Tags: Pets

Pooch Proofing 101

It doesn’t matter what size or breed your beloved young is, most dog owners are only too aware how capable they are of an extraordinary level of damage in a remarkably short space of time. Most conversations quote damage in the thousands, not tens or even hundreds.

Most dogs go through an early stage of chewing everything in sight and for some dogs, the requirement to fully consume anything that even remotely resembles food never goes away.

This essentially makes the job of a dog owner that of someone protecting their property from damage on one hand, and saving the dog from killing itself on the other!

There are some very simple rules/tools to follow/use that may save not only money and frustration, but also your dog’s life...

Especially for puppy-hood, keeping anything that smells like you well out of reach is important. Yes, that means not leaving your undies and socks on the floor! Clothing, shoes, remote controls and sunglasses are probably the most commonly destroyed items but they cannot be destroyed if they cannot be accessed.
Make sure all food cupboards and draws cannot be tampered with. Some dogs are smart enough and motivated enough to open cupboards and draws so if you have one of those, you will need to use child proof catches. The same goes for medicine, put it away. A box of Panadol could kill your dog if consumed and it is not an uncommon scenario.
You shouldn’t expect your dog to stay out of the rubbish. Dogs are scavengers by nature so it is perfectly natural for them to go through the rubbish and they are usually rewarded with something tasty when they do! Instead, keep your rubbish away from your dog at all times.
Don’t leave your dog alone in areas where they can access any poisons or garden fertilisers. So if you have a shed in the yard where you keep your gardening things, make sure your dog can’t get into it. A bag of blood and bone may seem pretty harmless, but a dog dining out on a whole bag is not a good thing. And find other ways to deal with slugs if you need to, don’t buy slug bait, it is evil!
Use your doors! Most homes come complete with very handy devices called doors. These are extremely helpful in controlling what your dog has access to. 
Think about your pot plants. Especially in puppy-hood, dogs love chewing sticks and a pot plant is simply a leafy stick set upright in a challenging pot. It’s a great indoor or outdoor game if you are a bored dog. If you like your pot plants you might what to reposition them until your pup is a bit older.
The car is another place where very expensive damage can occur in a very short space of time. Again, the smelling of you thing will draw a young dog’s attention to things like indicator sticks…which become very mangled very quickly in the mouth of a puppy. Restraint is the key.
Crate training is probably the single most certain way to limit unwanted home destruction. Introduced in the correct way, crate training is an extremely effective management tool that reduces stress for both the owner and the dog.
Exercise the body and brain. There is much truth in the adage; a tired dog is a good dog. By making sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, you will limit your dogs need to “entertain” itself with your property.
For all the reasons above, take great care when choosing to leave your dog in the care of someone who may not understand the nature of their job.

Dog HQ, 5 Goldfield, Wairau Valley 09 442 2365 doghq.co.nz 

Issuu 54 May 2015