the refrigerator.
Finally, you will need to “puppy proof” the main area where your new friend will be spending most of her time for the first few months that she is there. This will include things like:
- Moving cleaners and other chemical items to high shelves (preferably in a cupboard), so they will be out of her reach.
- Removing anything from the room you don’t want her chewing or eliminating on (such as furniture, nice rugs, plants, or decorations).
- Installing child-proof gates at the entrance(s) of the room to prevent her from running amok through the house.
- Wrapping up (and also preferably hiding) all cables and electrical cords, and covering all electrical outlets with child-proof socket covers.
- Removing any sharp objects from the room, so she doesn’t accidentally hurt herself.
- Adding all of her supplies (toys, bedding, etc.) to the room and try to make it as welcoming/comfortable as possible for her.
Please Note: puppies have a habit of chewing on things, including electrical cords. Electrical burns are very serious and can result in death if they are not treated immediately. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you keep all electrical cords out of the puppy’s reach as best as you can. It may even help to just remove all electrical/plug-In items from the room, so the puppy will be less at-risk.
Now, you may think you have the room totally puppy-proofed by now, but there is one more trick you should do. Lie on the floor and look around the room. Doing this will allow you to see the room from the puppy’s point-of-view and thus, you’ll be able to see if there was anything you might have missed. Is there any way she can climb on top of the furniture or escape from the room? Is there anything from the puppy’s point-of-view that might look appealing to chew on?
It should also be noted that you probably shouldn’t place her food in the room with her, as she may chew the bag open or knock it over. The food and water bowls should also be kept elsewhere, so she will be less likely to have a late-night “accident” in the house. Speaking of which, hang some bells near the entrance to the room, down at her level and train her to use them when she has to go to the bathroom. By doing this, she can alert you to when she may have to go to the bathroom off-schedule.
Finally, if you have children, you will need to lay down some rules for them when it comes to dealing with the puppy. This will include things like:
- Don’t overwhelm the puppy, or get her too excited during her first few days at home.
- Don’t fight over the puppy.
- No pulling on her ears or tail.
- No smacking, pushing, kicking, or otherwise hurting the puppy.
- Do not throw anything at the puppy.
- Do not play rough with the puppy—although puppies love to play, this can include biting and so rough-housing should be avoided for now.
Now, the time has finally come to get your new animal friend! Check back next week for the final part of the Preparing for A Puppy – A Mini Guide on Green Puppy Care. We will be sharing on the Welcoming the Puppy Home. If you missed the first part of the Preparing for A Puppy, you can catch up here.
If you found this topic helpful or if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Natural Pet Grocer anytime. We thank you for stopping by and would love to hear from you. If you have a new puppy, we would love to see your puppy. Stop by our Facebook Page and feel free to post a picture of your new puppy.
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