5 Ideas to Make Your Puppy's Setup Amazing
5 Ideas to Make Your Puppy's Setup Amazing
One of the most exciting parts of bringing home a new puppy is figuring out what your puppy likes and doesn't like. As their personalities blossom before us, we often start seeing naughty behaviors appear as well. A good setup for your puppy cannot only prevent some of these behaviors from ever beginning, but it can be a puppy's safe haven where they learn to relax and become independent. In this blog, we are going to cover some ways to boost your puppy setup game to help prevent accidents in the house, chewing on furniture, and barking when alone.
1. Exercise Pens
Exercise pens are absolutely one of my favorite additions to a puppy setup. These pens can be attached to your puppy's crate by double snap hooks from your local hardware store. They create a small play area for your puppy to have fun in when you cannot supervise fully.
Exercise pens prevent the puppy from being locked in the crate without exercise for many hours and give them space to roam around. You can get the same effect by placing baby gates on the entrance of a small room. Puppies do not need the responsibility of being alone in the entire house just yet, so it is best to give them a safe, small puppy proofed area to begin with. As they get older, they can be given more and more space slowly over time. Covers can also be purchased for puppies who are escape artists to make the pen even safer when you are away.
2. Real Grass Potty Patch
Many people don't know that traditional puppy pads can actually train your dog to use the restroom inside the house or on similar appearing things, like rugs or towels. Traditional puppy pads cause all kinds of house training issues and they are better to avoid if you can. A newer solution has been introduced recently; real grass potty patches. These patches start encouraging the puppy to go to bathroom on grass from the very beginning and are helpful if you live in an apartment where you cannot always get the dog downstairs in time for a potty break.
A company called Fresh Patch has a subscription service that will send you real patches of grass right to your doorstep for this potty training purpose. I usually encourage people to try this service before going to traditional potty pads, so you can attempt to avoid any of the unwanted behaviors associated with traditional potty pad usage. These patches fit great within the exercise pen setup suggested above and give the puppy a real grass solution when they have an emergency.
3. Snuggle Puppy
Snuggle Puppies have been available in other countries for sometime now and they have finally made their way to America and our local pet stores. The Snuggle Puppy is a stuffed dog toy that has a non-toxic heat pack and plastic heart with pulsing heartbeat inside of it. Most young puppies find snuggling up next to the Snuggle Puppy to be quite relaxing.
I would usually bring out my Snuggle Puppy for Oakley when she was young, right before bedtime and she would fall fast asleep next to her Snuggle Puppy every time. On nights I ran out of heating packs, I would just warm up an old towel or blanket in the dryer until it was slightly warm. Dogs are more sensitive to heat than humans are, so you should be careful when heating anything up yourself and avoid the use of heating pads meant for humans.
4. DAP Diffusers
Adaptil or DAP Diffusers release a pheromone that imitates a pheromone released by the mother dog to appease her puppies. These diffusers are designed to help dogs calm down and relax. While they usually aren't majorly helpful for severe cases of anxiety and have their limitations, it is an easy way to attempt to make your puppy more comfortable in his new surroundings and give him something familiar.
I prefer DAP diffusers over essential oil diffusers because many essential oils that are beneficial for humans have unknown effects on dogs and/or aren't safe for use in canines like they are with people. These diffusers can be a wonderful option to help calm distressed puppies learning to be more comfortable by themselves.
5. Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys are amazing for puppies and give them the mental stimulation they crave. Puzzle toys are the best way to prevent chewing on non-dog friendly items. Puppies require mental stimulation and if they aren't getting it, they will find ways to get it on their own - which rarely works out well for us humans.
An interesting puzzle toy called the Foobler has been released and it refills itself and gives the puppy treats or food on a timer. So, instead of feeding your puppy their food in a bowl, puppies can actually be working for their dinner overtime while you are away. These types of games could help your puppy become better at problem solving in the future and keep them out of trouble through out the day while you are at work.
Need More Help?
If you still aren't sure that your puppy's setup is the best option for your puppy, contact us here at Faithfully Yours to discuss what training options would be best for you. Our trainer can come to your home to view your setup, speak with you over phone or Skype video call, or you could join one of our popular Puppy Club socialization classes to assess whether or not you should spruce up your puppy' setup. We can't wait to speak with you about your puppy!
Photo Credit: Michael Seeley