Bringing a new puppy home is such an exciting time, but is your house ready for it?
Puppy proofing your home is not just about saving your cushions and your favourite pair of heels. It's also about protecting your puppy from dangerous hazards, inside and outside the home, and setting them up for success in their training journey.
Puppy proofing tip 1: Tidy up your space
If it's on the floor, chances are it will end up in your pup's mouth.
So now is the time to do a big tidy up of your home!
Sure, you can fence off parts of your house with removable gates and confine your puppy to only some rooms, but ultimately, it's best to keep in the habit of picking things up and putting them away.
We're talking clothes, shoes and small objects such as coins, jewelry, needles and thread, pins, yarn, rubber bands, paper clips, toys etc.
Another holy grail in your pup's quest to mischief is the garbage bin! Ensure the trash is hidden away and discarded promptly (both kitchen and bathroom bins). You don't want your puppy parading around the house with food scraps or feminine hygiene products in their mouth.
Puppy proofing tip 2: Hide electrical cords
This one is a biggy!
You don't want your puppy to chew on wires. Plus the house looks so much neater when all your cables are organized, right?
The use of cable protectors and cable boxes are a great way to start but make sure you also cover the wires running under furniture (couch, wardrobe etc). While puppies need supervision, it's impossible to watch every single move and a tiny pup can easily reach wires under furniture before you have time to react.
If you use outlet covers, be sure to put them away when you remove them. They make the perfect chew toy and can be a chocking hazard.
Puppy proofing tip 3: Indoor plants & other toxic hazards.
Animal poison line is not the phone call you want to be making!
To avoid being in this situation, you need to keep all toxic substances secure.
A lot of indoor plants can be toxic to dogs. Place these out of reach or replace them with non-toxic plants.
Before buying new plants, ask your nursery if it is safe for the pets in your house, and don't forget to put that gorgeous bouquet you got from your friendly colleagues, in a vase out of reach.
Medications, cleaning supplies and foods are another danger for your pup.
Keep all medications in a safe area where your puppy cannot access them (a locked cabinet or secured box). Do the same with food items such as chocolate, onions etc.
Puppies are surprisingly quick at pulling things off low surfaces and some will have no shame in climbing onto tables!
Cleaning supplies should be locked in cupboards using babyproof latches. Another thing to consider is removing your puppy from the rooms you're cleaning as the vapours can be harmful.
One last item we often overlook when puppy proofing our homes are cosmetics! Lotions, muscle rubs and make-up may attract your pup with their scent and can cause harm if licked or ingested.
Puppy proofing tip 4: Relocate soft items.
While you definitely won't be able to move your couch or coffee table, you can start by relocating soft items such as cushions and throws.
The living room is a good place to supervise and teach your puppy the do's and don't.
Do: snuggle with us on the couch to watch TV.
Don't: pee on the cashmere throw blanket nana gave us at Christmas.
If all training fails, use large tote bags or storage boxes to keep pillows, blankets, scented candles and coffee table books, away from teething fur babies.
Have designated space for clothes and shoes: tucked away in a closet (don't forget to close the doors). Store your handbags by hanging them and put away any shoelaces or decorative items with fringes that may look like chew toys to your pup.
Puppy proofing tip 5: Secure the backyard.
Just when you think the backyard is THE place where your new puppy can finally run mayhem with no supervision, we hit you with some truths!
Puppy proofing your backyard with secure fences or gates that your dog cannot jump over or dig under is a must!
The garden shed is another hot spot! All petrol, oil, paint, lawn fertilisers, insect repellents, rat poison, auto supplies, should be placed into secure containers out of reach.
Finally, swimming pools, hot tubs and water features such as ponds should be covered or fenced off.
In the end, puppy proofing is relatively easy: be patient, keep it out of paw’s reach and always think of your puppy as this mastermind of mischief!
You wouldn't believe the stories we've heard!
Did you prepare your house to the arrival of a new puppy?
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