In honor of National Puppy Day, we're bringing you our Top 5 Tips to Create a Pet Friendly Home. We would highly advise them if you have a new puppy, but they could even help your relationship with your fully grown dog.
1. If it's on the floor - consider it fair game
Dogs are literally living at a lower level than us, so they really notice first what's on the floor. They particularly like it when there's something tasty or smells good. Real leather fits the bill perfectly. Puppies that tend to chew a lot, will find your shoes and handbags on the floor irresistible. Even my dog, who's trained quite well, went through at least 4 pairs of shoes and almost a handbag (I quickly rescued it before major damage was done) when he was a puppy. So just don't tempt them, if you like it, keep it off the floor.
2. If they can reach it - it's also fair game
When creating a pet friendly home, you need to take into consideration how tall your dog is - including how tall he is on his hind legs and stretching. Dogs will use all their efforts to get to something they really want. Did you read our post on how Pappy nabbed the family rotisserie chicken? Pappy was 8 years old when this happened, so this isn't just a puppy problem.
There's also the issue of the coffee table - your dog reaching it from the front with his mouth or from the back with his tail. You've got to be the responsible pet parent here and realize the coffee table is a potential disaster zone. Keep and eye out or make sure your dog can't get near it.
Did you know it's National Poison Prevention Week? As a reminder, please make sure those potentially dangerous human foods are out of reach of your best friend. A friend of mine had some chocolates on the dining room table and while she was away at work, her puppy dachshund jumped on the chair and then up on the table and ate all the chocolates - which very sadly resulted in her puppy's passing. If in doubt, put it away!
3. Give your dog his own personal space
While most of us would agree that a dog's life is quite nice, they still need some personal space. At times they're going to want to escape from the family chaos and retreat into their own little spot. Perhaps it's a special spot in your home or your dog's crate (read more about crates at: The Dog Crate – An Essential Part of Your Home). Make sure it's comfortable, cozy and preferably den-like.
4. Baby-proofing is not just for babies
When you start to look at some things in the pet and baby departments, you'll notice some cross-overs. For example, there are baby gates which are useful not just for babies but also for dogs. There are play pens for babies and also for dogs. You've got diapers for babies and pee pads (which are essentially flat diapers) for puppies.
Most importantly, you want to make sure your babies and doggies cannot get to harmful chemicals or drugs. Babies and doggies also tend to have their mouths on a lot of things you would prefer they avoid, so store things appropriately and avoid harsh chemical which they could potentially come in contact with.
5. Clean up - your dog will appreciate it
Let's say you've abided by tips 1 & 2 and have stored all those things away that you don't want eaten or chewed. Next is to reduce the dirt and dust in your dog's life. Certain allergens, dirt and mold can affect your dog’s health and greatly decrease their quality of life. It's probably not healthy for you either.
Not to mention, if you keep the toilet seat up and you have a lab (or similarly larger breed) - they're probably going to try to drink out of the toilet a some point when you're not looking - let's keep the bowl clean if not for you, then for your best friend.
To conclude, we're not recommending you to become some sort of neat freak. Having a dog (or babies) definitely makes life a bit messier, but with that comes a lot of laughter and love.
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