There’s nothing more thrilling than adopting a new dog. You do research, visit the shelter, meet some friendly puppy faces and then choose the right fit for your family.
While you were searching for your new companion, the “messes” probably crossed your mind. All puppies and dogs need time to adjust, and accidents happen. But maybe you didn’t consider cleaning up your home before your dog even arrives! If you've decided to adopt a new furry part of the family, you have to work twice as hard to make the house extra clean and organized.
There is usually a precarious lag time between training and learning; it’s during this lag time that your pup is probably going to do the most damage. The better organized you are, the better. A dog’s period of activity is at dawn and dusk, two times of the day when you might not be focused on what he or she is doing. The easiest way to avoid any majorissues is to be vigilant about supervision.
I’ve compiled a list of cleaning and organization reminders for each section of the house. Accidents are unavoidable, but we can prepare our homes to prevent as many major (and sometimes fatal) ones as possible.
Living Room/Dining Room
Your dog will gnaw up some of your furniture; they can’t help it, it’s a coping mechanism. Your furniture should be able to withstand some chewing. If not, put it in storage or loan it to a friend while you’re in puppy training mode.
When my husband and I got our first dog, he destroyed 2 expensive Home Depot coffee tables within a week. I was forced to buy another from a resale shop. I refinished it and ended up with the best piece of furniture in our living room; we have Goomba to thank for that.
Remember to stock up on puppy-centric cleaners. These are the carpet cleaners that are enzymatic. If you use a cleaner that contains ammonia, they’ll be more likely to make an accident in the same spot.
If your puppy is left alone, they might get distressed. When a dog is in distress, they will dig, chew, howl, and bark. Once your dog is adjusted to period of “alone time”, the behavior will cease. Until then, watch your trashcan!
Always, always take out the trash. Don’t let it pile up, because your pup has a natural attraction to foodeven if it’s already gone bad. Never leave trash bags or grocery store plastic bags in the kitchen; if they’re accessible to your dog, he or she might get caught in them and suffocate.
Keep your kitchen as organized as possible. By organizing your utensils and cooking instruments, you’re significantly reducing the risk of a serious accident.
Don’t let your husband leave the toilet seat up-it’s a pretty big hazard for small dogs and a temptation for bigger dogs. This should be all the motivation he needs to put the lid down every time.
If you store your cleaning supplies in the bathroom, find a safe place to keep them as far away from your dog’s reach as possible. While bleach ingestion isn’t deadly, it will still do a bit of harm.
Your lawn should be as well manicured as possible. It’s harder to clean up after your dog when you’re navigating through thick greenery. Plus, it’s easier to detect safety hazards when your lawn is cut.
Last, but not least, remember the flowers that are toxic to dogs. You’d be surprised at how many can cause death. This ASPCA site is a great reference and includes pictures. More than likely, if your pup ingests a backyard flower, they’ll get a little sick. The key is avoiding the deadly varieties like mums and carnations.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Marie Ortiz. I am a blogger, DIY enthusiast, and mother of two beautiful girls. . I am always working on new ways for my girls to develop and learn, and I love to share all of my discoveries along the way. We enjoy working on DIY projects as a family, and they are turning into avid crafters. When I’m not perusing the Internet for inspiration, you can find me at my local farmers’ market or looking for new adventures. You can check me out at www.DIYMother.org.