Puppy proofing your home is an important first step on your list of things to do before you bring a new puppy into your life. Puppies are lovable and fun to have around but until they are properly trained they can be a tad destructive. Puppies are curious by nature and they use their mouths and teeth to explore their world and new environments. They will put anything and everything into their mouths so if you leave it lying around it is fair game.
Before you bring a new puppy home you need to remove anything toxic or dangerous from wherever your puppy may be able to get at it. It helps to get down on your puppy’s level and look for hidden stuff under and behind furniture. You can be sure if you don’t find it your pup will. Here’s what you need to do.
How to Puppy Proof Your Home
Electrical cords. These are obviously dangerous to your pets so remove or hide them from your puppy’s reach. Place them behind furniture where your dog can’t reach or run them through tough PVC piping or Petcords cord protectors so your pup can’t chew them and get hurt.
Rubbish. This includes wastebaskets, trash cans, and plastic bags. Don’t leave them on the ground where your puppy can get at them. He will tear it up and spread it around everywhere and may swallow something that is dangerous. Check the kitchen, laundry, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Put all of them out of reach, up high or inside a cupboard if you can. Or make sure they have a secure lid. While you’re at it, remember to also keep the toilet seat down to deter your pup from diving in.
Furniture and decor. Check your furniture, cushions, curtains, rugs, and carpets for tassels, fringes, buttons, and threads that a puppy can pull on or potentially choke on. It may be a good idea to put away any expensive rugs and cushions until your puppy is house trained.
Breakables. Look for items on the floor or on tables that your puppy could knock over and break. Energetic puppies will bump into table legs and can easily knock items off. Put them away or out of reach for the time being.
Bookshelves. Items on low shelves of bookcases and stands will be a temptation to exploring pups. Books and magazines will be torn to shreds in no time if your pup can get at them. Move them to higher shelves or pack them away for now.
Chair and table legs. Untrained dogs will use whatever they can to chew on. If you have wooden chair and table legs they may be subject to your puppy’s teeth. If you have expensive or antique furniture you need to protect it while your puppy is young. Cover them with some cardboard or furniture protectors that will save them from being chewed.
Shoes. This will be the first thing your new puppy goes for. If you value your shoes then don’t leave them lying around. This also goes for any other items of clothing or kids toys. Make sure the whole family is on board with picking up after themselves or risk the destruction of your favorite stuff.
Plants. Make sure there are no plants at your puppy’s level that he can chew on. When outside make sure you supervise your pup and keep him away from your garden plants as well. There are some plants that are toxic to dogs so be sure to remove these from your house and garden. The ASPCA has a poisonous plants list so you should familiarise yourself with it.
Chemicals. There are many household cleaning products that are toxic to dogs. Be sure these are hidden away in a cupboard and your puppy cannot get to them.
Check escape routes. Check your deck, balcony, and fences for any small puppy size gaps that may injure your pup or allow him to escape or get stuck. Keep doors and gates closed and close off any areas of the house or yard you don’t want your puppy getting into. Stairs can be dangerous for small puppies so keep them blocked off. Keep cupboard doors closed as well.
Check your gardens and yard for dangerous items like chemicals, sharp objects, hoses, and other garden tools. Lock it all away in a shed or cupboard so your pup cannot get hurt.
If you can’t block off access to certain areas you can use a motion-activated pet-friendly deterrent spray to keep your puppy away from these no-go areas.
Don’t punish your puppy for chewing. It’s what they do and how they interact with the world. Give him an alternative instead. Make sure your puppy has his own space and his own toys where he can play and explore without danger.
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