Bringing in a new puppy can often seem like bringing in a new baby into the home. You have to make sure you have a bed, the proper food, proper attire (collar and leash for the puppy) and even the proper toys. Much like having a baby in the home you will need to proof the house of hidden dangers. Puppy-proofing is conducted in the same type of manner, although a baby won’t necessarily chew the furniture (at least not until they are teething).
To truly puppy-proof your home, you should start by getting down on the floor to see the world the way your puppy would see it. This is the best way to spot potential hazards. It may sound silly to get down on your hands and knees and look around like a puppy would, but you would be surprised at to what you may find that you normally would not see standing.
- The best bed for puppy: Some people prefer puppies to sleep in their bed with them. This could be a bad idea as the puppy could fall off the bed and break its leg or even back. Puppies are best to start in a crate in their own doggie bed. This will start them on their potty training quest by crate training them at night for bedtime.
- Treat your puppy like you would a child: Active puppies can easily get into dangerous situations. Consider investing in child-proof locks for cabinets. Use child-safety gates in areas with valuables to prevent your pet from getting into trouble. We know puppies cannot use the handle and open a cabinet but they could scratch at the door and accidentally open a cabinet that houses cleaning products.
- Take the bite out of the chew: Dogs have the tendency to chew on furniture and shoes. Spray pet-friendly lemon or bitter apple scents on items to avoid further chewing problems. If the puppy is persistent and ignores the sprays, then maybe crate training your puppy while you’re gone or seclude him/her to a puppy-proof room.
- Provide proper chew toys: Providing a puppy with the proper puppy chew toys will help with the need to chew on improper items in the house. Always keep your puppy’s interest with multiple toys and changing them out throughout the week. This prevents boredom and going to your furniture instead.
- Take caution with wires: Pets can easily injure themselves or destroy delicate electronics. Consider installing electric cord shorteners on television, phone, and computer cords, outlet covers in wall sockets and window cord safety locks. This is not the time to think the puppy will learn his/her lesson after biting it once and getting shocked. One bite of an electrical cord could kill a puppy.
- Keep curtains in check: Tie curtains and be wary of blinds – they can easily strangle a pet. Nothing worse than coming home and your blinds are wrapped around your puppy or strung all over the house in the attempts to get free.
- Avoid household plants: Believe it or not, plants can be poisonous for pets; many common plants that are indigenous to the United States are deadly to animals. If you love to have them in your home, put them on counters or a decorative table that the puppy cannot knock over.
- Utilize a sofa cover: To avoid fur on your loveseat, use a seat cover. Sure Fit offers pet covers that are great for the home and car that are also hypoallergenic. They are also great for training your puppy to only get onto the sofa that has his/her cover on it.
- Hide the trash can: A hyper puppy can easily knock over a trash can and spread garbage and bacteria throughout your home. Or even worse start eating the garbage and create an upset tummy requiring a trip to the veterinarian. Either put it in a pantry, laundry room with the door shut or get a decorative box for the trash can to go into that cannot be knocked over.
- Be careful with the fruit basket: Even though fruits are an important part of the human diet, grapes (and raisins) are actually deadly for dogs. If you have a fruit basket on the table where a puppy could get on the chairs and table to get it, then just put it on the counter for safe keeping.
- Be watchful of the litter boxes for cats: If you own a cat and have a litter box, your new puppy may become infatuated with the litter box. They view this box as a place for a snack that will land them with a very upset tummy. Be mindful of the litter box and keep it clean to not allow the puppy anything to “snack” on.
Puppy-proofing a home is not as bad as it seems. Most of this list is common sense items that we normally do but just may not think about. Some items may be new for a pet owner to think about as they may be a new pet owner for the first time. Just look around and think if you were a puppy what you would want to get into, chew on, play with and tear up. Then correct it and you will have a puppy-proof home.
This list was compiled with the help of Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow. Mrs. Ganahl currently resides in the Boulder, Colorado area with her family including dogs Ray Ray and Scout. She is working on various charitable causes including helping rescue dogs in Greece, helping raise donations and awareness for canine cancer research, and even helping over 3,000 homeless dogs get adopted through her camps across the USA.
Ganahl said, “The lessons I’ve learned over the years fill my presentations – keep in mind that the world is your field of tennis balls and pile of sticks to fetch if you just put your nose to the ground and go after them! Tragedy, loss and misfortune can all be used to learn the lessons you will need to get past your fear and become a great leader or entrepreneur. So let’s play ball!”
Go to the Animal Rescue Site and click the purple paw print to help feed shelter animals for FREE. In 2011 they helped to provide shelters with over 68 million bowls of food, from just a click a day from people like you.
Follow me on Twitter or Facebook for animal updates and pet adoptions.
For more articles on a national level about dog fighting, cockfighting, puppy mills and other forms of pet abuse, please check out my other pingroof.com page. National Pet Advocacy Examiner
If you liked what you read and would like read more, just hit the newsletter button below and you will be signed up. It is anonymous and you will receive an email to confirm your request. Please feel free to contact me if you have a question, comment, or even an article idea at email@example.com . Thank you.