Is there anything more adorable than a puppy? These furry little creatures are full of energy and love, and they make everyone around them happy. However, before you rush out to buy your first puppy, there are a few things you need to do to prepare for their arrival.
Puppy-proofing your home is essential because these little guys can get into trouble fast. Just like human babies, curious puppies want to chew and play with everything! And while getting a ripped-up cushion is bad enough, a puppy chewing on an electrical cable can have more disastrous consequences.
In this article, we’ll do a walk-through of your home and give you some tips on how to make sure each area is safe for your new addition.
Getting Started Puppy-Proofing
If you’re thinking about bringing a puppy into your home, there are some important preparations you’ll need to make first. Puppies are full of energy and curiosity, and they’re not always aware of the dangers around them.
This is going to sound strange, but to start, get on your hands and knees and crawl around the floor. Yes, crawl! This will give you a good idea of what your puppy has access to, what he can or cannot reach, and the potential dangers that he can sink his chompers into.
Now you’re on your hands and knees, it is time to check out the various areas in your home.
Puppy-Proofing – The Kitchen
The kitchen is a minefield of all kinds of stuff that could harm your puppy. First, make sure all the electronics and wirings are out of reach of your pup.
Then, secure any loose items that might be within reach such as knives, dishware, and small appliances. You’ll also want to make sure any harmful cleaning products are stored out of reach.
Then, make sure your pup can’t get into any of your food. Millions of dogs end up in the emergency rooms of vets because they have gotten into something they shouldn’t have. Common human food like xylitol, some nuts, garlic, and onions, are toxic to dogs.
Stash your trash bin securely under a sink, and use a tamper-proof lid so your pup can’t get into the trash. Store all bags away or cut them up to eliminate any suffocation risks.
If you come home and find your house is a mess (which is very likely unless you confine your pup!), check the kitchen and make sure that your pup hasn’t gotten into any food. Food toxicity is real, and it can have dire consequences for a small puppy.
Symptoms of food toxicity in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, increased urination, and lethargy. In severe cases, food toxicity can lead to organ damage or even death. If you suspect that your dog has ingested a toxin, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.
Puppy-Proofing – The Bedrooms And Living Room
Again, check for any electrical cords or appliances. Then look at cushions, fabrics, and curtains. Puppies love to chew and pull on flappy things, so if you allow them to, they could destroy your furnishing, but worse, they could chew off a piece that is a choking hazard.
Keep all medications, skincare products, and tobacco away. These are hazardous to dogs, and while healthy adult dogs might not show any symptoms of poisoning, puppies sure can.
Look out for any plants that could potentially be toxic to dogs, and keep away all bags and coats that could have some residual medication, tobacco, or sugar-free gum products.
If you have attached bathrooms, think about keeping the door shut. Not only is the bathroom with all its rugs and tissue paper heaven for a puppy’s chewing tendencies, but the toilet bowl can also pose a drowning hazard.
Puppy-Proofing – The Garage
Any storage room or garage is likely to have many industrial cleaning products and tools that could get your puppy into a lot of trouble. Remove all electrical appliances, whether they are plugged in or not.
A puppy will chew through the protective plastic or rubber coverings in an instant, and you’ll have a spoilt tool. Think about keeping these rooms closed and off-limits to puppies.
Puppy-Proofing – The Yard
You’ll probably have to supervise your puppy while it is in the yard. All kinds of wild animals could get into your yard, and the yard is a playground where puppies can get into a lot of trouble.
Watch out for gaps in the fence that your pup could dig under and get out. Cover any tubes, pipes, or wirings and make sure to again, keep all the appliances or electronics out of reach.
If you have a pool, proceed with extreme caution. You’ll have to make sure your puppy is confident in the water, and always make sure that there is an easy way for your puppy to exit the pool.
If there aren’t any steps or easy way to exit the pool and there is a possibility that your pup might get stuck if it accidentally falls in, you might have to fence it up until you can rectify the situation, or restrict your puppy’s access to the pool.
Even though raising a puppy is almost a full-time job, you can’t watch your puppy 100% of the time. That’s where confinement comes in. You can use a crate, a playpen, or puppy gates to limit your pup’s movement and access when you are unable to watch him or her.
Crate vs Playpen
Crate training your puppy has many benefits. It can help with housebreaking, and prevent destructive chewing and other unwanted behavior. Crate training can also be a lifesaver when it comes to travel – whether it’s a car trip or a flight.
A crate provides a safe, comfortable space for your puppy, and can help to ease separation anxiety. In addition, crate training can give you peace of mind knowing that your pup is safely contained when you can’t be supervising them. However, a crate is a very small space and puppies should not be crated for too long.
A playpen gives them a safe space to play and explore without getting into mischief. A playpen can help to protect your belongings from being destroyed by teething puppies.
In addition, puppies are often not fully housetrained and will have accidents indoors. A playpen can confine them to a small area until they learn to control their bladder.
It is crucial to puppy-proof your home, not just to keep your belongings (and sanity!) intact, but also for the safety of your puppy. With some minor adjustments, you can ensure a safe, happy home for your new pup. Good luck!