Bringing your new puppy home is one of the best days of your life - you're both incredibly excited and ready to start building a life-long bond.
On top of purchasing the supplies you need, setting up appointments with a trustworthy vet, and signing them up for training school, you also need to puppy-proof your home.
Puppies are sweet and curious little creatures that seem to have a death wish sometimes. They love to sniff out and chew everything, including the most dangerous items around our houses.
Puppy proofing your home will keep your pup safe in the transitional months while they learn the rules of your house.
Go room by room with us to find the common threats to pup health so you can hide or remove them. Follow these steps in the days and weeks leading up to your pup's arrival for puppy proofing apartment or house so that it can be as pet friendly as you are!
Find what needs puppy-proofing: get a dog's eye view
It can be challenging for you as a first-time puppy owner to know what can or can't be dangerous for your new puppy.
The best way to assess your house for potential pup dangers is to get down to the dog's level. Take a look at things from a pup's perspective and follow each room's floors to see what will tempt them the most. Make a list as you go so that no hazard gets forgotten.
How to puppy proof your house: room by room
Room #1: The kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of a home. We spend a ton of time here, and as our little shadows, our pups will too. Let's start puppy proofing your house by tackling the kitchen first.
Stocking up on extra cleaning supplies will come in handy for the mess that can come with pet ownership.
These chemicals often smell like food, like lemon, and are bad for puppy health as they're toxic to animals. Keep your cleaning products in a latched cupboard that your pup can't get into.
Latch drawers and cupboards
Even when a cupboard or drawer is closed, a smart pup can maneuver their way into them and get into whatever contents are inside.
For a fully-secure puppy-proof house, buy child-proof latches for cupboards and drawers that your puppy can reach to keep their sniffing noses out of them!
Remove toxic foods for pups
If your large dog can jump up on the counter, they're going to try their hardest to get their paws on the food up there, like the butter dish. Keep foods off the counters or well out of the pup's reach.
Many foods are delicious for humans to consume yet toxic for our furry ones. Be extra careful to keep these potentially dangerous foods stashed away:
- Onions and garlic
- Grapes and raisins
- Artificial sweeteners
Room #2: The bathroom
The bathroom contains fruity-smelling body wash, shampoos, and a trash can full of Kleenex - in other words, it's a dog's dream room for getting into stuff it shouldn't.
Stash away medications, razors, and scented soaps
Keep all medications in a medicine chest or box with a heavy-duty lock. Your dog can become fatally ill if they ingest human drugs and medicines.
Hide razors and other sharp objects, too, and keep any sweetly-scented soaps out of the dog's reach in the shower, and keep the ledge of the bathtub free and clear of any harmful items.
Secure trash cans
Most bathrooms have a small trash receptacle. Get a bathroom garbage can with a closing lid, and keep it tucked in a cupboard away from a nosy pup.
For an extra-keen dog, you might want to get a child-proof latch for the bathroom cupboards as well.
Room #3: The bedroom
Pups love to snuggle up with us to sleep at night. Keep them safe and comfortable while they spend time in your bedroom.
Ramps for bed
Some pups are too small to get onto your bed, especially breeds with short legs and big bodies, like Dachshunds and Corgis.
Get an adjustable dog ramp for bed (or the sofa, or car) to keep pressure off your pup's joints and spine to prevent health conditions as they age. They help keep your dog healthy and allow them some more independence, so they don’t need your help getting up and down.
Hide blankets and pillows
Some dogs can't wait to sink their teeth into the soft, plush blankets and pillows we use to decorate our beds. Remove these from your bed or keep your bedroom door shut when you're not in there to keep a close eye on your new pup.
Room #4: The living room
The room that contains all of our electronics and precious belongings can present a hazard for our new dog.
Hide cords and plugs
All of our incredibly expensive electronics come with cords and charging cables that can shock our pups and are just plain expensive to replace. Keep charging cables unplugged except when not in use. Purchase cord protectors for those that stay plugged in, and block them off behind furniture whenever possible.
Beware of plants
When on your puppy-proofing-house mission, don't forget about your plants! Research which species are toxic to dogs, and keep all of your plants out of reach when you're not.
Put up puppy gates
A few well-placed puppy gates help you create a smaller space for your pup to roam in.
For the first few months, puppies will need a ton of supervision, and one of the easiest ways to prevent problems is to make that supervision easier.
Before they're fully house-trained, you might want to keep your puppy in a room that doesn't have carpeted flooring in case of accidents. Use these gates to keep a close eye!
As your puppy starts to become obedient and well-trained, they start to earn independence. You can slowly extend this independence by moving the gates from one room to enclose two rooms, and eventually get rid of them altogether.
After going through each of your rooms, you'll have a thoroughly prepared and puppy-proofed house so that you can feel safe bringing your new pet home! Enjoy introducing your new furry friend into your world and creating a lasting bond.