Puppies are one of life’s greatest joys, but that mischievous and playful attitude can sometimes get them into sticky situations (sometimes literally sticky situations that we, as their loving pet parents, must then clean up). However, these incidents can be greatly minimized by thoroughly and thoughtfully puppy-proofing our homes before our new little one’s arrival.
By doing an in-depth sweep of your home and making sure everything is ready for the new puppy, you are not only making the area significantly safer, but you will also make your dog feel more at home faster. This can do wonders to facilitate the growing bond between pet parent and dog.
So, without further ado, here are some of the most integral steps to make your house a place that is safe and fun for both puppies and humans alike.
Give Them a Designated Safe Space
Puppies’ inherent curiosity is adorable, but after a long day of sniffing things they probably should not, they need somewhere to hang up their leash and get cozy. Then, there are also situations when we pet parents need to step out of the house without our furry friends in tow. Whether it is for work, a trip to the grocery store, or simply a location where an adorable but admittedly rambunctious puppy may not be appropriate, there are times that it is best to leave our dogs at home.
On these occasions, it is crucial to provide puppies and dogs of any age with a safe, comfortable place for them to call their own. Crates provide an excellent solution to this issue, as dogs enjoy them both when they want a soft spot to curl up, and when their humans need to leave them unsupervised for a brief period of time.
Diggs has a variety of crate options that will look stylish in your home, but still provide your dog with a lovely little hideaway. In order to make their crate even more comfortable, consider putting in a pad, some blankets or cushions, perhaps a favorite toy or two, and whatever else would make your dog feel the most at home.
Providing your puppy with a crate will help eliminate accidents that could occur otherwise if left unsupervised. In addition, having a space all their own shows puppies that they are truly in their forever home, and that they will always be loved and cherished, no matter what.
Hide Anything They Should Not Chew on or Consume
When it comes to puppies, it is generally safe to assume that if they can chew on it, it is only a matter of time before they do chew on it. They are incredibly curious and energetic by nature, so this behavior is to be expected. While these traits often make them absolutely adorable, there are instances that it can be a nuisance or possibly even dangerous if not handled well ahead of time.
Take a walk around your home and assess if there is anything out that could potentially pose a threat to your new furry friend. Try to think about it from their perspective, and be sure to check out tight spaces you might not otherwise think of. For instance, under seats, couches, and other pieces of furniture may not be accessible for you, but a small puppy could likely get in there with no problem.
Loose wires are common around many households, especially as technology becomes a more and more key part of our everyday lives. While they may not be much more than a slight eyesore for most humans, they can pose a significantly more severe threat to dogs. Puppies especially will look at these hanging cords and see a toy or something to explore, which is the opposite of what we want.
Dogs’ first instincts are to investigate new objects with their mouths, so a soft nibble or harder chomp is definitely in the cards. If they see loose wires behind a desk or near a TV, everything in them will say it is time to get biting. As a result, the safest option by far is to simply hide these wires away in a place that your dog will be unable to get to. This option is far safer for our pets, but it also has the added benefit of resulting in a less cluttered and more presentable home.
When you first get a puppy, some accidents are to be expected. Even with the best-behaved puppy and wonderful and attentive training, nothing ever goes exactly according to plan. This means that you will likely need a variety of household cleaners on hand for when these incidents do inevitably occur. Ironically, however, these very cleaners that you purchased in preparation for your puppy should be hidden away as securely as possible.
No matter how hard we try, we cannot watch and supervise our dogs all day every day. Instead, we have to do much of this supervision in advance by puppy-proofing our homes. Dogs are smart and endlessly clever, meaning that even if you hide a cleaning product in a drawer or cabinet, they may still discover how to get in there. If this is the case for your dog, cabinet locks can be immensely helpful.
Simply place a cabinet lock around the handles of the cabinet so your dog will be unable to get in. Alternatively, these household cleaners can also be placed into a cabinet that is too high up for puppies to reach. Keep in mind, though, that dogs are crafty. Be sure to remove anything nearby that could be used to climb on.
Most medications come affixed with some kind of child-proofing mechanism so that curious hands can’t find themselves in any accidental danger. However, dogs tend to go straight for biting, so they can still find their way into pill bottles without much of a problem at all. As such, the only way to truly dog-proof your medication is to keep it in a place your puppy will never be able to get to.
