Adopting a new puppy may be a challenge, but one Arizona family was put through the wringer when they accidentally brought a wolf-dog home.
After finding the seemingly abandoned puppy in a grocery cart, the family brought the wolf in with open arms and named him Neo. It was only after the “dog” started to grow at an accelerating rate that the family grew concerned.
Despite their efforts, the family couldn’t potty train Neo. Nor could they keep him in the confines of their yard, no matter how high they built their fence. It was at this point the family brought the young wolf-dog to the Humane Society of Arizona where CEO Maureen O’Nell told them the news.
O’Nell was able to identify Neo as a wolf-dog hybrid, leaning more toward the wolf side than the dog side. As such, he exhibited strong pack traits but avoided nearly all human interaction. O’Nell knew that Neo wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild because of his upbringing.
Thanks to Wolf Connection, Neo was able to join a number of other partially domesticated wolves and wolf-dogs like himself. Here, the dogs and their pups are able to live safely, even interacting with at-risk youth to promote healing benefits on both sides.
Now that warmer weather has arrived, countless households are looking to adopt a furry friend for a romp on the beach. But while the outdoors are ready to take on anything your puppy has to throw at it, your home may not be prepared, even if it’s for an actual puppy, not a wolf-dog hybrid.
In fact, it’s estimated that around 44% of households own at least one dog. If you’re one of the many families looking to welcome another furry friend home, here are some of the top ways to puppy-proof your household.
Get them a crate
Crate-training your puppy is the best way to teach them how to hold their bladder. This will cause fewer accidents in the home and it will also serve as a type of “den” for your puppy. This idea connects back to their time as wolves; dogs like dark, tight places to sleep, like in a cave. It might seem cruel to put your puppy in a crate, but it actually connects back to their natural instincts, encouraging better behavior.
Puppies over the age of 10 weeks old are able to sleep soundly through the night without needing to be let outside. This will also save your home since most puppies are prone to chewing. When you’re busy sleeping, your puppy won’t be able to stop itself from getting into all sorts of mischief. In particularly bad cases, you may find that your puppy has ruined part of your home. It’s not surprising that many homes with dogs will need a home renovation at some point. In fact, it’s estimated that bathroom remodeling jobs account for up to 78% of home renovation projects.
Luckily, crates don’t cost all that much, especially when you’re purchasing a puppy-sized option. Smaller options are better, even if your dog will grow. With too much room to move around, your puppy will start using the bathroom in its crate.
Keep chewable items out of reach
Your coffee table, bookshelves, and shoe racks are all the perfect height for your teething puppy. Keep essential items out of your dog’s reach before they wrap their jaws around your favorite pair of shoes. When your puppy does start to chew on something important, distract them with a toy for positive reinforcement.
You should also be wary of any wires and plugs, as well. These electrical conduits can pose a serious threat to puppies. Either mask them with bulky pieces of furniture or raise them to a location your puppy cannot reach.
Ditch any poisonous plants
If you’ve never had a pet, you may not know that some plants can be dangerous if ingested. This includes particularly popular plant varieties including tulips, lilies, and daffodils, but indoor plants pose a threat as well. Ensure your garden is devoid of any potentially harmful plants.
Get a sturdy trash can
Your trash can holds many unwanted items, many of which will smell like food if they’re kept there long enough. Inedible items and poisonous foods can lead to gastrointestinal issues and other problems if your puppy gets into the trash. Buy a sturdy garbage that isn’t easy to knock over and make the effort to empty your trash can often so fun (or gross) smells don’t tempt your puppy.
It might be exhausting to sweep with a messy puppy around, but this vital chore is essential in whisking away problematic items that your puppy might get hold of. Anything from broken glass to rocks to stray papers might pose a threat to your growing pooch. By sweeping and vacuuming often, you’re ensuring a safe playing environment for your new best friend.
While you might not have to prepare for a wolf, you do have to make changes to accommodate your new furry friend. Try following these simple tips before you adopt a dog today.