DOG / new pets
How to Puppy Proof
Are you bringing home a new puppy? If so, you’re probably excited about being a new pet parent to your fur baby. Puppies are a lot like children. They're curious and explorative and don’t always know what is good for them versus what is bad. They're just eager to get out there and try everything. Parents take time to baby-proof their homes to help keep their children safe. It helps keep their child out of hazardous situations and protects them from the things in your home that only an adult knows how to use responsibly. The same is kind of true for puppies. Pet parents should take the time to puppy-proof their house before their new furry friend comes to stay.
Why Is Puppy-Proofing Your Home So Important?
Puppy-proofing your house is important because it helps protect your pup. Different things in your environment could be dangerous if a puppy got into them. Puppies like to chew, taste, and eat things they don’t realize won’t make them feel good. Whether it's something tasty they want to eat or something chewy they want to sink their teeth into, puppies haven’t yet learned what is and isn't meant for them. That knowledge comes with training and growing up. By puppy-proofing your home, you help keep your pup away from the things that could harm them, make them sick, or result in an unplanned trip to the vet.
Areas of Your Home to Puppy Proof
- Garbage - The garbage can is kind of like heaven to a puppy whose nose is leading them to the best smelling thing in your home (at least they think so). Your trash can is filled with food scraps and garbage that are unsafe for your pup to consume. Your puppy should only ever eat the food included in their regular puppy food diet and dog treats designed especially for them. It's best to keep your trash can out of sight- and out of mind. The best place for your trash is behind a cabinet, in a closet, or in a garage. If your trash can’s home is out and accessible, get a lidded or locked trash can that they can’t break open.
- Cords/Wires - Cords to electronics can look a lot like a dog toy to a puppy who doesn’t know any better. They could try to chew or pull on them, should they get the chance. This is extremely dangerous and can result in electric shock or the consumption of plastic, metal, or rubber pieces. Try blocking off areas with cords or hiding them where your pup can't get them.
- Furniture - For some reason, puppies can sometimes be experts at damaging furniture. But it isn’t their fault. They're growing, learning how to use their teeth, and still need to be taught to know better. In the meantime, there are pet deterrents you can purchase to help keep your pup away from your furniture until they’re fully trained.
- Plants - Some plants might not be harmful to your dog, but others are. Regardless, no one wants their beautiful plants damaged, even if the world's cutest puppy does it. Keep plants up and out of reach or even outside. This makes sure your pup won’t damage them or eat something they shouldn’t.
- Cleaning Supplies - Cleaning supplies are hazardous and should never be consumed by dogs. Should they be consumed, certain chemicals can threaten your dog's life. Cleaning supplies, or anything in your home that contains unsafe chemicals, need to be behind a cabinet or closed-door and remain inaccessible to your new puppy.
The list doesn’t end there. Walk around your house, get on all-fours if you have to, and try to find anything around your home you think they might try to get. Whether it's a tablecloth with tassels, your curtains hanging down, or shoes by the door, these are all things you might want to find a new place for until your puppy has learned better than to eat them. Even then, your puppy is likely to teach you a fun lesson or two about what they're capable of chewing on. All of it's worth it, though, because that new puppy is your new built-in best friend and will love you with all their heart!
What is a Puppy-Zone?
If you don’t want to puppy-proof your entire home, a great option is to create a designated safe place for your pup to run around. Create a puppy-safe area you know will contain your young one more safely. Close doors to off-limits areas and use dog gates to block staircases or anything that shouldn’t be explored without your supervision.
Information in this article isn't intended to diagnose, treat or cure your pet and isn't a substitute for veterinary care provided by a licensed veterinarian. For any medical or health-related advice concerning the care and treatment of your pet, contact your veterinarian.