Keep your medication high up, in a locked cabinet, or in a room that is blocked off from your furry friend. Even then, be sure to monitor their behavior to make sure that more stringent measures do not need to be taken in regards to medication.
Small Articles of Clothing
No sock or shoe is safe when puppies are involved, so the best practice is to take them away from your dog’s line of sight entirely. Other, larger items of clothing could also be made into the next most exciting chew toy, so it is best to stow those away as well. However, in the case of smaller pieces of clothing specifically, they could be accidentally swallowed and cause much more than just a mild inconvenience.
It is no secret that puppies love trash. They love smelling it, they love exploring it, and most upsettingly, they love eating it. Due to this, keeping any and all trash in a bin at all times is crucial.
Not only should this bin be covered, but it can also be lockable for maximum safety. Make sure that any garbage on the ground is picked up by you because otherwise it will be picked up by your puppy.
Food (Especially Anything That Is Toxic to Them)
Feeding our puppies table scraps sets a precedent that will leave them expecting more of these morsels throughout their lives. It is best to avoid giving them pieces of the food that we are eating, but this issue goes beyond just that.
While we are cooking or simply going about our days, it is natural that some food may find its way to the floor. Remember that, just like with other trash, if we do not remove it, our dogs will.
This principle applies to all foods, but it is especially true in the case of foods that are poisonous to dogs. Just a few examples of these kinds of food include:
Batteries are small and can easily make their way behind tables and inside couch cushions where they go forgotten. Need we say more? Make sure that your used batteries are properly disposed of, far out of reach from where a curious puppy could access them.
Stow Anything Sharp Away in a Cabinet
Knives, scissors, and anything else even slightly sharp should be put away whenever a person is not using them, and your puppy is being strictly supervised. This is the most surefire way to avoid your furry friend seeing these objects as toys, and potentially harming themselves.
Offer Toys That Are Safe for Them To Chew On
Puppies’ seemingly insatiable need to chew can be problematic at times, but that is only the case if it is not well managed. Instead of letting them take a bite out of whatever they please, invest in some safe dog toys that are made for chewing. In many cases, these toys may even be made specifically for teething puppies.
Make Sure All Doors and Windows Are Securely Locked
Although we often see our puppies in their slightly less graceful moments, they still have the ability to be tremendously agile and resourceful little creatures. It is not at all unheard of for dogs to learn how to open windows or doors, leading them into places and situations that they should not be in. The most effective solution for this common problem is to make sure all doors, windows, and any other exits are locked and fastened securely.
Use a Gate To Block Off Certain Areas of the House
For those areas of your home that you would prefer your dog not to get into that do not have a door, a small gate can work wonders. These gates are easily removed and altered by humans, but small puppies will not be able to get past them. Whether there is a room that you would rather your dog not enter at all, or if you just need to secure them in a certain location for a brief period, gates are immensely helpful tools that should be utilized.
Secure Anything That Could Be Knocked Over
In their inevitable exploration of your home, puppies are sure to make the occasional misstep. More often than not, these slight stumbles are completely adorable. They become substantially less adorable, however, when a nearby lamp becomes a casualty. Delicate table lamps, pictures, or anything else that a young furry friend could reach is in danger of being knocked over and possibly damaged.
Either secure these pieces of decor down so that they cannot be moved by playful paws or move them to places where your dog will be unable to go.
Ensure Your House Is Free of Any Plants Toxic to Dogs
There are many common houseplants that we might not even realize are actually poisonous to dogs. If you have any of the plants in this non-exhaustive list in your home, they should be removed prior to your puppy’s arrival:
- Jade plants
- Sago palms
Do Not Forget to Puppy-Proof Your Yard
If you have a yard that your dog will be spending time in, remember that puppy-proofing goes beyond just inside. Be sure to install dog-proof fences that they will be unable to climb under or jump over.
In the case of any pools or water sources, block them off. Avoid harmful pesticides or fertilizers in your garden. Lastly, poisonous plants can be found outside as well, so make sure to get rid of those to keep your puppy safe as they wander around.
Giving Your Puppy a Safe and Happy Home
We all want to provide our puppies with the happiest life possible, and much of that starts with making sure our homes are ready for them. The number one priority should be their safety, but once that safety is established, more time can be designated to strengthen your bond together.
The Diggs Team
We believe our dogs deserve safer, better designed pet products.
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