Getting a new puppy is fun and exciting but can be a lot of work! Not only do new puppies require lots of training and attention, but you’ve got prep your home as well. Since puppies are energetic and curious, they can get into places they shouldn’t. Making sure your house or apartment is ready for a puppy is the first step in preparing for a new pet. Learn how to puppy-proof your home, indoors and out.
Puppy proofing basics
1. Keep electrical cords and wires out of your dog’s reach
Puppies love chewing on things, especially if they are teething. Electrical cords and wires are a hazard for puppies and can burn or shock their mouths. Keep cords out of sight or use cord concealers to keep your new dog out of harm’s way.
2. Keep cleaning supplies, medications, and other substances out of reach
Store your medications, laundry soaps, detergents, and cleaning products high up or in a cabinet that your dog can’t get in to. Puppies are curious; their accidentally ingesting cold medicine, dish soap, or some other substance can lead to an unwanted trip to the vet. In some cases, it can even lead to a medical emergency.
3. Find a secure spot for expensive leather coats, handbags, and shoes
Your favorite pair of loafers can become your puppy’s newest chew toy if you aren’t careful. Store your shoes and bags in a closet or a cabinet with doors that close. If you are used to keeping your footwear and other items out in the open, practice storing them out of reach for a week or two before you adopt your dog to establish the habit. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Keeping your dog occupied with chew toys or bully sticks can keep them from ruining your favorite shoes.
4. Keep your dog in areas where the floors are easy to clean
New puppies make lots of accidents on the floor and can stain rugs and carpets. Wood, tile, and linoleum are easier to clean and won’t pick up as many smells. Doggy gates or simply keeping doors closed will prevent your dog from venturing into unwanted areas.
5. Keep small and sharp objects away from your puppy
Small objects such as keys, earrings, and toys can be a choking hazard for your dog; they can also mean a trip to the vet if you aren’t careful. Keep items like these in drawers or away from low places your dog can reach.
Puppy proofing your kitchen
6. Get childproof latches on low cabinets and drawers
Kitchens are home to all kinds of smells, and your puppy may want to investigate. Make sure they can’t get into any cabinets or pantries and eat the foods they shouldn’t eat. Many people foods such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, and grapes are toxic for your dog!
7. Make sure your garbage can has a lockable lid or can be stored in a pantry
Curious puppies can make a mess of your trash and eat things they shouldn’t from it if they have access to it. Ensure that your garbage can can’t be broken into or knocked over.
8. Secure any fragile glasses or dishes
A high-energy puppy might bump into a dish cabinet or drying rack and send your favorite mug flying. Keep dishes away from edges and use furniture anchors to keep any shelves from falling over and injuring your pet.
Puppy proofing the bathroom
9. Hide toothpaste and mouthwash
Many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes contain xylitol, a sugar substitute that is toxic for dogs. Store them in your bathroom cabinets or drawers to prevent ingestion.
10. Keep toilet lids closed at all times
You don’t want your dog drinking out of the toilet, especially if they like to give you kisses! Close the toilet lid after you use it to prevent your dog from drinking dirty water, ingesting cleaning chemicals, or drowning.
11. Don’t leave a full bathtub unattended
Bathtubs filled with water can be a drowning hazard, especially for smaller dogs. If you are filling up your tub, keep the door closed or monitor your dog to prevent them from getting in.
Puppy proofing your backyard or garden
12. Have a fence installed to prevent your dog from running away
Fencing off your yard keeps your dog safe and out of harm’s way. Runaway puppies might try to cross busy streets, get lost, or run into wild animals.
13. Block off fire pits and barbeques
Fire pits, grills, and other things can pose the risk of burning a dog that gets too close – especially if they have long hair.
14. Keep pools and hot tubs covered or fenced off
Not all dogs know how to swim, and unattended puppies can drown if they are stuck in a pool or hot tub. For your pet’s safety, keep them covered when they are not in use.