A new puppy in the house is a joyous occasion—you’re beginning your life as a responsible pet parent. That’s why you want to make sure that everything is perfect for his arrival. Much like a curious toddler, a puppy will want to explore, touch and eat any interesting item you have lying around. Here are eight things you should do to puppy proof your home.
See things from your puppy’s level.
When you get down on your hands and knees, you have a puppy’s eye view of everything he has access to. Look around to see what’s on the floor that can be chewed or eaten. Is he able to jump up on furniture to get at items? How about access to electrical cords? If you can get to it on all fours, that means he can too. Pick it up, move it out of the way or get rid of it.
Plug up your plugs.
Even something as ordinary as a wall outlet can be exciting and tempting for your puppy to investigate. To protect him against electric shock, plug up those unused plugs, make sure there are no frayed electrical cords and unplug all small appliances when you’re not using them.
Keep poisons out of reach.
Just like you would with a child, keep poisons and cleaning supplies in a safe and high cabinet. This includes laundry detergent and chemical cleaners; these products need to be secured in a cabinet with a latch so curious puppies can’t sneak a taste.
Create a small puppy-safe area.
For your peace of mind and for the wellbeing of your puppy, this safe area will help your new addition feel comfortable in his surroundings and keep him away from potential dangers. Close doors to rooms that are off limits, put up baby gates at stairwells and shut windows and doors that your puppy could squeeze out of to get outside.
Poisonous plants inside or outside of your home.
Popular plants that are poisonous to dogs include Aloe Vera, Chrysanthemums, Rhodedendrons, Baby’s Breath, Begonia, Carnations and Daffodils. During the holidays, forgo toxic plants such as Amaryllis and Poinsettias. If you can’t do without them, keep them at a level where your puppy can’t get to them.
Securely store trashcans.
It may not smell good to you, but to your puppy, it smells like a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet! When properly motivated, that small puppy will knock down the biggest of garbage cans. That means you’ll have a huge mess and your puppy may eat something to make him sick. Keep garbage in the garage or in a cabinet that has a child proof latch on it.
Is your fence puppy-proofed?
Check your fenced-in yard to see if there are any weak spots in it. Can he squeeze out of the gate or dig his way underneath it? You’d be surprised how little room a puppy needs to make his escape.
Outdoor supplies need to be locked up, even if they are in the garage.
Antifreeze can be fatal, so clean up spills (use clay based litter or hose the area down thoroughly) and lock up bottles. Garden fertilizers are dangerous to dogs too, so put them somewhere your puppy won’t be able to get at them. And when you’re leaving the garage, ensure that the door closes behind you so your puppy doesn’t follow you out.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.