You’ve done your homework, decided the time is right to get a puppy, and chosen the right puppy. Now it’s time to prepare yourself and your house for the new arrival. Yup, just like you would get ready for your new baby!
Prepare a safe place for your puppy. You’ll likely want a crate for sleeping and an exercise pen (X-pen) or baby gate to create a safe containment area on an easy clean surface. I suggest having the crate in your bedroom at night and the pen near your main living area. If you don’t have an appropriate floor surface available, get a remnant of vinyl flooring from your home center or carpet store to use under your X-pen. You will use the X-pen as a long-term confinement area for times when you can’t watch the puppy for a few hours. You can use the crate at night, and for short periods like taking a shower or talking on the phone. Rid yourself of the mindset that a crate is punishment; by using it properly, it will instead become your dog’s favorite safe haven. (more…)