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Home DOG GROOMING How to Puppy-Proof Your House

How to Puppy-Proof Your House

by Bella Woof

Before bringing home a new puppy, make sure your home is safe for him and protected from normal puppy behaviors.

This can prevent your dog from detecting problems.

You can start puppy-proofing your home by walking around your home and outdoor space and imagining what a puppy might eat, climb, climb over, climb into, or knock over.

You may even want to crouch down so you can see your house from your pup’s perspective and discover hidden dangers.

Anything you take away from a small child should also be kept out of your pup’s reach.

Here’s a step-by-step checklist of what you should protect in and around your home.

Puppy-proof your home

First, let’s look at the tasks inside your house.

Close the trash cans

Keep trash cans and diaper pails in closets or get lids with secure closures or child-proof latches. Trash cans contain many food hazards for curious pups.

Raisins, grapes, onions, garlic, chocolate, and other items that puppies may find in the trash can be toxic to dogs. Although not toxic, high-fat foods and leftover food can cause pancreatitis.

Be careful of trash or recycling that may be scattered around the house, such as aluminum foil, plastic wrap, cans with sharp edges, and plastic jars, which puppies can get trapped in.

Ingestion of these products can cause intestinal obstruction in dogs.

Store all food in cabinets, not on kitchen counters.

Cover electrical cords and plugs

Invest in covers for your outlets; puppies can lick them and end up seriously hurting themselves. You should also get covers to secure cables and lights, especially during the holidays.

Puppies are known for chewing, so you’ll want to protect the wires in your house before your pup can get his teeth near them.

Fish tank tubes are quite resistant to chewing and work well for running electrical cables. Simply make a slit in the tube to pass the cable through.

Safe Heavy Furniture

Secure lamps, shelves and decorations that a puppy could tear off or knock over. You can purchase anti-tip kits so you can anchor heavy furniture to the wall so it doesn’t tip over and harm your pet.

Tie up window treatments

When puppy-proofing a home, think about darker hazards, like curtains. Low curtains can become a chewing object that puppies can pull on and potentially tear off the wall, so make sure they are secured, pulled to the side and out of reach.

Cords to raise and lower curtains can also pose a potential risk to your pup. Puppies may chew the plastic or get tangled in the threads, which could cause strangulation.

Evaluate your houseplants

While it’s always nice to have some greenery in your home, consider which plants are safe for puppies. Some plants are toxic to dogs and can cause serious health problems that require a visit to the veterinarian.

Whatever plants you choose, to completely puppy-proof a house, keep them out of your pup’s reach. This will prevent them from chewing the plant or digging in the soil.

Store Medications Safely

Puppies can easily chew through the child-resistant lids and ingest what’s inside. Place all human medications, pet prescription medications, and toiletries out of reach.

The Puppy Proof Bath

Toiletries found in bathroom trash cans can be a danger to puppies. Opt for a can with a locking lid or secure the lid with a child-resistant latch. Keep toilet lids closed to prevent puppies from drinking from the toilet bowl, as this poses health risks.

Keep cleaning supplies in cabinets

Drain cleaners can be deadly if swallowed and many other household cleaners are toxic.

Secure all cleaning supplies in cabinets and obtain cabinet locks if necessary.

Do this even if you use products that are labeled as natural ingredients; This does not guarantee that they are safe for pets, especially if they ingest them.

Lock food bowls and cat litter boxes

Make sure your cat’s bowl, bag of cat food, and litter box are out of reach. Most dogs can’t resist tasting cat droppings, which can lead to the transmission of parasites or blockages from ingesting cat litter.

Moving small or sharp objects

Move open storage containers, such as baskets with craft supplies, coins, shoes or toys, to a closed closet or high shelf.

Puppies, like babies, will explore everything and anything. The most common thing is that they do it with their mouth. If it should not be leaned over, turned over, licked or chewed, it should be out of reach of the curious pup.

Set up dog doors

Dog doors can save lives for both you and the pup. They can be used to reduce the amount of space your pup has access to, meaning less space you need to protect him.

For example, limiting the new puppy to a single room in the house means that you can eliminate puppy dangers in that small area and then you can allow your new companion supervised space elsewhere.

Plus, a smaller area will help with potty training your new puppy.

Dog gates can also be used to block stairs. Puppies are notoriously clumsy on stairs, and you don’t want your new puppy to walk down the entire flight!

Secure doors and windows

Windows and doors can pose a significant danger to new puppies. They have no idea that an open window could cause a 15-foot fall to concrete.

They also do not understand that screens are not firm barriers and that they can accidentally pass through them.

Most importantly, front doors lead to perhaps the most dangerous place for a puppy: the street. Many dogs can learn to open doors, so be sure to have a childproof device for your pup’s safety.

Puppy-proof your garden

The next area to address is your garden.

check the fence

While you should always supervise your pup, it’s important to look for weak spots in your fence. You’d be surprised how little space they need to get out of a safe yard and how quickly they can do it!

Put a fence around the pool

Drowning is a real possibility, even if your pup knows how to swim.

Sometimes it only takes a drop in water level of a few centimeters to make the difference between when a puppy can get out of a pool and when he can’t.

A young puppy may not yet know where the steps are or how to use them. The pool should always be a supervised place for your dog.

Safe Garage and Garden Supplies

Swallowing antifreeze can be fatal, so store it locked up and clean up spills using clay-based sand or by thoroughly cleaning the area with a hose.

Any liquid you keep in the garage, whether it’s fuel or household cleaner, is probably toxic to dogs (and cats).

Secure all heavy tools and store small tools, such as screws and nails, high off the ground.

Check for toxic flowers and plants

You’ve already checked your house for dangerous plants, but don’t forget to check the garden too! Most puppies will decide which plants and flowers they “like” based on their taste. Some plants are extremely toxic, while others simply cause irritation to the gastrointestinal tract.

Keep Your Puppy Safe from Fertilizers and Pesticides

Insect repellents, rat poison, fertilizers, and herbicides can be fatal if consumed. Don’t use them unless necessary. And if you have any on the premises, make sure they are stored properly.

Puppies love to chew on containers to make things come out, but if that is rat poison, it will also act as dog poison.

Keep all of these dangerous products out of the reach of puppies and children.

Set up a shaded seating area

Puppies can get hot and tired quickly, and they don’t know when to slow down and rest.

Having a nice, comfortable area where you can sit and hang out with your pup will encourage him to rest when he needs to.

Place an outdoor raised crib and an insulated water bowl with cold water in the location to make it even more inviting.

Here are some products to keep your new puppy comfortable:

Supervise Your Puppy Outdoors

When supervising your puppy, treat him as you would a small child.

You wouldn’t let a small child play alone in the yard, and your puppy shouldn’t be alone either. Keep them on a leash if they are not in a fenced area.

Mow the grass frequently

Many stinging and stinging insects can be found in tall grass, from wasps and hornets to fleas and ticks.

By keeping the grass short, it’s easier to see exactly what your pup is getting into and you’ll also discourage some bugs from wandering around.

Cover image:


Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, DABVP


Sandra Mitchell graduated in 1995 from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine. Since she graduated, she has worked in many fields…

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