It may not look like it now, but your home might be a safety hazard for that new puppy you’re bringing in. Puppy care means a lot more than feeding and grooming; it also means providing security for them and keeping them safe. Puppies tend to get into all sorts of mischief and trouble; turn away for a second and boom!—something has been broken, spilled, or turned over, and the worst part is that these broken/spilled/turned over things could prove dangerous for your pooch. This, among other reasons, is why puppy-proofing your home could be number one in your puppy care to-do list.
Puppy-proofing your home means making it a more comfortable and risk-free environment for your puppy. It also means you get to save all of your valuable household items from being destroyed by your curious furry friend. Sounds like a win-win, yes?
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
10 Tips To Puppy Proof Your Home
- Keep trash cans out of sight and reach
Puppies can be very observant. It’s only a matter of time before they notice the trash can is the place where all the leftovers and scraps end up. You guessed right—that will become their go-to place when they want a quick snack or chew toy. If this is allowed, there might be consequences for your home and pup. The trash could end up scattered about, leaving your house a mess, and your pooch may be at risk of eating something potentially dangerous.
To combat this, keep your trash can out of reach and sight. You can achieve this by keeping the bin behind closed doors to block access or put the can in elevated areas your pooch can’t reach. In addition to this, you can also get puppy proof bins. These bins have covers that won’t be easy for your pup to just lift up.
- Hide away electrical cords
We all know puppies like to chew on more than just trash, and electrical cables and wires definitely make the list. This can prove dangerous, especially when these wires are connected to a power source and switched on. Your pup chewing on electrical cables can lead to a multitude of serious accidents like mouth burns, electrical shock and even death by electrocution.
To avoid such scenarios, tie up loose cords, hide the wires behind furniture or consider running them around doorways. Buy cable management boxes to store electric cables and PVC pipes to run them through. You can also spray unpleasant puppy-proof deterrents like cayenne pepper and citrus on your cables to keep your pooch away. There’s also the option of clipping cables to the wall and out of reach from your pup.
- Block the stairs
If you live in a house with stairs, you should be aware that they pose a safety risk to your dog. It’s very easy for a puppy to be curious about how to get up and down stairs, and it’s important to note how dangerous stairs can be. Many accidents occur on staircases. Puppies could slip and fall down a staircase and that never brings about favourable results.
If you don’t want to limit your pup’s movement away from the stairs, you should consider installing a ramp, because while ramps may have been designed to help dogs get in and out of cars, they work well as an aid for stair climbing. If you don’t mind limiting your pooch’s movement a bit, install a puppy gate at the bottom of the stairs, at the top, or both. This will prevent access to the stairs, ultimately keeping your puppy safe.
- Keep medications in far-to-reach places
You must absolutely strive to be vigilant about where you keep medications. And yes, this also includes the ones in bottles; remember, puppies like to chew on everything! This is because human prescriptions can be dangerous for your puppy.
Make sure to dispose of your medicine properly, preferably in that puppy proof trash can we discussed earlier. Don’t just drop them anywhere; your puppy is definitely going to try to find out what it is. Make sure to always store them in elevated areas of your home, like on high shelves. Also keep them behind closed doors like cabinets. In addition to this, make sure you store your pup’s medications separately from human prescriptions. This will avoid any absent-minded accidents on your part whenever it’s time to administer your pup’s medicine.
- Fence your yard
If you live in a community with an open yard, it might be time to consider fencing it. Puppies are energetic and love to explore; if you give them an open yard to roam around, there’s no telling how far they can go. Erect walls high enough to block access to the outside world for your pup. Apply puppy-proof repellents like vinegar along areas of your yard to keep your pooch from exploring those areas. If you happen to already have a fenced yard, make sure to check for any weak spots and fix them.
- Remove toxic plants
Filcher once said, “Be sure to treat your pet as a child that you do not want to encounter a potential toxin.”
