“Tessie Marie! Get over here right now, missy!” I scold the little baby as she stumbles over to me. I lead her to a pile of seashells that have been thrown all over the floor. Some are broken and some are wet with slobber.
I can’t stay mad at those sweet brown eyes that stare up at me.
It may sound like I am talking to a baby girl, but I am reprimanding my Golden Retriever, Tessie. But to me, she is a baby.
Having a baby is certainly a life changer. Most people prepare for a baby by buying baby food, building a nursery, and baby-proofing their homes. However, some do not realize that this is the same thing you should do for a brand new puppy. Learning how to puppy-proof a house is as important as baby-proofing it.
This process begins even before the puppy is brought home. If buying a dog from a breeder, people need to be aware of the breed they are buying. If they have children, they need to buy a breed that is good with kids, for example, Golden Retrievers.
People need to take space into consideration as well. Some breeds need a lot of space to feel comfortable, Border Collies for example. These dogs are bred to herd animals on wide-open pastures. Also, certain dogs need specific room temperatures. If someone lives in a region that is very hot, a Siberian Husky with its thick coat may not feel comfortable in this type of home.
There are many things that come into play when buying a puppy. The big misconception among most people is the idea that buying and raising a puppy is not that hard. But it is important to take this matter seriously. Space is a big concern when it comes to big breeds, not so for smaller breeds, but all breeds need a ton of time and attention, and money is a huge component when thinking about an animal. Doctor visits, dog food, grooming, and toys all add up. A happy companion needs to be healthy and comfortable.
Once the breed is decided and the family has set a time schedule for caring for the puppy, then it is time to get the house proofed. Safety for the puppy is the number one priority.
- All electrical wires need to be pinned up out of the puppy’s reach. The baby will chew anything.
- If the puppy either stays outside or is able to be outside, all plants need to be checked in case they are poisonous.
- Acquiring a baby gate is a smart move. If there are stairs in the house, puppies can get upstairs without anyone knowing and wreak havoc. Also, if there are big enough banisters the puppy can easily squeeze through and fall down.
- All toys need to be surveyed to make sure nothing can be chewed off and swallowed. Toys with beans inside, with buttons or small objects attached to them, or with obtainable squeakers are all prohibited. Puppies can easily swallow them and choke.
- Puppies do not know the differences between children’s toys and puppy’s toys. So if there are any children in the family, make sure the kid’s toys are not accessible to the puppy.
There are other important things to do before bringing a puppy into a home. Buying a crate is one of them. Not only are crates helpful for dogs to naturally feel like they have a “den,” they can protect puppies at a young age. While everyone is asleep, puppies can get into anything and make a mess. The trash is just one example. Crates can prevent these babies from getting hurt or making too much of a mess. Even though puppies will cry their hearts out at the beginning, they will enjoy having a place to sleep in when they get older.
Finally, make sure that all glass objects and valuable items are out of reach of wagging tails and big paws. Unfortunately, there will be items left behind, like the forgotten seashells that are now scattered all over my floor.
Puppies are tons of work, and once they are at the house, the labor begins. Showing the puppy where they use the restroom is the first thing to do after showing them into the house. Then show them where they can find their food and water bowls.