Welcoming a puppy into your home is always an exciting time. I remember when I first brought my Chihuahua, Diego, home. I can still picture the first time his little paws hit the carpet. He ran from room to room exploring everything. I had even filled a doggy bed with plush toys and oh, boy, did he enjoy that. A few years later, I got to experience that joy once again when I brought my toy poodle, Gigi, home!
If you’ve ever had a dog before then you know they like to explore … A LOT! That’s why, along with filling your home with things your new puppy needs and loves, you also need to spend some time puppy-proofing your home. I like to put it this way: Your puppy is like a newborn baby that will put just about anything in his mouth and has no clue how much trouble he can get himself into!
Here are my tips to puppy proof your home and create a safe environment for your new puppy!
Throughout the Entire House
- Keep Doors Closed– Since puppies can be little escape artists and wander off to areas they shouldn’t, get in the hang of keeping all doors closed.
- Secure Cords on Window Blinds – Your new puppy may be intrigued by the cords that raise and open window blinds. To avoid these cords from getting wrapped around your new pup’s neck, body, or paws, make sure they’re secure and out of reach.
- Keep Sharp Objects Out of Reach – To prevent cuts, make sure all scissors, letter openers, razors, knives, and tools are put away.
- Watch Out for Poisonous House Plants – Not all greenery is safe for pets. If you’re a fan of house plants then do a little research to make sure your plant babies are safe for your fur babies.
- Block Off the Fireplace – If you have a fireplace, keep lighters out of your pup’s reach. Plus, depending on what type of fireplace you have, you may also want to invest in a shield to block your dog’s access.
- Keep Food Off the Counters – If you have a small dog then this isn’t as much of an issue because they won’t be able to reach the countertops. But, it’s still good to get in the hang of putting all food away as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Plus, don’t leave leftovers sitting on the table or countertops. While many human foods are good for Fido, there are some that are toxic. Check out my list of human foods dogs can and can’t have.
- Secure Garbage Cans – The kitchen garbage is filled with food scraps that smell very attractive to puppies. To prevent dumpster diving, get a trash bin with a lid!
- Keep Cleaning Supplies up High or Secured in Cabinets with Childproof Latches – Cleaning supplies and detergents are toxic to dogs and should be stored in a safe place where your dog can’t access them. Ingesting even a small amount of laundry detergent, drain cleaner, Windex, Tilex, granite cleaner, or any other toxic chemical can have life-threatening effects on your dog. If your dog has ingested bleach-containing products, soaps, cleansers, or other harsh chemicals, contact poison control right away and seek out emergency veterinary care.
- Put Away All Medications – Avoid keeping medications on bathroom countertops, low tables, nightstands, or any area where your puppy can get to them. Instead, make sure they’re kept in a closed bathroom medicine cabinet or drawer.
- Watch for Other Small Bathroom Essentials – Keep toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, floss, hair clips, facial creams, and any other small bathroom essentials organized in an area where your dog can’t get to them.
- Keep Toilet Lids Closed – We’ve all seen images of dogs dipping their heads into a toilet and taking a little lick of the water. But, I highly suggest keeping lids closed. If you use harsh cleaners in your toilet bowl then drinking the water can leave you with one sick puppy.
- Secure Garbage Cans – Like the kitchen garbage, the bathroom trash bin is also filled with canine treasure. It may sound gross, but dogs love munching on used napkins and feminine hygiene products. Do yourself and favor and get a small bathroom trash can with a lid, or keep it tucked inside a closed cabinet.
- Organize Wires – Computers, printers, and phone chargers, oh my! Most rooms in your house are filled with wires. For a lot of dogs, especially teething puppies, those wires can be pretty tempting to chew. To help avoid unwanted nibbles, keep wires organized with a wire sleeve!
- Organize Small, Loose Supplies – Keep paperclips, rubber bands, staples, USBs, pens, highlighters, and any other small office supplies neatly organized and out of your dog’s reach. These are all items your dog can fit in his mouth, causing a potential choking risk. Plus, biting into an ink pen can get pretty messy!
Bedroom / Closet
- Put Jewelry Away – When you crawl into bed at night, do you slip your jewelry off and put it on your nightstand? Like anything else that’s small and easy to fit into your new puppy’s mouth, jewelry can easily become a choking hazard. So, take a few extra minutes to hang them in a jewelry box!
- Put Shoes Away – Until your puppy is past the teething phase and is trained not to chew on shoes, do yourself a favor and keep your kicks in a closed closet.
Check out this great infographic by Trade Price Tiles with even more advice to puppy proof your home: