Puppy-Proofing and Preparation: What You Need Before Bringing Puppy Home

Puppy ready to come homeWith help from last week’s DogTails post, you’ve now decided what breed is a good fit for you and your family, and perhaps you have even the found the perfect puppy already! Congrats! Bringing a puppy home requires a lot more work than just picking it up and putting it in the car, however. DogWatch Hidden Fences encourages all new puppy owners to make sure they are properly prepared to welcome their furry new addition. Here are our tips (and checklists) on how to do just that.

First things first: puppy-proofing your house. A new puppy is akin to a crawling baby or toddler; it can and will get into anything and everything, and has a compulsive tendency to put things in its mouth. Here are our suggestions to protect both your puppy and your property:

Puppy-Proofing Checklist
Inside:

____ Put away floor plants, decorations, shoes, and clothing. Puppies won’t know that plants aren’t food or that those decorations are choking hazards, and they certainly won’t be able to tell the difference between your beat-up old Keds and your brand-new Louboutins. And as they’re learning potty-training, they may also have difficulty telling the difference between their wee-wee pads and your cashmere cardigan. Best to remove anything that could be hazardous if ingested, or that you don’t want potentially turned into a chew toy or bathroom spot.

____ Secure or remove tablecloths and other hanging fabrics. These are an irresistible temptation for puppies, especially if they’ve begun to learn to play tug-of-war with you using a rope toy. It may look like fun to them, but one tug and everything on top of that cloth could come crashing down on top of them.

Westie on table____ Put away breakable and small objects on low-lying tables, ottomans, fireplaces, or other surfaces. Anything the puppy could break and/or eat should be removed from its reach. Also, enthusiastic tail-wagging has been known on many occasions to shatter a vase or glass or picture frame, so pay close attention to objects at tail-height.

____ Lock up cabinets and secure hazardous materials. Make sure your puppy doesn’t have access to chemicals, medications, alcohol, detergents, household cleaners, and any other substances that could be hazardous to it. One good way to do this is to invest in the cabinet-locking mechanisms used in baby-proofing. They can be found at your local superstore for a reasonable price and are generally easy to install yourself.

____ Secure phone wires and electrical cords. Puppies love to chew and tug on things, and they won’t know the difference between these cords and the rope you use to play with them. To avoid accidentally disconnected phone or electric service and your puppy potentially being shocked by chewing through the cord, we recommend tucking these cords as far out of reach as possible and covering them in plastic sheathing or PVC tubing, which you can find at your local pet store or hardware store.

____ If there are children in your household, make sure they put away their toys and any small parts or accessories. General rule of thumb? If the part is smaller than the puppy, put it away. Also, having kids put their toys away when they’re done will limit the amount of tears shed when the puppy chews their favorite stuffed animal or destroys their new Lego creation.

____ Double-check every nook and cranny for small or neglected items that could pose a danger to your puppy. Common overlooked places? Under and behind furniture, tables, cabinets, and appliances.

____ Consider having a DogWatch indoor barrier system installed to keep your puppy out of the places you don’t want him going, or that aren’t safe for him.  Contact your local DogWatch Dealer to learn about the options and to find out when your puppy will be ready to be trained.

Outside:

____ Clean up the yard. Put away any hoses, tools, toys, or other objects the puppy could chew on or try to eat.

Puppy_in_pool____ Prevent access to dangerous areas like the pool or well. Even though your dog’s breed may be known for its swimming prowess, it may take your puppy time to learn, and he may have difficulty finding his way back out of the pool. Puppies have also been known to slip through the grating over storm drains and wells. A DogWatch Hidden Fence system is the perfect way to keep your puppy out of hazardous areas like these! Contact your local DogWatch Dealer to learn more.

____ Secure lawn products and chemicals. This includes fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides, paint and paint thinner, antifreeze, and any other potentially hazardous chemicals. If you wouldn’t ingest it yourself, it should be kept well out of your puppy’s reach.

____ Check for escape routes and install a proper fencing system. If you plan on letting your puppy off-leash in your yard, you need to make sure there’s no way the puppy can escape into a neighbor’s yard, or worse, the street. Traditional fences do not always succeed at this; puppies can dig under the fences and even get themselves stuck in them. Your local DogWatch dealer will be happy to install a DogWatch Hidden Fence for you that will keep your new puppy both safe AND secure in the part of your yard you designate. Contact your local DogWatch Dealer to learn more.

