Puppy proofing your home is essential when it comes to creating a safe environment for your playful pal. Just like babies, your puppy is too young to know where they should or shouldn’t go and their curiosity could land them in some trouble if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Have no fear though! By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to keep your precious pup out of dangerous situations and focus on what’s really important - spending time with your new furry family member.
Search Through the Eyes of Your Puppy
Before bringing your puppy home, take a walk around your house or apartment and look for hazards as if you were a puppy. One of the most effective methods for identifying hazards is by crawling around your floor so you are able to see what your puppy would see. If you have kids, this would be a great way for them to help prepare for the new addition to your family!
Puppies love chewing on things and to them, electrical wires seem like the perfect chew toy. Try either hiding these on a shelf your precious pup won’t be able to reach or taping them down so they aren’t as tempting. This includes putting appliances that aren’t in use out of reach. Steep steps can be dangerous for your pup, especially if they are a toy or small breed, so consider installing temporary barriers, like a baby gate, to protect from tumbles.
Keep Your Floors Clean and Garbage Hidden
Everyone drops things from time to time, whether it be a crumb of food or a scrap of paper. However, your very curious pup will be quick to pick up whatever you drop. If you are eating or cooking, be mindful of dropped food. Your puppy’s tummy reacts differently to certain foods than yours, so it’s better to not take any chances. Puppies also love getting into garbage cans. A few easy ways to prevent this include purchasing cans with locking lids or move your trash cans into a secure closet or cabinet.
Hiding Hazardous Materials
Your pup’s curiosity has no limits. They’ll poke their precious noses into any kind of bag or easy to open cabinet / drawer. Look for the following items and either remove them from areas where your puppy will be all together or secure the places they will be with child-proofing locks:
- Laundry Detergent
- Chemical Cleaners (both bathroom and kitchen)
- Medications (vitamins, supplements, other pills, etc.)
- Garage items (fertilizer, antifreeze, gasoline)
- Household Plants
Don’t Forget Outside!
Your puppy will be spending a decent amount of time outside, so it’s important that exposure to potential dangers are minimized. Train your pup to stay away from fire pits and grills, as well as wood stoves and fireplaces if you have them in your home. Pools should be fenced in and gated properly in order to avoid drowning situations. Outdoor plants can also be dangerous to your furry friend, with some examples being:
- Morning Glories
- Lily of the Valley
- Oak Trees (and their acorns)
- Bulb Plants (like daffodils)
If you’re not sure how safe your landscaping is, the ASPCA has put together a handy list regarding plants that are toxic to dogs.
It is important to remember that no matter how puppy proofed you think your home may be, your little bundle of fur will manage to get into some sort of mischief. Be patient with your pup! They don’t know the rules until they are taught, so make sure to keep a watchful eye on them until they start picking up on your training.
Are there any other ways you puppy proof your home to keep your little one safe? Share your thoughts in the comments!