Having two puppies move in with us back in 2011 was quite the experience. After all, I had never owned dogs before, let alone raised any. My perfectionist nature demanded as much prep work as possible before the arrival of our two fur babies Missy & Buzz, so one day, while browsing various dog books and magazines, I came across an invaluable tip I never would have come up with on my own. The Army Crawl.
It is exactly what it sounds like. I got down on my belly and crawled through the entirety of our 1,500 sf 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment. Mission: Puppy proofing our home from the bottom up by finding and removing anything loose, small, easily ingestible/chewable, expensive, and/or of sentimental value.
One reoccurring item I immediately noticed on my crawling trip were cables. TV, DVD, Wii, Computer and lamp cables. Holy puppy! The perfect teething “toys”. I had no idea we had that many cables. Next up were shoes, followed closely by hair bands, a pair of earrings, some books, a DVD, and even a nail! I have no idea where that came from. I secretly blamed it on our apartment complex’s maintenance crew.
“I have no idea where that came from. I secretly blamed it on our apartment complex’s maintenance crew.”
I picked up all loose items and made the cables as short and uninteresting as possible using cable ties. I also moved a vase with fresh cut flowers from our low coffee table higher up to the breakfast bar.
I probably spent about two hours crawling and moving various items around, and believe me when I say that it was totally worth it. Missy & Buzz only chewed on the corner of a DVD once, and that was it as far as chewing mischief was concerned in their puppyhood (they are now 5 years old).
I always made sure that they had appropriate chews available to ease their teething pain (hello, bully sticks!), which was another valuable tip I had come across in a book. The combination of picking up around the apartment and providing adequate chews really paid off big time.
So here’s my tip for all new puppy pawrents: Get down on your belly (or at least on all fours) and take a look around from your puppy’s perspective-before they move in with you. You could make this a fun family game if you have kids and get everyone involved. You might be surprised at what you’ll discover!
If you enjoyed this post, you should read “10 Things To Ask Yourself Before Bringing A Puppy Home” here.
Do you have a special tip for bringing a puppy into your home? Please share below!