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Puppy Proofing Your Home

05/12/2013 12:52 GMT | Updated 03/02/2014 10:59 GMT

Several preparatory measures should be taken prior to bringing a puppy into your home. Puppies are curious creatures and love to explore. This may involve them getting into trouble here and there. The fact of the matter is that they truly do not know any better being so young. It is your job to teach them right and wrong with careful tactics and mild word discipline practices. A few of the more major items to consider doing before bringing a new puppy home are discussed below in this article.

Remove Wood Furniture

Puppies, and some adult dogs, find wood to be quite tasty. During teething stages, puppies will find items such as legs of wood tables and chairs to chew on. If you have heirloom furniture or other expensive wood furniture items in the home, it is best to replace them with metal items.

Place Fragile Items up High

Fragile items and things that are easily broken should be placed up high. When items are free and clear of a wagging tail or puppy with jumping abilities, they are more likely to stay intact. This includes switching out table lamps for inexpensive floor lamp options.

Store Shoes in a Closet

Puppies just love shoes. Ideally, it is best to keep shoes in a coat closet or container with a lid. This will prevent expensive or designer pairs from becoming a snack. For a puppy, a shoe is a play toy. Most of the time the material is not ingested, but tearing it apart is a lot of fun. Of course, the occasion may occur where you forget to put shoes away, but you should be careful of the discipline tactic used since it was your fault the shoes were made available. Slippers and house shoes should also be kept out of reach for the puppy.

Use Furniture Covers

Puppies are notorious for jumping on furniture. In some cases, they will scratch or dig in the furniture to make a comfortable spot to lie down. To protect the material and cushion stuffing, it is ideal to use a furniture cover. A stain-resistant option with scotch guarding is ideal. This will prevent food stains, muddy foot prints and puppy drool from getting set into the fabric. Scotch guarded material also makes it harder for puppy hair to become embedded in the fabric.

Put Electrical and Electronics Cords Out of Reach

Electrical cords and electronics cords are another favourite chew toy for puppies. It is ideal to run all cords under or behind furniture. If this is not an option, consider removing the baseboards from a room and running cords behind it. After that you can reattach the baseboards. If you are able to rearrange a space to prevent the pup from getting to cords period, that is even better. If the situation arises where this is not an option, keep an eye on the pup and discipline him or her with a stern NO. The tone of your voice triggers them to stop. This may have to be repeated a few times before it is understood.

Use Bitter Sprays

Bitter sprays, such as Bitter Apple, are great for getting puppies to refrain from chewing on wood furniture, electrical cords and anything that is not theirs. If you are unable to find this spray in a pet store, shop for it online. Canines do not like bitter tasting items. In an emergency situation, dilute apple cider vinegar with some water and wipe it on the items the pup has wanted to get at. One taste of the bitter vinegar or apple spray and they should be remedied from wanting to chew on these items in the future.

This may seem like a lot of steps to take but it is for the safety of your puppy and the protection of your things. One other item to keep out of puppy's reach is children's toys. Puppies easily confuse these with their own. A puppy is similar to a human child in that they will put anything in their mouths that will fit. Begin familiarising the puppy with words such as no, good boy or girl and potty or loo to go outside to use the restroom. Teaching them early makes for better behavior when they reach toddler stage which is around 9 months of age for a canine. Have a variety of toys available for the puppy such as tennis balls, soft plush toys, rawhide bones and harder rubber toys. This will keep the pup entertained and provide them with a variety when they get bored chewing on one item. It is also ideal for the different teething stages. When teeth are ready to fall out to make room for adult teeth, a harder texture is often the choice of pups.