Watch as Expert Dog Trainer Kathy Santo talks about the proper way to introduce a new puppy to your home. She’ll talk about everything from puppy supplies to the importance of puppy proofing. You’ll also learn how to interact with your new puppy as he acclimates to his new environment.
Hi, I'm Kathy Santo with IAMS. Today we're going talk about what to do when you bring home your new puppy. We'll cover everything from supplies and preparation steps, to the car ride home, the first few days, how to introduce him or her to your family, and more. Before you bring your puppy home, prepare yourself with the following supplies: premium puppy food to get your new puppy off to a good start, stainless steel nonstick food and water bowls, identification tags with your puppy's name and your contact information, a collar, and a leather or nylon six-foot leash that's one half to three quarter inches wide. Stain remover for accidents, brushes and combs suited to your puppy's coat, dog shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste.
High quality safe chew toys to ease teething, flea, tick, and parasite controls. Nail clippers, a room, or at least a place he can all his own, like a cage or a crate that will fit his adult size. And of course, treats. Once you have the supplies, it's time to puppy proof your home. Raising a puppy is a lot like raising small children. They get into everything. Some of what they get into can be hazardous to their health, so start preparing for your puppy's arrival long before the actual date. You'll thank yourself later. A helpful tip: get down on your hands and knees to view the world like your puppy will. It may help you to find things that you wouldn't have seen otherwise-- electrical wires, small objects hidden under couches and chairs that can be swallowed, or hiding spaces where a small pup can get stuck. There are sprays that can be applied to furniture legs, woodwork, and other movable items to help deter your puppy from chewing on things you don't want him to chew on. Are there rooms your puppy should be restricted from entering until he's better trained and more reliable? If so, install a baby gate, or keep the doors to those rooms closed until your puppy matures. Exercise pens are excellent for you when you're home but busy or unable to fully dedicate yourself to supervising your young pup. If you're about to make dinner, for example, rather than crating your dog or locking him in a puppy proof room alone, set up an exercise pen in the kitchen with you. This will allow him to get used to being around your family's routines, while also staying out of the way. It will also allow him to feel like he's part of the family. Once your house is ready, it's time to bring your new family member home. You want to do your best at keeping this from being an overly stressful experience for your puppy. So it may not be the best idea to bring the whole family, especially if you have excited young kids. Also, keep in mind that the vibration sounds and the movements of your car can be very scary for a young pup, and make them nervous. On the first trip home, it's OK to have a passenger hold your puppy in a soft blanket or towel on their lap. After the first trip home, you should begin using a crate to travel for both the dog and the other passenger's safety in the car. Try purchasing a dog seat belt that's specifically designed to restrain and protect your companion in case of an accident. The ideal time to bring home a new puppy is when the house is quiet. Do your best to minimize the number of visitors stopping by the first few days, so you can establish a daily routine by following these steps. Step one, before bringing him in the house, take him to the area in your yard that will serve as his potty, and spend a few minutes there. If he goes, praise him. If not, proceed into the house, but be sure to take him to this spot each time he needs to go to the bathroom. Step two, take him to the room which will serve as his new den, and if using one, set up his crate. Put bedding and chew toys in the room, and let him investigate. If he chews or urinates on his bedding, permanently remove it. Understand that a young puppy is not like an adult dog. Treat him with patience and constant supervision. The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to his socialization. Use these tips. One, you should spend a little extra time with your new puppy on his first day home, but you want to acclimate him to your regular routine quickly. If necessary, hire a dog walker, or ask a neighbor to come take him out at regular intervals during this training period, and, going forward, as your pup grows up. Two, supervise your puppy at all times, and interact with him regularly. Three, be alert for signs, sniffing, and circling, that he has to go to the bathroom, then take him out immediately. Four, establish a routine. A young puppy has no bladder control, and will need to urinate immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping, or playing. At night, he'll need to relieve himself at least every three hours. Five, don't punish an accident. Never push his nose in the waste or scold him. He won't understand, and they learn to go to the bathroom when you're out of sight. Six, praise your puppy every time he goes to the bathroom outside. Seven, feed your puppy a formula designed for puppies. Like a baby, he needs nutritious, highly digestible food. Eight, have the contact info of your local veterinary office readily available in case of an emergency. For those with children, another extremely important part of bringing home your new puppy is making sure your kids know how and how not to handle a young dog. If your children are young, or aren't familiar with how to handle puppies, you need to spend some time with them during these first few days explaining common sense rules on how to play with the puppy. For example, tell them that dogs have sensitive hearing, so it's important not to shriek or yell. Puppies in particular need a lot of rest, just like a growing child. Limit puppy-children play sessions to 15 to 30 minute periods, 2-3 times a day. You need to keep an eye on a puppy. An excited puppy can be strong when he jumps and play bites, which can be too rough for young children. Always supervise interaction, and separate them if play is too rough. If you have other pets, you'll also need to spend some time getting them used to having each other around. At first, it's best to keep resident pets separated from your new puppy, but only for a few days. After that time, let pets smell and touch each other through a slightly open door. Do this several times over the next few days. After that, give the resident pet access to the den area with your new puppy. Supervise their meeting, and go back to through-the-door meetings if trouble arises. Exercise pens can also help old and new pets get used to each other's presence in a restricted and safe manner. Lastly, what you'll need to do is get the puppy into a veterinarian for an initial puppy examination to make sure he's in perfect health. I'm Kathy Santo at IAMS, and I hope that you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition into your family.
