Avoid Doggie Disasters with These 3 Tips
Whether you are a first-time pet owner or have been a dog lover for decades, you’ll have a lot of questions before, during and after bringing home a new furry family member. It’s important that you know how to prepare your home, your family and your lifestyle for a new dog. Unsure of where to start? We have answers for the top three questions every dog owner asks.
How can I keep my dog from chewing everything?
Dogs chew for several reasons — most of it can be prevented or gently trained out. It’s easy to get frustrated or angry when you come home to your favorite pair of shoes torn to bits. But, in reality, most messes aren’t actually the dog’s fault — it’s ours. Like humans, dogs are social creatures and can get cabin fever when left alone for too long. Anything that resembles a soft, fluffy animal — like a throw pillow — is likely to get destroyed when a dog gets bored. Hire a dog walker or a pet sitter to come by and give your dog some companionship on long days.
Dogs will also chew, along with other destructive behaviors, when they feel unsettled when you are away. You can prevent separation anxiety by giving your dog a safe space, like a room with a cozy bed and a few shirts that smell like you so she feels close and connected when you are away.
What is the best way to clean up dog hair?
There are only a handful of dog breeds that rarely shed or don’t shed at all. Your new friend is unlikely to be one if you are adopting a shelter pet or bringing home a rescue dog. You’ll want to get your hands on a powerful cleaner to keep the hair in check, but also one that is lightweight, portable and small enough to reach those otherwise inaccessible areas.
You’ll also want to look into ways to keep your furniture upholstery clean and hair free such as a lint roller or a fabric sweeper. You can also curb excess hair by keeping your dog groomed. Regular trips to the groomer for a trim can do wonders to minimize shedding at home. Frequent brushing with a deshedder brush is also a good way to maintain a hair-free home.
How do you housetrain a puppy?
There are several ways to potty train a puppy. Sometimes even older dogs need a little reminder, too. Accidents in the house can happen to dogs of all ages, especially when they get excited or scared. Puppy pads can be helpful when a dog has to stay inside alone and you are unsure if she can make it that long. Keeping the pads near the door will help a young dog learn to go to the door when she needs to use the bathroom and will signify to an older dog, who knows the door is the way out, that this is an OK spot to go.
Consistency is an important part of house training a dog. Your pup isn’t intentionally eliminating inside, so discipline often confuses and scares them rather than corrects behavior. Most puppies need to go outside roughly 20-30 minutes after they eat, and typically every three hours. Be sure you are home when your dog needs to go out — that’s the best way to consistently train her to use the bathroom outside.
Becoming a pet owner is an exciting adventure, but also an enormous responsibility. Curb destructive behaviors, keep your home clean and housetrain your animal to help your whole family love and embrace your new pet — and for him to feel loved and at ease with you.
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