It is a truth universally acknowledged that a puppy left alone in an apartment must be in want of a chew toy. And without one, anything nearby is fair game: chair legs, HDMI cable, new shoes, XBOX 360… you name it, your puppy will see it as a plaything. That’s why preparing an apartment for a puppy is a necessity both for you and for your new pal. Use these tips to keep your puppy safe and your possessions unscathed.
Keep Cables and Cords Out of Reach
Take a look around your apartment from a puppy’s point of view. You may be surprised by the number of cords and cables dangling from sockets and electronics onto the floor. To prep for your pup, situate the cords so they are well out of reach of inquisitive paws and jaws.
Invest in Good Chew Toys…
To keep your dog entertained while you’re away from your apartment (or simply in the other room), buy some toys to keep him occupied. Whether it squishes, squeaks, bounces, or speaks, keeping your puppy entertained is important. This is especially key if your puppy is still teething, which occurs within the first 3-8 weeks of a dog’s life.
… And Also Some No-Chew Spray
Despite having an abundance of toys to gnaw on, some dogs just prefer to chew on your furniture. This can be an especially big problem if you have rented furniture or your apartment came pre-furnished. To combat this bad behavior, try a natural no-chew spray from your local pet store. It’s safe for your furniture and tastes bitter to dogs to help deter them from imposing dental damage on your stuff.
Beware Puppy-Poisoning Plants!
That new begonia may look darling on your windowsill, but it could be deadly to your new pup. There are several popular houseplants that can be toxic to pets if ingested, so keep your plants away from curious pets. Plants that are toxic to dogs include azaleas, daffodils, fern palms, and tomato plants. Instead, opt for plants like reed palms, red lilies, bamboo, spice orchids, and Christmas cacti. (You can view the full ASPCA list of toxic and non-toxic plants here.)
Use Baby Gates
While your puppy is still very young, it may be a good idea to set up short baby gates to block off access to unsafe areas like stairs. Likewise, if you are leaving your apartment and are worried about not being able to keep an eye on your puppy, gate him into a large, safe area of the apartment until you get back.
Still having puppy-proofing problems? At the end of the day, remember: your puppy is still getting used to a new home. A little training and an adjustment period should cure bad behavior, and lots of love will make your puppy happy in his new home.