Dog beds can provide your Chihuahua with soft, comfortable place to lie down. Until your puppy is house trained and past the chewing stage, however, you should place the dog bed in a common area of your home where you can supervise. You should not place the bed in the puppy’s crate. A dog bed you purchase should have a zippered outer shell that can be removed and washed and an inner pillow that can be wiped clean.
There are a variety of enclosures, including dog crates, gates and outdoor dog runs or exercise pens, to help keep your Chihuahua safe and out of mischief. Do not feel that you are punishing your puppy when you place him in a crate. Dogs naturally like the den-like, protective environment of these types of enclosures.
A dog crate is a metal or plastic box with a wire-mesh door that can be latched shut. You should have a crate to provide a secure spot where your new puppy can go when you are not able to supervise him. Enclosed plastic crates provide a safe, den-like environment that most puppies find comforting. This type of crate is also useful for when you need to travel with your puppy.
Any crate you purchase should be large enough for your puppy to stand up, turn around and lie down in. A crate that is too large will allow your dog to eliminate in one part and sleep in another, which can create problems for house training. If you purchase a dog crate that will fit your puppy when he is full-grown, you should also purchase a crate divider with which you can create a smaller space while your puppy is little.
Crates, also called kennels, are also useful tools when it comes to house training.
A child-safety gate can be used to keep your puppy in a limited area of the house, just as outdoor exercise pens will keep him from areas of the yard that you want to protect. Until your puppy is fully trained, you can keep him confined to a small area of your home until he earns more freedom through good behavior. Gates can be moved to gradually give your puppy access to more of the house.
Before your puppy is house trained, it is best to confine him to a room that has tile or vinyl floors so that any “accidents” can be easily cleaned up. If you do not have a fenced yard, a folding exercise pen or fenced dog run is a great alternative for times when you want to let your puppy play outside. In warm weather, it is important to set up your exercise pen or dog run in a shaded area.