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October 21, 2008

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Being a puppy, my dog Maya likes to investigate things by putting them in her mouth. In order to prevent her from hurting herself or doing damage, I put safety covers on all my plugs, secured all the wires from my computer and television so that she could not get to them, and the trash can is kept under the sink. If you have a pantry, you can put your trash can in the pantry or get a trash can that has a secure lid. Also, anything I do not want to get destroyed is put up out of Maya’s reach or put into a room where she is not allowed to go. Laundry is kept in a laundry basket with a lid and the bathroom door is kept closed.

Puppies need to chew so it is important that you have fun and safe toys for your dog to play with. The chewing phase generally lasts to age two, but every dog is different and some may take longer to grow out of it. Besides keeping the house secure, I also work with Maya to help her learn what she is and what she is not allowed to chew on. Maya has several toys. If I find her chewing on something she is not supposed to have, I take it away and say “no” in a very firm voice. Then I give her a toy she is allowed to play with and tell her what a good girl she is for playing with it. If your dog gets bored with their toys, switch them out every week or so. You do not necessarily have to buy new toys each time. Just give your dog two or three of their toys at one time and change to two or three of their other toys the next time it seems your dog is getting bored. They will probably play with them like they are new toys!

Another think I do is I keep Maya in a crate for when I am not home. Crate training is a great way to keep your dog safe for when you are not able to keep an eye on them. For more information on crate training your dog, visit this site: trainingtipsfordog.info.

Crate training is not cruel unless you leave the dog in for hours and hours at a time with no potty breaks. Maya actually loves her crate and she often goes in there on her own to rest. On days when I am not going to be home for long hours, I take her to a doggie day care place called Woof’s Play-n-Stay or had a dog walker from Grand-Paws Pet Sitting Services to come by and take her for a walk.

Here is an overview of the things you need to do to make your home safe:

*Put safety covers on plugs that are not being used.
*Secure plugs and wires and make sure your dog can’t get to them.
*Put trash can under the sink or in the pantry or make sure it has a secure lid.
*Make sure items that your dog might like to chew are put out of reach.
*Keep bathroom closed in order to keep the dog from getting into the toiletpaper or laundry.
*Provide fun and toys that your dog is allowed to chew on.
*Teach your dog to chew on their toys only.
*Keep your dog in a secure place, such as a crate, when you are not home.

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