Before your puppy arrives home, you must puppy proof everything inside and out of your home. To make sure they stay happy and healthy, your puppy will need their environment to be safe and secure. Choose which areas of the house you are going to allow your puppy to roam and make sure they are decluttered. Block access to other areas that they shouldn’t explore – a puppy gate is a great tool for this!
Here’s what to focus on in each area of your home
First do a general sweep and remove the obvious hazards, and then do thorough cleaning of your home in preparation for welcoming your new furry friend. Our best tip is to try to see the world from the point of a four-legged toddler.
The Living Area
Electrical wires and cords
The living area has technical gadgets and loose cords your puppy’s tiny teeth might like to chew. Put away your charging cables, and anything else at risk of being chewed up including magazines and even pillows. Instead, encourage your puppy to chew on specially designed chew toys, many of which also provide dental and educational benefits.
You may be surprised to find that a variety of plants that you may keep around your household are actually toxic for your puppy and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea or more serious effects. Some common plants to remove from your home include calla lilies, aloe vera and sago palms.
While all your pets may become the best of friends soon enough, when you first bring your puppy home you need to ensure their safety by making sure all cages and aquariums are puppy proofed by securely fastening them and keeping them out of your inquisitive puppy’s reach. In addition, puppies may ingest faeces from your cat’s litter box which is a major health concern so you will need to keep them away from this area with a gate.
Drawers and cabinets
Your kitchen is full of fascinating scents that your puppy will love to explore, but their curious nose could lead them into potential danger. We recommend that you secure your shelves with childproof latches so your puppy stays out of your food and cleaning products.
Another place that puppies love following their noses into is your garbage. If you don’t make sure that your bins are covered, or are placed somewhere they can’t reach, your puppy can easily sneak into the bin and ingest food that is toxic to them or be harmed by sharp objects.
Toilet lids and bathtubs
Bathrooms commonly contain open bodies of water such as full sinks, bathtubs or buckets of water that you must keep your puppy away from as even shallow pools can be a drowning risk. Always keep the toilet lid down so they cannot fall inside.
Medication and cleaning products
Everyday items in the bathroom can pose a threat to your puppy if they ingest them. Puppy proof your bathroom by moving your soap, medications, razors and other hazards to locations where your puppy will not be able to reach them.
Your bedroom will certainly interest your new puppy as they get to know your scent. Clothing, shoes, socks and other chewable items should be secured for the safety of your puppy, and for your own benefit! If you find that your puppy is munching away on items you want them to stay away from, anti-chew sprays work wonders by repelling puppies with their bitter taste.
Small and valuable items
Puppies explore with their mouths and so you want to ensure that anything that could potentially be swallowed is out of their reach. A large variety of common household objects can pose a danger to your puppy including jewellery, batteries, hair ties, coins and more. If your puppy will be able to access your children’s rooms, make sure toys are off the floor as they may be small enough for your puppy to swallow.
Your puppy should never be allowed outside without your supervision but you still need to check that your fences are stable and there is no way that your puppy can escape by digging under, wriggling through or jumping over a gate.
Chemicals and pesticides
Keep your lawn fertilisers, insecticides, automotive chemicals and other poisonous substances well away from your puppy, and if possible, try to avoid using them.
While certain areas of your house may be out of bounds for your puppy, especially before they’ve been toilet trained, you also need to set up a space that is just for them. This is where you will keep their bedding or crate so that they have somewhere to retreat to when they want some quiet time. If you need any more advice about how to puppy proof your home, come into your nearest Petbarn where our experienced team members can help you provide the best care for your new puppy.