Your new puppy will get into everything in your house. Imagine a lovable high energy ball of fur rocketing from room to room in your house. Between frequent stops to play with and show affection to you, it’s on a hunt for all manner of stuff to play with. Like a small child with a roomful of toys who is fascinated by playing with a stick in the yard, this adorable creature ignores a pile of dog toys you thoughtfully provided. It prefers instead, your shoes, your purse, your couch, electrical wiring, and wallpaper. . There’s the potential for serious damage or injury in those preferences.
You will need to puppy proof your home. Same idea as baby-proofing, but a little harder. Babies come closest to a puppy’s destructive capabilities around the beginning toddler stage, but they rarely reach it. Puppy’s are fully equipped to tear the fringe off your couch or peel off your wallpaper(with a healthy chunk of wallboard), as soon as they charge into their new domain. They’re faster, more energetic and equipped with needle sharp puppy teeth and claws.
Place plastic gates across the doorways of rooms that are off limits. Don’t be surprised if you need to put up two, one on top of another. Some puppies are world class jumpers. Wallpaper and couch fabric have a sweet taste to canines. I sprayed with dog repellent, like Simple Solution or Liquid Fence. Make sure you select one that’s Green and non-toxic. I’d also spray shoes, purses, leather items and electrical cords. They’re texture makes them seem like ideal chew toys to a puppy’s sensitive mouth. Taping the electrical cords with electrical tape won’t stop a determined pup, but it will slow him down enough that you might be able to stop him. Also, keep cabinets closets and drawers closed in the areas of the house that the puppy can enter. Chewing up some nice socks or worse, say a tasty bottle of Liquid Plumber makes a bad day for all involved. Nip this behavior in the bud early. It only gets worse when it starts teething.
Some other particularly loved items to keep out of his reach:
Plants – In addition to having all the attraction of a fire hydrant to a puppy, some plants are poisonous. All plants make a mess when torn to shreds.
Small pets, like fish in bowls, gerbils hamsters and such. Otherwise known in puppy-speak as SNACKS!
Small tools, TV Remotes, toiletries or kid’s toys . They have small parts that are a choking hazard, but also…I was ripped when my dog chewed up my 20 year old set of Pirelli Novelty Screwdrivers. Don’t let it Happen To You Too!
Paper Products – Oh What Fun! To toilet-paper the Inside of the house.
Pillows, blankets, Towels and stuffed animals – Prey that doesn’t fight back – Cool! The cleaning cloths are the big no-no. The smell of the chemicals might just keep the pup away. They might not too and the chemicals could make him just as sick as if he ate the bottle.
Medication bottles – I know that the medicine inside is the major issue, but, additionally, the bottle’s themselves shatter into razor sharp shards when cracked under pressure.
Knick-nacks, favorite dust collector’s – destruction of a family heirloom mamushka doll or Hummel would be serious blow and very difficult to replace.
Now on the outside, check with a vet and find out what plants in your backyard might be a poison danger to your dog, like sago palm, rhododendron and azalea. It’s probably not a major issue, but you don’t want to find out the hard way otherwise.
Make sure you don’t use pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals that can harm pets. The major retailers like Walmart and some grocery stores carry brands claiming to be pet friendly, like Ecosmart. I’d ask your vet first though.
Defend the compost pile. You are a green machine with a lovely garden and big compost pile. Both contain tons of food. Fence them both off or the rabbits and squirrels won’t even get the chance to steal your stuff. I never thought I’d see a dog that liked zucchini. I learned…I learned.
Also check your fence for particularly juicy digging spots or spots he can wiggle under the fence. Blocking them off might solve the escape problem. If not, Dig a small trench at the base of the fence section he’s wriggling or digging under. Get a 12 inch deep section of chicken wire at Lowes, Home Depot or your favorite Hardware Store and attach it to the fence bottom all along the section you want to reinforce. Fill the trench back in and bury the wire. Not only will that help keep puppy where he belongs, but will help to keep out critters that could be a problem like skunks and raccoons.
Inside and outside are done, Go back and double-check. Did you miss anything…Overlook anything? Remember there’s two things you can be absolutely sure of:
#1 You missed something.
#2 The Pup will find it.
When it happens, and it will happen, You want to teach your new best friend something in a way he can understand. Hitting them isn’t training them in anything but to be afraid of you.
When they do something good, pat them and play with them or give them a treat. Pay them a ton of attention. Food and time with you are a canine’s ultimate treasure.
When they do something bad, give them a timeout somewhere not fun, ignore them while on the timeout, withhold treats or yell at them(getting your frustration out too is a good thing. J ), show them you feel mad at them and point up what they did. What’s punishment for a dog? “My person won’t have anything to do with me and I get no treats?” Brrr. Gives me the shivers.
Protect ‘em, train ‘em & love ‘em. You have yourself a new member of the family.