To elaborate more on that, if you’re a keeper of houseplants, it’s important to keep them far away from your pooch. This is because lots of plants can be poisonous to your pup when ingested. Research the kind of plant you have living in your space. Is it toxic to your pet? If so, some might consider just removing the plant from the space.
However, if you can’t do away with the plants, you can place them behind rooms with closed doors or in elevated areas of your home. In addition, you can also spray them with deterrents that are both puppy-proof and plant-safe like diluted lemon juice just to be extra cautious.
- Keep your toilet lids closed
It’s only a matter of time before your puppy starts to notice the odd contraption you tend to sit on at odd hours every day. To keep your puppy safe from falling in when they inevitably investigate your toilet seat, always keep the lid closed. In case your pup is the type that likes to think of solutions to get what they want, you should also invest in a toilet lock. This will further prevent them from accessing the toilet bowl when they figure out how to lift the lid.
For further protection, make sure to always close the bathroom door behind you so that your pup can’t even get access to the room.
- Decorate your home with puppy proof items
Simple household items can prove dangerous for your puppy. Things like low-hanging curtains have to be second-guessed because they’re the perfect target for a playful puppy. Other objects like vases and plates are fragile and can cause your puppy to be in serious harm.
To keep your pup safe, invest in short curtains that your puppy can’t reach and play with. Keep all breakable objects in far, out-of-reach places or behind closed doors. Don’t get couches or pillows that shed stuffing as it can be a choking hazard once ingested. Continue to be vigilant about the decorations you want in your puppy-safe zone.
- Designate a puppy area
When a puppy isn’t too busy wreaking havoc, they’re most likely resting or trying to catch a break. Familiarising them with an area to rest is a smart thing to do, especially when you make sure that area is puppy-proof. Grab a section of the house without hazardous things like wires and arrange that spot for them by securing a high enough puppy gate so they can’t escape out of this area. This way, you know your puppy is safe whenever they’re taking a break.
- Cover up your pool
Some will say dogs are natural swimmers but that isn’t true for all dogs, especially young puppies. They’re still growing and developing their strength so keeping them away from pools is a sure-fire way to avoid any drowning accidents.
If you own a pool in your home, put a high enough fence around it so your pup can’t go exploring around it. Also invest in protective coverings that your dog can access without falling in to further puppy proof your home. Remember to avoid floating pool covers as they can end up being a safety hazard for your pooch. You can also install an alarm around the pool gate to alert you whenever your security measure has been breached.
Equipment you may need to protect your puppy
Now let’s get into the equipment that will make puppy care and puppy proofing your home easier.
- Puppy-proof trash bins
These are trash cans that make it hard to access the garbage. This includes bins that are much taller than your pup or bins that have covers. Buying bins that can’t be toppled over easily will also be a good investment.
- Puppy gate
Remember: puppy care can’t happen without vigilance on your part. Puppy gates are a great way to restrict your pup’s movements when you can’t monitor them 24/7. Make sure to buy a sturdy gate that is high enough to stop your pup from getting out.
- Closed-door cabinets
Cabinets with closed doors can be used to store and keep all your valuable household items out of sight from your pup. These cabinets will also work to block access to said items, keeping both your pup and your valuables safe from accidents.
- Puppy-proof carpets
Invest in a stain-resistant carpet so that the stains your pup leaves behind won’t pose a bigger problem in the long run. Use carpeting or rugs that match the shade of your dog’s fur to help hide excessive shedding. Also make sure to buy carpets meant for outdoors. This is because they tend to be more durable and easier to clean.
- Puppy deterrents
We’ve mentioned some safe household deterrents in the course of this article like cayenne pepper, vinegar and citrus. But also keep in mind that there are dog sprays on the market that have been specially manufactured to keep your pup away from places and objects you don’t want them getting near.
Your pup deserves to live in a safe environment.
We understand puppy care can be daunting and that’s why Dulham Veterinary Services is here. Reach out to us for all your pet care concerns today! From doling out puppy care tips to providing top-tier services like grooming and pet boarding, we have a little something for everyone.