You have decided you want to get a puppy, and the day is fast approaching that you pick up your new friend. You have all the things you need ready for when you bring them home, like beds, bowls, toys etc, but is your house ready? There are lots of things that you may not even think of that can be potentially dangerous for a new pup around your home. So here are a few tips on how to puppy proof a home.
How do you know if your house is safe and ready for your new puppy?
Things that to us may not seem a hazard will potentially be to a new and inquisitive puppy, if you have children you will know what it was like when they first began to crawl or walk and they were getting into everything and a puppy is exactly the same so you need to treat them the same. So some of the items on the list are the same as you would do for a small child to keep them safe around your home.
Make sure you put any potentially dangerous objects away or out of their reach, things such as electrical cords, that wire snaking across your floor will be fascinating to a young pup and just like a baby everything goes in their mouth, so an electrical cord plugged into a mains socket is very dangerous, especially when that pup is teething.
Make sure any poisonous items such as cleaning products like bleach, disinfectants, laundry detergents etc are locked away in an area they cannot reach or get into, I have had dogs that can open cupboard doors so just putting items behind a closed cupboard door does not mean it’s safe, if you cannot put them somewhere up high out of the way then you can get locks to put on cupboard doors so make them secure.
Keep any sharp objects out of the way, such as knives, scissors, or things like needles or wire any of these things could be a potential hazard to your dog especially if they swallow them and a trip to the vets because your dog has swallowed a needle is going to be costly to find out, not to mention the serious damage it can do to them internally.
Check your house plants, there are a lot of plants that can be poisonous to dogs, so any that you have in your house you should check to find out if they are OK and if not remove them from the home, as if your pup eats the leaves it could be fatal. Also, be aware that some foods that we eat are not OK for dogs to eat, and things like pips in fruit, you can contact your vet who should have a list of potential food and plant threats or there is plenty of information online.
Keep the lid of the toilet down at all times, if you already own a dog finding it with its head down the toilet drinking water is something you may of encountered, this however is not good for them, apart from the fact that someone may have forgotten to flush, if you use chemicals to clean your toilet this could be dangerous and poisonous if your dog drinks it, so if you get into the habit of keeping the toilet lid down when not in use this will protect your dog from this potential hazard.
Puppies will jump up at your counters and as they get bigger may be able to reach food which they should not be eating. So make sure you keep food off the counter tops if your dog is in the kitchen, a bin can be knocked over and your pup will have a great time rummaging through its contents, but it may contain things that are harmful to them, the best thing to do is keep your dog out of the kitchen when you are not there with them.
Another potential danger to your dog in the kitchen is the oven, if your dog happens to jump up when there is a hot pan on the stove they could knock it over themselves, or someone else, it is always advisable to keep your puppy out of the kitchen, you can get gates to put up between them and the kitchen so they can see you if you are in there cooking, and you can watch over them too.
Keep any of your own personal objects out of your puppies reach, books, items of clothing, make-up, children’s toys, shoes etc can all pose a potential threat if your pup gets a hold of them and swallows anything.
If you live in an apartment always remember to keep any doors closed to keep your pup away from balconies, puppies like to jump and as they start to grow they will jump up on things you do not want this to be up and over a balcony especially if you are not on the ground floor. The same applies if you have any decking etc they could fall through or off it and also any steps when your pup is young and their balance and coordination is not properly developed and few steps up to your door could prove a hazard.
Last but not least keep an eye on your puppy, don’t leave it to wander around the house to its own devices, this goes for when it is outside in the garden too. If you know where your dog is and you can see them you can stop any mischief they may get in to that could potentially harm them.
Better safe than sorry
Although some of these may be obvious and others may be a bit extreme, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and when checking how to puppy proof a home these simple precautions will help ensure that the safety of your new puppy is covered when you bring them home and welcome them as a new family member.
Please feel free to comment if you have any more tips to add that can help others out.