Helpful Tips to Puppy-Proof Your House
Posted on May 28 2018
GUEST BLOGGER: Cynthia Lopez: Pet Life Today
Preparing your home for a puppy is not unlike preparing your home for an active toddler. Puppies tend to get into anything that looks tempting and, unfortunately, there are a lot of hazards in the average home that could hurt them or make them sick. The good news is that in time, your new puppy will learn what’s off-limits. In the meantime, you will need to puppy-proof your home. Check out these tips for keeping your furry little friend safe and sound.
You are not going to be able to watch your new pet every minute of the day. You will need to go shopping, take a shower, and maybe go to work. During the times that you’re not available to watch your puppy, it’s important to keep him contained. Create a safe place with washable flooring and nothing that your pup can get hold of and ingest or ruin.
You might want to use baby or dog gates to keep your puppy in the kitchen, in a large bathroom, or in another area that will be easy to clean up in case he has an accident. Another option is to crate-train your pup. Some people hesitate to get a crate for their puppies, but since dogs are den animals, they usually find it soothing to have a place that they can go to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the house. A crate can be that perfect spot.
One of the best ways to find out what might appeal to your puppy is to get on the floor at the pup’s eye level to see what catches your attention. Are there electric cords peeking out from behind the entertainment console? Make sure the dog can’t bite those, as they’ll cause a nasty shock that could even be fatal.
Is your kitchen garbage can accessible? The smells coming from a trash bin can be very tempting to a curious puppy. What about cords hanging down from blinds? Your puppy could get tangled up in any loose cords quite easily.
Look at what you keep on coffee or end tables and other low surfaces of your home. Is there a bowl of chocolates sitting out? Remember that chocolate is not only tempting but also toxic to dogs. If you live in an adults-only house, you might keep your vitamins or daily medication on a low table; you will need to put these up to keep your puppy safe from accidental poisoning.
While puppy-proofing, the primary concern is, of course, to keep your dog safe. Another important consideration is that you will want to keep your furniture and other items safe from sharp teeth and nails.
You’ll need to watch to see what your pup is attracted to. Your pet might pull the dish towels off of your stove handle or try to chew on the legs of your chairs. Some puppies will take pillows off of couches and others won’t. It really depends on what your particular puppy thinks is fun.
Once you see bad habits forming, you can do one of two things: One is to remove the tempting items. Put the dish towels on the counter and remove the couch pillows for now or keep the puppy out of the living room. The other is to make it less appealing for your puppy to chew on whatever it’s attracted to. Buy a spray like Bitter Apple (or use one of these alternatives) and spray it on the furniture legs, so they taste bad.
You might not think of dog training as a way to puppy-proof your home, but by teaching your pup what is allowed and what is not, you’ll be helping your pet to become a good doggie citizen and keeping both the dog and your property safe. There are many ways to train a puppy, so look for some books on the topic, consult with a certified trainer, or look for reputable vet advice or information.
Puppy-proof your home before you bring your new dog home for a great start to your relationship with “man’s best friend.”
Cynthia Lopez: Cynthia is the managing editor at Pet Life Today. She is a pet lover and dog mom of four chihuahuas. She's been writing about pet care and products since 2014.