Your new puppy or dog is coming home and all you need to do now is prepare for the big day - how exciting!
Crates & pens are a great way to provide a 'den like' sleeping/relaxing space for your pet & can be invaluable if there are small children or other pets in a busy household. Crates also help with toilet training while your puppy is learning the ropes.
When it comes to crate size, consider how big your puppy will be when fully grown & use a crate that will be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around & lie down comfortably. Place some comfy bedding & a soft toy or two inside so they feel nice & snug. It is important to cover the crate, so drape a throw/duvet cover on top of the crate which also covers the back & sides.
Put the crate in a quiet corner of the room & set it up in advance of your puppy arriving. From day one, create some positive experiences with your puppy going in & out of the crate by hand feeding & using high value treats like chicken. Practice closing & opening the door several times & feed treats through the crate when your puppy is inside.
Young puppies need to toilet every few hours so if you don't have a garden, place a puppy pad on the floor outside the crate or in the pen to encourage toileting in the correct place, as puppies don’t like to toilet where they sleep. If the crate door is closed when you go to bed, then you will need to set a timer & get up to let your puppy out to toilet at least once during the night.
Your puppy may be a bit overwhelmed in their new home at first, so you could sleep downstairs for the first night to help your puppy settle in. But be aware that puppies very quickly adapt to their new environment so any longer may result in your puppy becoming too reliant on this arrangement!
Puppies can easily become over-stimulated through play or excitement so ensure your puppy has naps in the crate throughout the day. Making this part of your puppy's routine will promote relaxation which is very important & also prevent any potential separation anxiety.
Teaching your puppy to be independent of you overnight & for short spells during the day is the best way to help them become a confident canine companion who does not feel over anxious when not in their owner's company.
Good Luck with your new addition and have fun!