Congratulations on your decision for getting a new family member, I am sure you will have a lot of fun-filled moments. Now that you have e decided to be a pet parent, there are few things to keep in mind before getting your puppy home, and one of them is to puppy proof your house. So, this article will help you understand how to puppy proof your house.
I realized the importance of puppy-proofing the house when I got my first dog. I learned a lot from my mistakes, but I don’t want you to make any because some errors can have devastating effects.
So, let’s have a look at them one at a time:
1. Put on the puppy glasses:
The quest to answer how to puppy proof your house begins with exploring your home with a puppy’s point of view. It might sound silly, and people around you might think you have gone nuts, but trust me, it’s one of the essential steps in puppy-proofing your house.
Leveling your line of sight as per your puppy will help you find a lot of new possibilities to puppy proof your house which you could have missed otherwise.
Looking from a puppy’s eye will help you identify things like hanging wires, small loose pieces of toys somewhere below your bed, etc. which your puppy can easily access and put itself in trouble.
It will not only help you avoid things getting chewed up by the little monster but can also eliminate the possibilities of severe accidents like being electrocuted by chewing a live wire or chocking up on swallowing something.
2. Safeguard all the electrical cables:
Even though I have mentioned it above, but I felt the need to include this in a separate topic because of its severity.
It’s important to understand that puppies are curious creatures, and they like to explore everything, and this act of exploration can easily put your furry friend into trouble.
Puppies want to explore everything with their mouth, and this requires proper care when left alone, especially when they are around live electrical cords because they might think it’s some chew toy, the consequences of which can be life-threatening.
So it’s crucial to organize and protect electrical cords from your puppy safely. You can buy a cord protector or safely hide the wires behind the furniture or take those loose hanging cords and tie it up to a height where your pup cannot reach.
3. Restricting entry to unsafe places:
While thinking about how to puppy proof your house don’t forget to find those places in your home which can be dangerous to your new furry friend.
Places like a storeroom, staircase, etc. can posses some risk to your puppy if you are not around them while they are exploring these places.
An excellent way to restrict their access to these places can be through playpen or gates that you can quickly put at various places like exits or in those places where you feel your pup might land itself into trouble.
4. Safeguard your backyard:
The checklist on how to puppy proof your house can never be complete without talking about safeguarding your backyard if you have one!
For all of us who have a backyard knows how things can go messy if it is left unmanaged. Pieces of rusty nails and bottles of poisonous insecticides and chemicals are some familiar sights of a backyard along with some tools which can be quite dangerous if not kept properly, make sure to organize them and store them correctly.
Also, there are quite a good number of species of wild plants that can be poisonous for your dogs, which can grow without any effort of yours.
Your dog has got Houdini instincts that flare up at any time, especially when you are not around, and these instincts can easily land you and your pooch into trouble. So, it’s important to fence your backyard and inspect it for any tiny escape routes that your dog is sure to find.
These precautions will also be helpful once your dog grows up, especially if it’s a male dog because male dogs become very creative in finding escape routed in search of females for mating purposes.
5. Store all the medications in a safe place:
Medicines used to treat illness can become a cause of some serious health hazards and can even cause death. Even though human drugs are different from canine medication, but it is essential to keep both of them in a safe place, which is not accessible to your dog as your dog might mistake it for a treat, and this can land him into the emergency ward.
Make sure to properly organize both yours and your dog’s medications in a safe place.
6. Store your garbage properly:
It’s very easy to neglect your garbage bin while thinking about how to puppy proof your house. There is something about the smell of a garbage bin that attracts dogs towards it and can lead to some serious issues because this is the place where we throw our wastes and old spoiled food.
Your puppy can ingest this harmful waste and fall sick, so it’s important to safely and securely cover your garbage bin to prevent your pup from having any access to it.
7. Human foods can be poisonous to dogs:
Human foods can be toxic to them, things like chocolates, grapes, raisins, baked items, etc. can be dangerous to dogs and should be avoided at any cost.
