How To Overcome The Chaos Of A New Puppy & Stay Organized | Pet Tips

Happy Wednesday, Loves! When we first took Echko home from the breeder, I struggled so much with keeping his life organized. I used to get a little stressed out about so many basic tasks (like car rides and potty training) because I'd often forget things or get overwhelmed in the chaos that follows adopting a new puppy. After having Echko for about a month, I have so many tips to share with you of how I've overcomed the chaos and kept Echko's life organized!


Disclaimer: Obviously I'm not a Professional Organizer. These are just tips that helped me organize Echko's life and make it signifiantly easier to take care of him. I acknowledge that every dog and owner are different. Different households also have different lifestyles that may or may not accommodate some of these suggestions. Nevertheless, many of these tips and suggestions can be adapted in one way or another to help you get more organized with your furry friend. Also, links are NOT affiliate links and I will not receive compensation if you make a purchase. I just thought I'd put a link just in case you were interested in purchasing some of these products for pup

CREATE ROUTINE
I cannot begin to express how much this has helped me in organizing Echko's life. With routines, Echko knows what to expect during different times of the day and it makes it a lot easier to keep him under control. We have a full day routine (with plenty of room for flexibility) and little routines for daily tasks throughout the day. I may make a blog post about all of our routines in the future if any of you are interested! Let me know in the comments below!

HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE FOR HIS THINGS
Within the first week of bringing him home, I realized how cluttered my room began to get trying to fit all of his stuff in my already crowded room full of my stuff. Because of this, It was making it extremely difficult for me to find things I needed to take care of him. To combat this, I decided to create special places for all of his things.

DOG SHELF
I invested in a cheap vertical organizer shelf from Walmart and placed it on top of a LACK Side Table from IKEA so that he cannot get into the stuff in the shelf. Each shelf is organized into specific categories which help me know exactly where everything is at all times. Since I work from home and spend almost all of my time (that isn't with Echko) at my desk, I thought it was almost perfect to put it right besides my desk. That way, while Echko is free-roaming through my room as I work, if he needs anything, I can get it for him almost immediately without having to leave my chair.

As I said earlier, almost all of his stuff has a special place on this shelf (other than his treats, his food, his toys, his leash and his poop bags--which I will explain their places later).

The very top of the shelf sits a blue storage box. Inside of that box is his "outting" essentials. I keep all of the things I need when taking him on car rides or trips inside this box. I will go into more detail of this box later in the post.

The top shelf is filled with all of his hygiene stuff. In the orange storage box is his comb, tooth brushes, tooth paste, nail clippers, and poop bag refills. Besides the orange storage box is ear wipes and deodorizing wipes. Behind all of that I have a paw cleaning tube and some dental sticks (that he can't use yet until he's 6 months--so I just keep them there for storage).

In the middle shelf I have general cleaning products. I keep my hand vacuum and some Lysol wipes in that shelf. My bottle of Nature's Miracle Odor/Stain Spray and some Paper Towels are also in there from time to time, depending on whether I have them in the shelf or in his Travel Box.

At the bottom shelf, I just keep a whole bunch of Pampers Baby Wipes. I only really use these if he has an accident on the hardwood floor or if I need to quickly wipe my hands clean from his slobber. I never put these in contact with his skin or fur. My power bar for my desk is also in that shelf to help keep it off the floor and keep my desk area puppy-proof.

TREATS
I keep all of his treats on a very high shelf above his crate, near the door. I chose this to be the best place to put them because no matter how large he grows, he will never be able to access these unless I give him a treat for doing something good.

FOOD
I keep his food in an air-tight container in the basement. When we first brought him home, I used to keep the container in the kitchen, but it quickly flooded my kitchen with a strong scent of dog food. So instead, I keep his dog food in the basement. While this may seem kind of tedious to some people, especially since he gets fed in the dining room, I kind of like this placement. It shows Echko he has to work for his food. When it is meal times, I grab his bowl and we both travel to the basement together. While I prepare his food in his bowl, I make him sit and wait. When the food is prepared, we both make our way upstairs to the dining room together and he has to sit, once again, before being given his food.

TOYS
All of his toys are placed inside of a square storage box (similar to the one I use for his Outting Box). Honestly, I just kind of throw them inside of there and when its play time, he can just pick the toys he wants. To prevent my room from becoming a junkyard of toys, I only allow Echko to have three toys out at a time. If he decides he wants another toy, I put all the other toys back into the box. He doesn't seem to mind it and it definitely helps prevent him from being territorial over his stuff. At the end of the night, all of the toys go back into the box and only one toy is allowed in the crate with him at bed time (usually his favourite squeaky fox stuffy).



POTTY TIME ESSENTIALS
I take Echko out for Potty once every two hours. Because of this, I am always in constant need of his leash, poop bags, paw wipes, and a place to dispose of his filled poop bags. When we first brought him home, this routine was a mess. I always struggled remembering where I put the leash, sometimes I'd forget to bring a poop bag out and I'd have to run all the way back upstairs to get one, and disposing of his poop bags in my kitchen garbage created an awful odor. So, I decided it was finally time to get organized!


I purchased this waste bag dispenser from PetSmart and hung it right beside the backdoor where I typically take Echko out to do his "business". I also hang his leash behind it after every use so that it is easy to find and reminds me to grab a bag before taking him out.

As for disposal of these bags, my dad made a DIY disposal box for us.


Our biggest concern with having an outdoor disposal was having raccoons and squirrels getting into it. We live right by the Ajax Lakefront, so we have a lot of wildlife roaming in and out of our property. My dad took an old storage crate and cut slits at the top, so I'd have a place to dispose of the bags. The slits look kind of sharp, but I've never cut myself and if you push down at a certain angle, the bag just kind of falls in. He punctured holes at the top and bottom, to ensure proper drainage during rainy or snowy seasons. And he zip-tied the container shut to prevent any critters from trying to open the box. He also used zip-ties to secure it to our porch so that the wind wouldn't blow it away and cause bigger messes. The night before garbage day, he just cut off the zip-tie on the side not secured to the porch and shovels out all of the bags into a giant garbage bag. No more indoor smell; No critters getting into it throughout the week; No more running to the garage trying to dispose of gross poop bags while trying to control my curious dog; and surprisingly no poop odor outside. Since we leave the box outside, the fresh air deodorizes the gross poop smell.

HAVE SPECIFIC SPOTS FOR DOING THINGS

I also have tried to embed in him that everything has a special place for him to do those things. By doing this, he knows my expectations of how to act during certain situations. I like to choose these spots based on what is most convenient. Typically these are spots I already do similar things at.

SLEEP
All of his sleeping happens in my bedroom. Whether it is bedtime or little naps throughout the day, it all happens in my bedroom. At night, he can ONLY sleep in the crate. I don't allow him to sleep in my bed, in the dog bed or on the floor. This is more-so for his safety and the safety for my things. When I'm sleeping at night, I can't keep a close eye on him, so he may get into wires accidentally or climb one of my desks and eat something toxic. At least during the day, if he does those things, I can immediately stop him. During the day, though, I allow him to choose where he wants to nap, as long as it is in my bedroom. He can sleep in his crate, on my bed (but only at the end of the bed), on the floor, in his giant dog bed, or on his crate mat located next to my desk. The choice is his, as long as he's in the room. I typically block off the doorways using baby gates, so he can't leave the room to nap elsewhere in the house. My room is the most convenient because its where I do all of my work. While he naps and sleeps, I'm working on blog posts, designing, or replying to e-mails.


EATING
I've also embedded in him that eating and drinking is only allowed in the dining room. The only exception to that is treats (which is usually give him in my bedroom during training sessions). I never feed him or give him water upstairs or in other rooms. This is just the most convenient because I'm typically eating at the dinner table anyways. So while he's eating, I can eat too while not having to worry about him roaming the house and getting himself into trouble

CREATE A REMINDER WHITEBOARD
I prefer to keep all of Echko's reminders on a whiteboard instead of in my planner because I will be forced to never forget since it is in plain sight 24/7.


I purchased this teal whiteboard from Target many years ago (so there probably won't be a link). I created these little cardboard reminders and taped them to the whiteboard and next to each one I write reminders or special dates. Obviously your reminders could be anything. I just chose "Vet", "Meds", and "Class" because I often forget appointments, I'd like to keep on track with his flee and tick medication, and he is starting obedience classes very soon. You always could use other topics like "Doggy Daycare" or "Playdates", etc.

I keep this whiteboard above his crate so I am reminded everyday. I fell in love with this because the colours match so perfectly with my bedroom. I also liked how this whiteboard was hung on the wall through screws instead of wall-tape, so I can remove the whiteboard at anytime to make writing easier. I decorated it, even more, by surrounding it with Polaroid photos of Echko.

CREATE AN OUTTING BOX/BAG

It is one of the biggest stresses to realize you left home with your dog and forgot something you now desperately need. Because of that, I decided to create an outting box for Echko. Most of the stuff just kind of stay in this box at all times and when we're planning to go out with him, we fill it up with the last couple of things and leave.


Inside Echko's Outting Box:

  • Blanket
  • Toy
  • Dog Shoes
  • Harness
  • Poop Bags
  • Pet Wipes
  • Emergency Food (1/2 Cup)
  • Water Bottle
  • Collapsible Bowl
  • Nature's Miracle Odor/Stain Spray
  • Paper Towel Roll

KEEP ALL DOCUMENTATION TOGETHER & UP-TO-DATE
I like to keep all of his documentation and important paperwork together in folders. This way, if I need to refer back to them in the future, I know exactly where it find it all. I have organized it all into three folders: Receipts, Contracts, and Information. I also try to keep his Health & ID passport up to date.

Receipts
In this folder I keep everything pertaining to payments and confirmations. I keep copies of his vet bills, vaccination certificates, microchip confirmation, pet license receipt, and his pet insurance confirmations.

Contracts
In this folder I keep all of my contracts. Adoption/Pet Agreement contract from the breeder and the Animal Hospital Contract are both located in this folder.

Infromation
In the last folder, I keep all information related material. Throughout the last month, we have received several sources of information from our breeder, pet stores, and our vet. I have put together all of the pamphlets, handouts and booklets for safe keeping just in case we need to refer to them in the future. Typically, the information inside includes pet insurance options, puppy obedience classes, dog food recommendations, information on common diseases to protect your dog from, local pet boarding hotels, local dog grooming salons, and so much more.

Health & ID Passport
Inside of this booklet I try to keep all of his personal information as up to date as possible. It includes general dog health information, allergy alerts, owner contact information, veterinary clinic contact information, emergency clinic contact information, vaccination history, heartworm prevention history and parasite prevention/treatment history. This is a very important piece of documentation to have for every dog. If you are traveling with your dog, for example, you can give this booklet to the local clinic (if he/she needs treatment) and they will know how to treat your furry friend and which clinic to contact to forward the treatment information to.


Here are some of my tips in organizing your puppy's life! What are some tips you would suggest? I'd love to learn some new ones from you!

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