So you are now the proud owner of a new puppy or soon to be. Congratulations. Your home will be enriched with love, fun and lots and lots of dog hair. Part of the fun will be preparing your home to provide a safe environment for your new wee furbuddy. How to puppy-proof a home is having a good look around your home and garden and taking note of anything that has the capacity to be a risk to the puppy and removing the risk.
Protecting furniture, shoes or other valuable items you would prefer the pup not to chew will save money and irritation in the long run. Puppies are very inquisitive and playful, they see everything as a toy to be played with or chewed. Mac was 2 when we brought him into our family, thankfully he was past the chewing stage but having a dog in our home for the first time was a learning curve, to say the least. There are some things to be mindful of helping you and your puppy have a long and happy relationship.
View your home from the floor
Get down to the level of the puppy! The best way to puppy proof your home is to get down onto the floor in every room of the house and look for potential hazards. This may feel silly but it will give a good insight into how the pup will see and react to things around the home. Your puppy will want to explore the new surroundings and like a toddler has no concept of danger. Any cables or wires that are visible to you will be visible to the puppy, puppies love to chew and will chew anything. Anything within reach, whether floor level or higher is fair game to a pup. Cover plug sockets, tie up blind cords, and check if any plants in the home are poisonous to dogs. Consider everything in every room and garden to be a potential hazard.
The kitchen will have many smells and tastes that will attract an inquisitive pup. A pup will find a way to get into cupboards and drawers to explore chew and eat everything in sight. Invest in childproof locks to prevent the pup from exploring and bringing harm. Ensure the locks are effective, some pups will find a way if there is a will! The kitchen has many items dangerous to a pup, a pup will eat and drink anything it finds. Cleaning products and some foods could be fatal. The kitchen bin is a very attractive item to a pup, the pup will want to investigate the scents coming from the bin, keep it locked or outside if you can. A safety gate preventing the pup from gaining access to the kitchen is advisable, helps avoid any harm or costly trips to the vet.
The bathroom also is a hazardous area for a pup. Keep the door closed at all times. Ensure the toilet seat is down, especially when the pup is small. A pup can drown in a toilet bowl. Childproof locks should be used in the bathroom as well. Everyone in the household should be mindful of leaving items such as razors, lotions, and cotton wool within the pups’ reach. Pup should not have access to the bathroom on its own.
An enclosed garden is the ideal scenario for an inquisitive pup. Ensure the pup cannot have access alone to the garden especially if it is not enclosed. A pup like a toddler has no sense of danger and could easily wander away. Ensure there is nothing hazardous in the garden the pup will chew on, like poisonous plants or machinery. Consider building a secure run to give the pup a safe outdoor space.
Safe indoor space
Choose wisely where the pup will have its own space, and remember the puppy pads for the floor, especially in the early days! Choose an area in your home that will include the pup but will also provide a calm and quiet environment. The pup should see this as a place to sleep, feel safe, relax, and play with toys. Having its own space will help the pup feel secure and settle into the new home. A crate is useful if the pup cannot be supervised at all times throughout the day.
- Use safety gates throughout the house
- Remove or cover wires and cables
- Childproof locks on drawer and cupboards
- Remove any small choking hazards
- Keep food and waste out of sight and reach
- Supervise your pup at all times when awake
- Ensure houseplants are out of reach or removed
- Provide various chew toys appropriate to age and development
A lot of time and patience is required when training a pup. It is important owners have the basic skills required. It is advisable to seek professional advice or attend puppy training classes for some guidance.
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Be prepared for mishaps
There will no doubt be some items within the household the pup will chew and destroy! Being prepared should hopefully keep the destruction to a minimum, but there will be some items the pup will get his teeth into. Hopefully nothing expensive or of sentimental value!
If the pup has a taste for chewing skirting boards or the like there are bitter-tasting sprays available to buy or you can make your own. In a spray bottle mix two parts apple cider vinegar with one part regular white vinegar. Shake the bottle well and spray onto the pups favourite areas to chew.
Don’t forget to have a vet identified before bringing your pup home. Your vet will also have lots of good advice on how to puppy proof your home and care for your new addition.
Puppy carrier, collar, leash, bed, food bowl, and seat belt should be in place before the puppy living in your home. All these factors in place should provide a safe environment for the new addition to the family. Congratulations on being the proud owner of a little bundle of fur that will bring chaos, destruction, and endless love. There’s no other love like it.
I hope this article has been helpful, and you and your pup are best friends for life. Please feel free to leave a comment or even better a photo of your new adorable pup.