Dogs are good at sniffing out things, and finding food is just a sniff away, so make sure to safely store both human as well as dog food in a place that your furry friend can’t access without your permission. This way, you can ensure the safety of your dog and ensure what goes in his tummy as overeating dog food can also cause some serious trouble.
There are various dog food storage containers that you can buy online save yourself from all the hassles.
8. Plants can also be dangerous:
If you are someone who is a plant lover and likes keeping exotic plants, then I would strongly suggest you find out the types of plants in your garden and check if it’s dog friendly.
Dogs are curious creatures and like to explore the world with their mouth, and so, for this reason, it’s imperative to take all the necessary steps required to safeguard the environment your dog stays in. Examples of most common poisonous plants for dogs include Aloe vera, Tomato plant, Daffodil, etc.
So, make sure to do proper research on the plants you currently have and find out if it’s safe for your furry friend.
9. Puppy proof your furniture:
Dogs tend to shed especially those with long coats like Golden retriever. These doggy hairs tend to get stuck all over the couch and pillow covers, and other surfaces. Getting protection for your sofa and other furniture will not only save it from all the doggy hairs, but it will also come handy in any house break kind of situation.
I would suggest you practice specific rules and restrictions for your pooch right from day one, and one of them is not allowing your four-legged friend to sit on the couch or your bed.
This way, you can reduce any dominant or aggressive behavior once your puppy becomes an adult. But if you are someone who likes to cuddle your dog, then getting some covers for your furniture would make a lot of sense.
10. Have a container to throw in any small objects:
Having a container at a place that is unreachable to the dog would come handy in various situations like say, for example, you have kids, and they left pieces of Legos on the floor, which your pup might mistake for some delicious snack and choke himself.
A small container would always come handy in those situations when you find something on the floor, but you are too lazy to keep it in its proper place, in such circumstances, you can temporarily store it in the container away from the puppy to prevent any mishap.
11. Shoes make a good chew toy for dogs:
Just like the garbage bin, your puppy would love to destroy your shoes, slipper, or anything that is within his/her reach. I lost my new pair of Jordan to a pup, and since then, I have never purchased a Jordan.
It would be an intelligent decision to have your shoe rack elevated to a height that your pup can never reach. Also, make it a habit always to keep your shoes in the shoe rack and not on the ground when you are not around it to save from it from the shoe killer.
12. Puppy proofing the washroom:
Make sure always to close the toilet lids to prevent your thirty furry friend drinking water from it. Also, keep all the toiletries, especially the toilet paper roll in a safe place where your dog cannot reach and keep the drain of your bathtub unplugged to prevent any accidents.
The best way to puppy proof your washroom is to ensure that the washroom door is closed when not in use.
13. Secure the wooden edges:
If you have chairs or a wardrobe made up of wood and have sharp edges, then it is a good idea to safeguard it from your teething monster. There are various ways to puppy proof it. You can use bitter apple spray till the time your pup is properly trained, but make sure to cover it with a plastic wrap first and then use the bitter spray to avoid any stains on the wood.
14. Setup a play zone:
I should have put this first in the list for how to puppy proof your house. Setting up space in your home for your new family member will help you a lot in your pet parenting journey. You can buy playpen and put it in a place where you feel that your pup will be safe. When you first get your dog home, make sure to have space already set up for him/her with all basic needs like food, water, toys so that the pup can feel comfortable and cozy, and in this way, the adjustment period will go smoothly.
These were some tips on how to puppy proof your house, but the list doesn’t end over here as every other dog has its own personality and needs to be dealt with accordingly. What works for me may not exactly work for you, so take this guide as a reference and learn from your own experiences and make the human world a better place for all the lovely furry friends by sharing it with the ever-growing dog community.
You can also have a look at my article on What to know before getting a dog? to be completely prepared to welcome your new family member.
I hope you have a wonderful time with your new companion, and I wish you and your furry friend all the best for your new journey ahead!
I am a pet blogger at MPD. When I am not writing, I am sipping on coffee and spending my time with my family. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram.