How to puppy-proof your home

The first months of a dog's life are crucial: they learn a lot. Discovering things is part of your puppy's development, but it’s up to you as a trainer to pay close attention so that your puppy doesn’t gets its paws and teeth into things it shouldn’t. Here are some tips to puppy-proof your home so that you and your dog live happily - and safely - ever after.

• Keep valuable items away from your puppy.
• Keep toxic houseplants and cleaning supplies out of your dog's reach.
• Make sure he or she can’t reach food (certain foods, such as chocolate and raisins, are toxic to dogs).
• Hide power cables because puppies like to sink their young teeth into them.
• Ropes from curtains or sun blinds that reach to the ground are better hung higher so that the puppy doesn’t get tangled up in them.
• Stepping out for a while? Put your four-legged friend in a puppy run so he or she doesn’t turn the house upside down while you're away. Placing a gate in a doorway can also be a useful way to seal off an area for your puppy.

Choose the right spot

Now that you’ve done everything to puppy-proof your home, an important - and fun! - part of the preparation for getting a puppy is of course choosing playthings for your dog. Pick toys that a puppy can chew on, because they love to do that (ask anyone who’s lost a pair of their favourite slippers to their beloved canine’s teeth!) Or provide chewy snacks that keep him or her busy for a while.

Where your dog sleeps is also important. Does he sleep in a crate, in a basket or on a pillow? Regardless of what its bed looks like, make sure you choose a quiet spot that isn’t in a busy area of the house where people are passing by a lot. Dogs need more sleep than humans. Count on 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day for a puppy. Like us, they can become grouchy if they are not well-rested. The better your puppy sleeps, the better he or she feels and the more you can enjoy each other’s company.

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