Once you’ve chosen the perfect pup and bought all the essential supplies to care for it, you’re almost ready to bring your new friend home. But first, you need to set up a cozy space for puppy to hang out.
During the early days of puppyhood, it’s important your new companion has a safe area that’s all its own. This gives your doggy a place to retreat and reduces its anxiety as it settles into its new home. It also limits access to the rest of the house and keeps your pup out of trouble when you aren’t able to supervise. As your puppy grows and learns boundaries and good habits, you can expand its space and eventually let it stay unsupervised throughout the house.
Get your canine pal off to a good start with these tips for setting up a safe space for puppy.
Start With Crate Training
Many dog owners crate train when they first bring home their puppy. Choose a crate that has enough room for the dog to stand up, turn around and stretch out. Some crates have a divider so you can make the space bigger as your pup grows.
The crate is useful for keeping your dog safe when you have to leave it alone, but remember that puppies shouldn’t be crated for more than a few hours. Crates are known as short-term confinement areas.
Choosing the Right Space for Puppy
When your puppy is used to its crate, you can set up a playpen, also called a long-term confinement area. Select a small room that’s fully enclosed and doesn’t contain furniture, wires or other things a puppy can chew on. Simply close off the room with a baby gate so you can still see your puppy.
You can also set up a metal wire pen in a larger room such as a kitchen. A linoleum or tile floor is ideal because there’s inevitably going to be cleanup involved.
What to Put in the Puppy Play Area
Your puppy’s space should contain everything it needs to be comfortable: a bed, toilet area, water bowl and toys. By starting off with these basic elements, your dog learns to do things in appropriate areas.
1. Bed or rest area
Place your dog’s bed on one side of the space. You can use a standalone dog bed, the cushion from its crate or the crate itself. Whichever option you choose, ensure the bed is chew-proof.
2. Water bowl
Keep plenty of water in the pen so your dog stays hydrated. Place the water bowl close to the bed, and choose a weighted or non-skid bowl that’s less likely to spill if your puppy is pushing the bowl or being playful.
3. Toilet area
Puppies aren’t able to hold their pee or poop for long periods of time, so it’s essential there’s a toilet area in the pen. Place this section as far from the bed as possible.
Look for puppy pads that have adhesive bottoms so you can fasten them to the floor and keep them in place. You can also find dog toilet pet mats that are covered in a material resembling grass and have a container underneath that holds urine.
4. Chew toys
Dogs have a natural instinct to gnaw, so keep plenty of safe chew toys in the playpen to engage your puppy. Puzzle toys stuffed with treats keep them stimulated and stave off boredom.
Introducing Your Puppy to Its Safe Space
Before you place your puppy in its playpen, take it for a long walk so it’s ready for a rest. Give it a few treats and spend time with it inside the pen before you close it. Soon, your doggy will learn that its designated space is safe, comfortable and relaxing. If you’re ready to share your home with a furry new companion, meet some adorable Florida puppies.