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For some dogs, a simple fence isn’t enough to keep them in the yard. Maybe you’ve got a little escape artist that’s too smart for their own good. Maybe you’re raising a brave explorer who loves to get lost. Or maybe you’ve been unlucky enough to have your dog stolen from their own backyard. Creating a safe and secure space to keep your pet can be a challenge, but we’re here to help. Understanding the common reasons dogs get out and what you can do to prevent it from happening goes a long way toward keeping your furry friend safe.
Why Does Your Dog Want to Escape?
Securing your yard starts with understanding the impulses that drive your dog to see what’s beyond your property. Spaying or neutering is an important first step in curbing a dog’s desire to roam, but there may be other factors at play. Creating a safe yard for a lonely Labrador in search of a friend is an entirely different exercise than securing a burrow-happy beagle on the hunt for a squirrel. We’d recommend trying to learn as much as you can about your dog’s breed and underlying instincts. The most common reasons dogs try to escape are:
- Feeling socially isolated
- Lack of stimulation (think toys)
- Desire to escape something that scares them, like thunder
Countering these behaviors starts with understanding which one is at the heart of your dog’s desire to break free. Once you’ve got a theory of what’s motivating your pup, it’s time to give your safety measures a second look.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe and Secure in Your Yard
Microchip Your Dog and Scan Their Nose
If your dog is committed to getting out, your most useful tool will be the ability to track and locate them wherever they’re found. There are a huge variety of products and services designed to help you keep your dog safe, but the most important thing you can have is a plan. You’ve most likely heard of GPS tracking chips that can be implanted in your pet, but you may not know that you can also scan their nose. Through a new app called NOSEiD, you can capture your dog’s unique nose print, which will give whoever finds them a faster, simpler way of reuniting the two of you. It’s that easy! Just download the app, call your pup over and start scanning.
The Best Defense Is a Good … Fence
Even though they’re not technologically impressive, a sturdy wooden or metal fence still plays an important part in protecting your dog while they’re in your yard. Not only does it keep your dog from wandering, it also keeps unwanted animals and people away from your dog’s space. If your dog can leap over it, you’ll obviously need to raise the height, or you can add an overhang that makes it harder to clear. You might also consider planting some shrubs along the inside of the fence to discourage jumping. If your dog is burrowing beneath your fence, consider adding a barrier beneath it or putting a bumper collar on them, which makes it harder to squeeze into small spaces.
If you have a particularly territorial dog, you may want to cover any open spots in your fence that your dog might spy adversaries through. A solid fence may help them feel safe and diminish their need to patrol their surroundings.
When it comes to electric fences, using one successfully depends on your dog’s personality. If your dog has recently been ignoring the electric fence, you may want to consider retraining them or investing in a physical barrier.
Make “Yard” Mean “Yay!”
Making your yard a dog-friendly and entertaining space is a huge part of keeping your dog safe at home. With enough toys, space to burn energy and ideally a friend to play with, your dog won’t have any reason to see if the grass is greener elsewhere. A few popular dog-pleasers you may want to provide are:
- A bit of shelter or shade
- A source of water
- A rotating lineup of toys
- Their favorite playmate (you)
Use Your Yard Wisely
Last, but not least, if you leave your dog unattended for a long period of time in your yard, there’s a good chance they will get bored and look for a way to burn off some energy. To prevent them from getting mischievous, limit the amount of time they’re out on their own, and check in frequently. Also, for dogs with separation anxiety or that may be afraid of loud noises, your presence will help keep them calm and close to home.
With your dog chipped or their nose scanned, you’ll always have an option in the event that your dog strikes out on their own. Beyond that, understand what makes your dog unique and check your yard’s safety features regularly for holes or weak points. As usual, a little preparation now can save you a ton of time and energy in the long run.
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