Priority No. 1
Before you bring home your new pup, pup-proof your place to keep that human-animal companion bond firmly in place and keep your new furry friend happy.
OMDog! Your newly adopted GSD puppy/teen velociraptor/adult dog is coming home!
But before she comes bounding in, it’s vital to your human-animal companion bond and your and her happiness, to dog-proof your home, or consider what your home looks like from her point of view.
Your dog will investigate with her mouth. She can’t tell the difference between appropriate toys and inappropriate shoes. She will need your guidance. You will have to remove temptation. She will not know the rules until you “tell” her what they are.
There’s low-hanging fruit, such as keeping drawers and closet doors shut, securing the garbage can lid, placing laundry baskets out of reach and not leaving food on counters. Believe me, an 85-pound shepherd is perfectly capable of reaching that raw salmon you thought was placed out of her reach! She can even open a package of bread rolls and conveniently leave the empty bag on the floor for me to toss. Minor inconveniences. However, my first shepherd decided to chew my new $400 prescription glasses while I was in the shower. (Why?!) Both situations teach important lessons.
Many things that are casually left around your home can be enticing objet d’chew—and even harmful. Your smartphone, tablet, television remote, eye glasses(!!), vitamins, prescription medications, gum, electrical cords and much more comprise the household items to keep out of your furry girl’s reach.
Remove these things from your dog’s level:
- Dryer sheets
- Electric cords
- Eye glasses/sunglasses
- Household cleaners
- Push pins
- Stuffed animals
Start your dog-proofing effort by getting down on your hands and knees and crawling around to actually see things from your dog’s perspective.
Consider your dog’s size; it will determine how high up you must relocate potentially dangerous items.
Some items just can’t be moved out of your dog’s reach, which is why gates and crates are godsends. Manage spaces in your home with gates (there are myriad styles and price ranges), or of course you can crate your dog when you aren’t with her, so she can’t roam unsupervised.
Children and teens are an important part of this equation. Teach them personal responsibility and the early lesson of responsible dog ownership by ensuring they’re on your dog-proofing page. Kids emit … certain scents … scents that are very enticing to dogs, to be polite. Clothing, books, bags, candy, food, stuffed animals, toys, etc., left on the floor, bedside tables or desks are an open invitation for canine chewtime.
Keeping your dog safe in your home is paramount to being a responsible pet owner. Do everyone in the household a favor by removing temptation and teaching pup the rules.
Click the links below for more tips on dog proofing your home:
- American Humane: https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/pet-proofing-your-home/
- ASPCA Pet Health Insurance: https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/resources/how-to-pet-proof-your-home/
- Canine Journal: https://www.caninejournal.com/how-to-puppy-proof-your-house/
- Chewy: https://be.chewy.com/pet-proofing-your-home-for-a-new-pet/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAmpyRBhC-ARIsABs2EAqZESsEpXK6Yi_k9GeVTaE-f_NtWTRKQyemsT5p7-6hfTvKvN8tgqIaAiplEALw_wcB
- Pet Place: https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-care/how-to-dog-proof-your-home/
- Rover: https://www.rover.com/dog-proofing-your-home/