If you’ve just acquired a new puppy, stand by for mischief and mayhem.
Brace yourself for jumping, chewing, barking, running, tumbling and getting into all sorts of trouble as the puppy investigates everything in and around the home. You name it, a puppy will try it.
No matter what age your puppy, with professional obedience training, much of the mischief can be resolved. There’s no such thing as too early when it comes to training a puppy.
In the meantime, take some basic steps to protect both your new friend and your belongings.
Set up a dedicated, puppy-proof area
Set up a comfortable, safe, puppy-proof area where the dog will spend most of his or her time for the first few months.
Try not to leave a puppy alone for long periods, as they can become anxious and distressed. When you do go out, keep the radio on and put the puppy in the puppy-proof area with their favourite dog bed, a handful of toys to play with and chew on, and a bowl of clean water.
Instruct the kids
If you have children, tell them not to overwhelm the pup in the first few days – they should aim to be calm and quiet around the new addition to the household.
Protect your puppy from hazards
Because you don’t have eyes in the back of your head, make sure all dangerous chemicals and detergents are stored in a securely sealed (preferably locked) cupboard.
Don’t leave your children’s toys on the floor as the little fella could easily swallow some of these – or chew them into a hundred pieces.
Cover or hide any electrical wires, so they won’t be bitten or cause harm to the puppy.
If your puppy is outside with you in the garden, restrict his or her access to dangerous and poisonous plants, such as azaleas, oleander, rhododendrons and poinsettias.
Buy some puppy basics
Buy a break-away collar and a dog lead. Get the puppy used to wearing the collar and being on the lead for short periods of time.
You’ll also need to buy a brush, a few water bowls, stain remover, dog shampoo, paper towels, and a deodorant spray. Puppies tend to pee… a lot!
Protect belongings you don’t want chewed up
Ensure all breakable items, like indoor pot plants and low-level ornaments, are safely tucked away or put high up out of harm’s way.
Similarly, cover soft furnishings that the puppy can access or move them to part of the house where the puppy doesn’t go. Roll up valued carpets and rugs, and store them until the puppy is older. Also, if you have carpet-length curtains, fold them up a metre or two and peg them out of reach of the puppy.
The legs of chairs and other pieces of furniture are favourite chewing objects, so store them or move them to another room if you have the space.
If there are any open bookcases that contain important documents, folders and books, move them out of range or put them in storage.
Also keep shoes, boots and other items you don’t want chewed well out of reach at all times.
Self-storage may be the answer for certain household items
Because most puppies cause a lot of damage in their first few months, you may want to consider placing some of your belongings and furniture in storage.
Self-storage is safe and reasonably inexpensive, and could save you the heartache of damaged items.
Once the puppy is old enough and suitably house-trained, all your items can then be put back where they belong.
At XtraSpace Self Storage, we offer secure, affordable self-storage units in a range of sizes, ideal for storing items when you have a new puppy in the home. Contact us for more information or browse to find a branch near you.