How to Puppy Proof Your Home
Puppies, like their human counterparts (aka babies), aren’t not aware of the dangers around them. Because of that, those with a puppy in the house should take a few precautions to keep those adorable little balls of waddling fur safe.
So whether you’re looking to get a new puppy or have recently bought one home only to realize your house might not be the best place for what amounts to an infant on four legs, the following tips will help get your home ready for all that cute romping around and wrestling with the family:
In the House:
Hide your tobacco and nicotine products. This includes everything from cigarettes and chew to vape juice and smoking-cessation items. These products can cause serious health issues or death if a puppy gets into them.
Throw away all cooked bones. It might feel like you’re giving your dog a treat when there is some meat left on some ribs, but cooked bones break and shatter easily, leaving your puppy with a tasty-looking sharp -and dangerous- item to swallow. Likewise, NEVER give your dog chicken bones whether cooked or not.
Use a baby gate around stairs. Your new puppy doesn’t have much coordination, yet, and a stairwell can prove very dangerous.
Close doors and easy-to-reach windows. Likewise, make sure the screens on your doors and windows are fastened correctly. Puppies like to explore their surroundings and if given the chance will be able to make an escape or take a long fall if you’re not paying attention.
Use caution when closing doors behind you. A puppy is just learning to love its new family, but the family is also learning the puppy’s habits. It will often follow whoever is moving about the house, which will mean it can easily get caught in a closing door if someone moving from room to room isn’t paying attention.
Keep your floors free of small objects. With a puppy in the house, you’re going to have to rethink your carefree, throw-anything-anywhere lifestyle since they are so prone to just gobbling up anything they find in their path. Make sure items small enough to be eaten by your puppy have a proper place and that all discarded items actually make their way into the trash.
Put your dirty (and clean) laundry where it belongs. Like small objects, articles of clothing will also find their way into your baby dog’s chompers. Get laundry hampers if you don’t already have any, and make sure your clean clothes get put away in their proper place.
Clean up loose electrical and tech wiring. Electrical cords are yet another item puppies seem to find irresistibly intriguing. Start using wire ties and keep all wiring out of site so your puppy doesn’t get electrocuted and wind up with burns, shocks, or worse.
Research toxic indoor plants (and remove them from your puppy’s line of bite). A quick Google search on “what plants are poisonous to dogs” will yield a variety of results that will help you determine what is, and is not, safe for your puppy to be around. For those that do pose a risk, put them in areas your dog can’t reach.
Keep your pup away from toilets, bathtubs and sinks, especially if they’re full. These home amenities are a drowning risk.
Block your railing. Whether your railing is overlooking an interior part of your home or you live in an apartment and the rails offer a view outside, falls from unguarded rails can be disastrous should a puppy find its way between the bars. Use cardboard, wood planks, or anything else your dog will have a hard time seeing through since it’s usually moving objects or people that lure them out.
Block off your pool. Use fencing of some kind to keep your dog away from the pool as these otherwise-fun swimming spots will be fatal to a puppy who doesn’t know its way back out of the water yet. At the very least, cover your pool with something that will withstand the weight of the dog.
Keep all trash receptacles out of reach. Bathrooms, kitchens, and workspaces often have trash bins that aren’t all that well protected. However you can, make sure the trash gets out of reach of your pet. This might mean using a smaller container and storing it in cabinets or, in the case of bathrooms, use a shelf to keep the trash in a higher area that your pup can’t get to.
Be careful of furniture that moves. Lay-Z-Boy chairs, rocking chairs, reclining seating, and anything that rolls can prove especially risky for a puppy who doesn’t know better. Always check where she might be before you close a recliner or otherwise rock or move your chair.
For more information about keeping your pet safe, please read our additional articles covering a variety of topics.