The new addition to your home may have 4 paws and lots of fur, but it’s essential to make many of the same safety adjustments that you would for a crawling baby. Puppy proofing your home will not only keep your new little cutie safe but give you peace of mind.
Your new fur baby is just as inquisitive as a toddler. They both need to be protected from their own curiosity and determination to investigate every single item they see. Things like hanging wires and colorful soaps are new to them; and, tasting, touching, and creating a little chaos is how they learn.
Just as you would with a newly mobile toddler, you’re going to want to remove some items from your home. The perfect solution is to lease a safe, affordable self storage unit. With flexible, month-to-month leasing, you can use the unit as long as necessary without the worry of a long-term commitment.
Puppy Proofing Tips
According to Shelter Animals Count, an organization that tracks shelters and rescue activity, there were 26,000 adoptions in 2020. That is a 15% increase from 2019, and another increase is anticipated for 2021. A lot of people are going to be busy with puppy proofing!
If you have antiques and meaningful pieces of furniture or decor that you’d like to preserve for the future, place them in a self storage unit until your puppy passes out of the teething phase. With the valuables out of the way, you and your puppy will be able to relax and concentrate on getting to know each other.
Crates and Baby Gates
If your puppy has too much freedom right away, he could chew up your favorite pair of shoes or pee in the house. Start your puppy out in a crate. If they are comfortable with the crate, switch to a room that is puppy-proofed and contained with a baby gate so that you can leave the door open. Once your pup is trained, you can use the crate only to confine your dog for medical recoveries or visitors who aren’t comfortable with dogs. Check The Farmers Dog Digest for crate training advice.
Puppies will be tempted with everthing in the kitchen from cabinets, and cords to smells and tastes. Cleaning supplies, dish detergent and even some medications that need to be taken with food are stored in the kitchen. Foods that are toxic for dogs (raisins, grapes, chocolate, onions) should never be left on kitchen counters or within your dog’s reach. Childproof latches are available at your local hardware store and on Amazon.
If you don’t have a trash can cabinet or it’s not possible to keep your trash can under the sink, use a can with a locking lid. Even older dogs enjoy getting into the trash on occasion.
Stay Clutter Free
Curious puppies have an abundance of temptation opportunities in the living/family room. These spaces have cords, pillows, books, games with small pieces, and a number of other interesting clutter. Clean up these rooms on a regular basis so that the puppy stays out of trouble.
Corral Your Cords
A teething puppy will constantly be attracted to power cords, phone chargers, or any other loose wires. Either keep them out of reach or enclose them in a destruction-proof PVC tube.
Houseplants can be toxic to dogs of all ages. Until your puppy grows out of the curious state, you should keep your plants inaccessible on a high shelf or counter. It may be best to move them to another location temporarily.
Ingestible Items Should Be Out of Reach
A bathroom is a dangerous place for a puppy. Keep things like razors, medicines, soap, and cleaning products out of reach or in a childproofed cabinet. If any of these items are ingested, it could mean an expensive emergency trip to the vet or even surgery.
Keep the Toilet Lid Down
Keep the toilet lid down, or keep the bathroom door closed. Smaller puppies could jump or in some way maneuver themselves into the bowl and potentially drown.
Locked Trash Cans
The same as with the kitchen, puppies love the trash. The trash can in the bathroom is typically exposed and small enough for a puppy to easily make a mess. As mentioned above, bathroom items that are disposed of can be harmful to a puppy. If possible, stow the trash can in a cabinet or keep the bathroom door closed.
Small-Scale Office Supplies
This is another place where you need to keep those small, easily swallowed items out of reach. Along with rubber bands, paper clips, and other easily ingestible items, you’ll have wires and cords. In the case of a home office, it’s best to keep the door closed until your puppy grows into an adult dog.
Dogs are Attracted to Your Scent
Dogs are scent-driven and will gravitate towards anything the smells like you. Keep your shoes and clothing in a secured closet or hamper. Don’t leave a favorite item of clothing on the floor. If your puppy finds it, you probably won’t be wearing it again.
Hide and Seek
Puppies love hiding under the bed or other furniture. If you want to prevent your puppy from doing this, place some sort of a blockade around the perimeter of these items. This will prevent any under-the-bed hide and seek.
If your garage is where you store chemicals and substances that may be toxic to pets, they should be secured in a locked cabinet or on a shelf that is entirely out of your puppy’s reach.
Plants such as daffodils, foxglove, lupine, and others can be poisonous to dogs, causing a variety of reactions from rashes to vomiting. You can get a list of common toxic plants from the ASPCA.
Your puppy is precious to you and a member of your family. Spending the time to puppy-proof your home gives you and your new buddy the best “paw forward” as you start a life together