Puppies add immeasurable joy to our lives. They’ll adore you and love you unconditionally right from the get-go. It is just right that in return, we give them the right kind of care. Is your home ready for one? We list down six tips to help you welcome your new ball of joy.

1. Puppy-proof your home.

Check that your home is well-prepared for the arrival of a curious furball that will munch, gnaw and scratch at everything that he sees. Put any possible toxins away in a cabinet that is out of the pup’s reach. Secure cords and wires and remove breakable items. Don’t under estimate your puppy’s intelligence! If that cabinet isn’t locked, he just might find a way to open it and bring death to its contents–or worse, the contents might lead to his demise. Keep garbage cans covered, electric fans above ground and hold off on using rat or roach poison.

2. Welcome them gently.
Give the new family member time to adjust to his surroundings. Early on, introduce routine to him, such as where to sleep, go potty, and eat. Let him sniff out the place. If there are already dogs in the house, introduce them to each other outdoors. Take them for a walk so that everyone is on neutral ground.

3. Introduce him to the crate system.
This is the time to set boundaries. Teach your puppy that there are rules and guidelines in place. Putting him in a crate is also synonymous to giving a child his own room. He’ll know that he has his own space, with things of his own that he can play with. He’ll learn that anything outside the crate is hands-off, and that there is a time and place for everything. That’s why it’s important that the dog’s first encounter with the crate is a positive one. You can do this by scattering treats around the area and letting him enjoy them. Throw words of encouragement at him so that he knows that this is a good place for him to be. Keep his favorite toys and snuggle items in the crate, leading him in with a favorite toy or treats, then closing the door at short intervals at a time. If they bark or whine, don’t let them out just yet as this may set a precedent for bad behavior. You should be in control of when it’s okay for him to be outside the crate.

4. Potty train him right away.

Teach your new dog the right way to go to the loo right from day one. Take him to your designated doggie bathroom using a lead and going around in circles, attaching a verbal cue such as "Pee-pee
" or "Poopy" so that he can associate the potty area with the words. If he ends up relieving himself at the right place, praise him, and hand him a treat.

5. Feed them at a set time.
Your puppy is going to need routine in order to be broken in. Set food down at a specific time, say, at 9:00 a.m., and show your puppy the way to the munchies. Give him some time to nibble on it, then, if there are leftovers, take the food away so that the dog knows there is a time for eating.

6. Be careful with collars.
Although helpful in identifying dogs and keeping them at bay, collars can be dangerous when not used carefully. It can catch on things like hooks, which may result in asphyxiation. Rather than use neck collars, opt for body ones, so that if anything untoward happens, he won’t choke from the collar.

PHOTO: Pixabay

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