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Whether it’s a lab, a retriever or a cocker spaniel, there is no doubt about it – your new puppy is absolutely adorable. However, underneath all that cuteness there are a few ‘not-so-cute’ quirks such as eating your favorite shoes, peeing on that white rug and howling at the moon in all hours of the night. A new puppy, no matter how you look at it, can be a lot of work. And, unfortunately, most puppies do not come with an instruction manual. It’s up to you to not only keep them clean, fed and happy, but also ensure that your rental home is prepared for the new addition. This means puppy-proofing your home before you let the new addition to the family sniff around and settle down.

How to Puppy Proof your Home

There are several easy yet effective ways to puppy proof your rental townhome so that your landlord does not get angry and so that your home remains as comfortable and stylish as possible. You do not have to exchange that white rug for a hundred newspapers scattered around. There are ways to ensure that your home remains clean and tidy even if your dog does not.

First of all, decide on a room where puppy will sleep and eat. If you have live in an apartment, this may mean a laundry room or bathroom; if you are renting a house, then many dogs are happy to sleep and be fed outside. Make this area as comfortable as possible. Put newspapers down (for the time being), set up his dog dish and food, put out his bed and add a few chew toys to get him settled in. Don’t be surprised, however, when bedtime does roll around, if puppy whines and whimpers when you leave him alone. Like a baby, puppies would much rather be with Mom and Dad. However, he will learn his place and eventually settle after a few whimpers and cries.

Make sure your home does not have an escape route. If you are renting an apartment, you need to keep the doors shut at all times to ensure your puppy doesn’t try to jump off the balcony or wander the hallways at night. If you are in a rental house, check that the fence you have in place is secure and that there are no loose boards. It is in a puppy’s nature to explore; be prepared with adequate fencing, gates and screens.

Puppy Love and Lessons

Let puppy sniff around the home but bring him back to the same place for meals and bedtimes. Try to get him to go to the bathroom in the designated area as well (preferably outside). The key to getting your puppy ‘potty trained’ is to watch out for signs that he needs to go. As soon as you notice he is getting ready to go, open the door and let him outside. It may take a couple of tries and a few stains but be prepared with cleaning solution. The faster you clean it up, the less chance of a stain.

When bringing a new puppy home, the main thing to remember is that your puppy needs as much love, attention and affection as possible. Try to take a week off work to spend your days and nights with him. You may feel like you are watching over a newborn (minus the diaper changes and breast feeds) but a puppy is, essentially, a baby. Play with him, pet him, walk him and show him that his new home is a loving, friendly and safe environment.

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