Phew! Now that you’ve prepared your house and yard for the impending puppy invasion, it’s time to focus on what you’ll need to care for the puppy itself! There is a whole arsenal of supplies that you will need before you can safely bring your puppy home. Most, if not all of these, can be purchased online or at your local pet store. Some of the supplies we’ll mention can be considered optional, in that you will most likely eventually need them, but will probably be just fine without them initially. Ultimately, it’s up to you, and your puppy, which ones you’ll most need and when to add them to your kit. Read More

Picking Your Puppy: How to Find the Perfect Canine Companion

Sheltie pupSo, you’ve decided to add a new puppy to your household. Congratulations! You’ve made a choice that will bring you years of happiness, laughter, and companionship and we here at DogWatch Hidden Fences couldn’t be happier for you! Now that you’ve made that initial decision, it’s time to make the even bigger decision: what puppy is right for you?

There’s a lot to consider when selecting the right puppy for your household. First and foremost is what breed (or breeds) would fit best with your household’s lifestyle. Every breed has its own unique traits and temperaments. It is important to consider that when choosing your puppy. It’s easy to fall in love with appearances, but if you select a puppy solely based on how it looks, you may bring it home and find that it just doesn’t fit in with your lifestyle, space, time and grooming commitments. For example, you may think a Sheltie puppy is adorable, but then you bring it home and discover that its innate energy level and need to herd things leaves you with a frustrated pup and a disaster of a house, or that you are just not able to keep up with its long, thick coat! Or, you could bring home a totally cute Pug puppy and quickly realize that its breathing difficulties and moderately low energy level and short legs means it’s not quite the jogging companion you had hoped for.

Here are some important things to consider when selecting a breed: Read More

Announcing DogWatch Puppy Month and the DogWatch Cutest Puppy Facebook Contest!

Golden pupHere at DogWatch Hidden Fences, June makes us think of one thing above all else: PUPPIES! Hence, we’re declaring June to be Puppy Month. This month, we’ll be highlighting all things puppy on both our Dog Tails Blog and our Facebook page. Keep an eye out for informative blog posts on important topics such as how to pick the right puppy for you, what you’ll need before you bring it home, and what to do once you’ve gotten it home, as well as puppy-related updates to our Facebook page!

To properly kick off DogWatch Puppy Month, we’d like to introduce our DogWatch Cutest Puppy Facebook Contest! If you’re anything like us, you LOVE a chance to show off that little ball of fluff that makes your heart melt, so here’s your chance! Read on for details on how to enter, as well as judging and results, and good luck!

DogWatch Cutest Puppy Contest Rules

How to enter:

1)      Post a photo of your puppy OR a puppy photo of your older dog to DogWatch’s wall on Facebook. Do not post your entry on your DogWatch Dealer’s Facebook page; only photos submitted to the main DogWatch Facebook page wall will be eligible to win. You may enter multiple puppies, but please only submit one photo per pet. Please make sure to include the following in the photo’s caption:

–          Puppy’s name, age, and breed (if known)

–          Any amusing anecdotes about your puppy that you’d like to share

2)      Share the link to your puppy’s picture with your friends and family and ask them to VOTE for your puppy (and ask them to share the link with their friends, too!)  To VOTE, they will need visit the DogWatch Facebook page, and then “Like” the picture of your puppy. Also, please encourage your friends to “Like” the DogWatch Facebook page so that they can see the results on the contest.

Judging and Results:

1)      The contest will run from Thursday, June 2nd to Thursday, June 30th. The winning puppy will be determined by the picture with the most “Likes” at the end of the contest, and will be announced on the DogWatch Hidden Fences Facebook page and Dog Tails blog on Wednesday, July 6th.

2)      The winning puppy will be profiled on the DogWatch Facebook Page, as well as our Dog Tails blog and will receive a dog-friendly gift from DogWatch!

3)      Contest is open to all Facebook users. DogWatch dealers and their families ARE eligible.

4)      DogWatch Inc. reserves the right to use entered photos in future online and printed materials.

If you have any questions about the contest, please contact Heidi.fence@dogwatch.com.

Thanks, and Happy Puppy Month!

– DogWatch Hidden Fences

Puppy photo by Heather Ruiz via Flickr