Keeping puppy tidy!
We just got a puppy this spring. She’s a little bit of a monster now… sweet but wild! When she first moved in, I had no idea how much “stuff” came along with having a puppy. Toys, food, treats, blankets, you name it! It’s tough to keep things organized and tidy, especially when you want your home to be comfortable and fun for your puppy. Here are some things that have worked for us…
* Toy bin – we bought a cd storage bin that matched our decor. It fits neatly on the counter when my puppy is running around and trying to grab things. It goes on the floor in a corner when she’s less active or when we have visitors. Even if you have a lot of toys, a bin of some kind is a good idea. If need be, a lid can be a good idea. Every night, I search for her toys and pop them in the bin. Keeps things pretty tidy. The great thing about a toy box is that you can rotate toys in and out and give the toys a little bit of novelty when you bring them out. I like to keep my puppy entertained and surprised with her toys.
* Dog bed/pillow – We bought a big dog bed/pillow on sale from Petsmart. It has a zipper cover that I wash frequently. The best part is that the color matches our decor. If you get a dog bed that matches your room, then things look more collected and tidy. And your dog won’t care what color or pattern it is.
* Treat and bone storage – We have a little box on our counter to put bags of treats in and to stash bones and rawhide in. You could just leave bags and things on your counter, but a little box makes things look so much neater.
* Cleaning supplies – I like to keep all the puppy cleaning supplies in a central location so I can find them when I need them. Towels, shampoo, toothpaste and ear cleaner (including toothbrush and cotton balls) are all together. Puppy mess cleaner and paper towels are together with other general purpose cleaning supplies. Poop bags are in a little bin by the front door right next to her leash.
* Crate – we crate trainer our puppy and she goes in there when we leave for dinner, dates, etc. She also goes in when it’s time to sleep. She really likes it. I like to keep her favorite (non-choking) items in her crate, but I keep it very simple. She has one, very sturdy toy, her favorite towel and the mat at the bottom of the crate. Once again, I launder these items frequently. That helps keep the puppy smell from taking over.
* Food and bowls – matching stainless steel bowls are inexpensive and look tidy. We also have a plastic storage bin for her food that we put in a cabinet in the pantry. It’s easy access and close to her bowls. It also looks a lot neater than a big old open bag of dog food.
* Safety! If you have a puppy, like we do, you might want to invest in a baby gate, outlet covers and some bitter apple spray. Bitter apple spray tastes really awful and will keep your dog from eating things she shouldn’t. The baby gate keeps your dog where you can see him and keeps him from wandering in areas of the house he shouldn’t be in. The outlet covers were really helpful for when she was a little puppy and liked to lick everything.
Two important things to remember when you have a pet: find containers that are nice for everything your pet owns and keep things to a minimum. We only have a half dozen toys for her, but since I rotate them frequently, she is always happy to see them and doesn’t get bored. It may sound like we have a lot of containers for things, but if you put a few similar items in a container it doesn’t just all spill over the counters and tables in the house. You can also find things easily if you put the items back in their respective containers.
A lot of this advice applies to cats too. You can probably find some other useful info online or in books on kitties to keep your little box tidy and smell-free. Other pets can benefit from some of this advice, too. Our fish stuff is usually contained and put away for easy access when we need it. We have a designated shelf for all of the fish stuff (saltwater aquariums need a lot of equipment). Zip ties and velcro bands can keep cords and tubes from the aquarium from looking messy and unkempt.
Congratulations on having a pet! I hope you can use some of this advice. Let me know what’s working for you!